$15 for $30 Worth of Thai Cuisine and Drinks at Mekala's

University, Eugene

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Pad thai is so named because of its inherent softness, which is also why it's used to stuff the mattresses of the world's richest kings. Fall into a pillow of flavor with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of Thai cuisine and drinks at Mekala's.

Mekala's whips up dishes of zesty Thai cuisine from recipes passed through the generations, offering a dining experience that constantly changes due to a seasonal menu. Oil rusty jaw hinges with the esan beef dip—tender strips of seasoned grilled beef lounging on a bed of lettuce and red onion, blanketed with green onions, toasted garlic, and cilantro, accompanied by a spicy citrus esan sauce for dipping ($9.95). Peanut-sauce curry with your choice of tofu or chicken, a Mekala's favorite, tops freshly cut broccoli, carrots, bean sprouts, and cabbage with a peanut sauce full of spices that are newly liberated from their external jar prisons—finally free to dance ecstatically upon taste buds and set off spicy fireworks of flavor ($12.95). A mint-leaves-and-chilies dish, with your choice of tofu, chicken, or pork, combines organic mint and basil leaves with onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms, and tops them with Mekala's aromatic housemade seasoning paste, the scent of which, when inhaled, proves to be equally useful in traditional Thai aromatherapy treatments ($12.95).

Mekala's

Chef Bupar acquired her culinary prowess alongside her mother, who operated a street-side café in Bangkok for more than 20 years. Today, she draws on recipes she learned from her mother to conjure up the bustling, spice-tinged air of the city of her youth. The traditional Thai flavors of ginger, lemongrass, and garlic flood dishes and thick coconut milk helps lower the potency of red chilies in a range of curries to a pleasant warmth. Beneath the eatery’s saffron-hued walls and decorative greenery, bouquets of basil, cilantro, and fresh sprouts bestow portions of noodles and rice with textural variety.

Diners can sit outdoors if the weather and 80-foot sentient dragon statue permits, or enjoy after-dinner entertainment at the nearby Matthew Knight Arena. Downstairs in The Underground Lounge, diners can feast on the main restaurant’s full menu in a more casual atmosphere adorned with pool tables, HDTVs, and dartboards.

Reviews

Food is great. Quick good service. I have eaten here plenty of times and always been pleased.

C S., Yelp, 1/24/11

The food was as good as in Bangkok.

twelveoaks, TripAdvisor, 8/23/08
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    1769 Franklin Blvd.

    Eugene, Oregon 97403

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  • University

    1769 Franklin Blvd.

    Eugene, Oregon 97403

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