Deriving its name from the Thai word soi, which means local street, the culinary team at Soi 9 Thai Eatery strive to share their favorite dishes from street vendors and small restaurants in Thailand. Meat, seafood, and veggies adorn stir-fries and curries prepared with a modern twist, while specialties such as boat-noodle soup and crispy whole fish flaunt tastes traditional enough to be served in a Bangkok street cart. The majority of Soi 9's meat- and seafood-laden entrees can also be transformed into vegan-friendly or gluten-free meals simply by asking your server or wishing on the evening’s first spring-roll-shaped star. On hectic Portland Timbers game nights, crowds stream into the sleek dining space, which is peppered with minimalist furniture, pillow-strewn leather booths, and brightly colored drop lighting.
Thai Noodle Etc. brings the flavors found on the streets and in the homes of Thailand to American shores, producing a menu of soups, stir-fry dishes, noodle bowls, and salads that blend sour, sweet, and savory ingredients. Shiny metal bowls of tom yum soup and bright red, green, and yellow curries pique the gustatory senses with their bold colors and rich, spicy scents. These dishes circulate a dining room that blends a charming rustic element with modern, urban flair, much like a miniature cattle ranch on the roof of a skyscraper. Walls of earthy reds and weathered wood accents frame flatscreen TVs and meticulously arranged plates of chicken satay and crispy tofu with plum sauce.
Jinx Kitchen and Lounge's menu spans the Asian continent. Its coconut curry, with chunks of eggplant and pepper, hails from Thailand, and its gyoza and yakitori appetizers have Japanese origins. Its beef sliders, with hoisin and tamari aioli, fuse Chinese and Japanese cultures together on one bun.
As the establishment's name suggests, the kitchen is only half the attraction. Recently brought under new management, the eatery is also a lounge, whose playful cocktails incorporate flavors from house-infused chili vodka to lychee syrup. Here, DJs spin sets Thursday through Saturday, creating a fun atmosphere despite the fact that there are zero kittens in sweaters in sight.
The roster of creative cocktails available at Jinx Kitchen + Lounge boasts distinctive names like The Groaner, Pulp Fiction, and Kiwi Kamikaze. To mix these original libations, bartenders blend Thai herbs such as elderflower and ginger with premium spirits ranging from Mekhong Thai rum to bourbon and vodka. You can enjoy the drinks at the trendy eatery's round bar or in a dining room decorated with eclectic artwork. Between sips, sample authentic Thai dishes such as red and yellow curries, shrimp satay, and pad Thai. For those not afraid of a little heat, the jumbo wings are punched up with spicy basil sauce and the crying tiger features Thai-style grilled steak doused in tamarind.
Red Onion distinguishes itself with Northern Thai specialties from Chef Dang Boonyakamol’s native Chiang Mai. Take that as a cue to ignore standards like pad thai in favor of more exotic fare, like beef and pumpkin in mussamun curry, and rice-paper-wrapped Chinese sausages topped with dungeness crab.
For 13 years the popular Thai Peacock Restaurant has offered up a roster of traditional Thai menu items, concocting spicy and mild delicacies out of fresh, exotic, and locally grown ingredients. House specialties include Golden Noodle—stir-fried egg noodles with broccoli, carrot, cabbage, bean sprouts, and signature sauce ($10)—and Choo-Chee, a curry-sauced fish filet with lemon leaves ($13) often mispronounced by children doing their first train impression. Mango curry triggers sweet taste receptors with fresh mango, bell peppers, and green peas sautéed in a red-curry sauce ($9–$13.50), and Thai Peacock Restaurant's signature curry dish ($9–$13.50) enthralls the palate with a rich sauce so secret that the ingredients don't get to see each other until after they've been eaten.