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 on Franklin Boulevard.
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. The Thai BBQ chicken's ($17.95) side of sticky rice clings to half of a chicken marinated in ginger and Thai seasonings, while peanut sauce curry with a choice of tofu or chicken ($17.95), a Mekala's favorite, tops freshly cut vegetables and angel hair pasta with a set of tongue-sparking spices. Guests can steer forks through a classic tangle of Pad Thai ($13.95), navigating pan-fried noodles, eggs, and fresh bean sprouts spackled with peanuts and cilantro. Alternatively, deep-fried jumbo prawns ($19.95) plunge into homemade sweet and sour sauce pools as an entourage of onions, cucumbers, pineapple, tomatoes, and bell peppers holds up scorecards rating diving technique and chopstick avoidance.
With its warm orange walls and a dining area awash in decorative greenery, Mekala's ushers patrons into a lush supper sanctuary. 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.
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.