Red Onion Thai
T’wasn’t long after Red Onion Thai Cuisine opened its doors on the north end of shoptastic NW 23rd that infatuated diners with curry and lemongrass breath began lustily singing its praises.
I’m crazy about the panang curry with salmon, a generous piece of grilled salmon fillet floating in a rich cumin and garlic-imbued panang sauce and surrounded by green beans, peppers, and asparagus spears, three of which are tied together and set upright, reflecting Boonyakamol’s precise food artistry.
Chef/owner Dang Boonyakamol, a Chiang Mai native and former proprietor of popular Dang’s Thai Kitchen in Lake Oswego, turns out fresh, delicious, gorgeously-presented traditional Thai dishes like Po Pia Sod–fresh salad rolls filled with tofu, shrimp, Chinese sausage, vegetables and egg, topped with sweet shards of Dungeness crab and served with a tempting peanut plum sauce, a basil-heavy Pad Kee Mao, roasted duck with egg noodle soup, and thick, lusciously flavorful curries—I’m crazy about the panang curry with salmon, a generous piece of grilled salmon fillet floating in a rich cumin and garlic-imbued panang sauce and surrounded by green beans, peppers, and asparagus spears, three of which are tied together and set upright, reflecting Boonyakamol’s precise food artistry.
The gracious dining room, painted in soothing shades of green and dotted with carvings of deities gazing serenely/enviously at your pandanus leaf-wrapped deep-fried chicken tenders, spicy squid salad and tangerine-glazed roast duck, fits any occasion: wonton soup for one, date night, dinner with Mom and Dad, or a work luncheon (a second adjoining dining room seats up to 30).
All your favorite sips adorn the menu—creamy-sweet Thai iced tea and iced coffee, frosty bottles of Singha, hot ginger tea, and a smattering of local wines, but I’m addicted to the iced fresh squeezed lime juice with soda water and a fat, flawless mint sprig—it’s tart, refreshing and just sweet enough, and it works wonders on curry and lemongrass breath.
Executive Chef: Dang Boonyakamol
Atmosphere: Immaculate, spare but elegant décor, dark wood floors, tables spaced a comfortable distance from one another
Outdoor seating: No
Best Seat: In the window, but there isn’t a bad seat
Noise Level: Normal
Bathrooms: All the way to the back of the dining room
Parking: Parking is free and can be difficult to find
Beer: Thai and domestic beers in the bottle
Wine: Mostly Oregon wines, a few Californian and Washington labels. White wine selection includes Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, and Riesling; Red wines include Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet; by the glass $6-$8, bottles $22-$42.
Teetotalers: Iced Tea, Thai Iced Tea, Thai Lemon Iced Tea, Thai Iced Coffee, Mango Juice, Coconut Juice, Orange Juice, Fresh Lime Juice with Soda (fantastic!)
Coffee: World Cup
Ideal Meal: Po Pia Sod fresh roll with crab, Beef Satay, Pad Kee Mao (Drunken Noodles), Panang Curry with Salmon
Vegetarian Friendly: Yes
Vegan Friendly: Yes
Good for the following occasions: Out With Friends, Family Meal
Group/Private Party Details: The restaurant can accommodate groups of up to 12 in the dining room with a reservation, and has a separate dining room that can accommodate parties of up to 25. Red Onion also caters, call for more information.
Reservations: Yes, for groups of 6 or more