Thai & Chinese Express - Irvine
Pad Thai is a fine dish. But to me the Thai noodle to eat is pad see ew. In my humble opinion, it is the truest expression of a stir fried noodle as any. Forget about chow mein or even chow fun.
The components of a pad see ew is dead simple: sweet soy sauce, beef, some sort of green vegetable but preferably something with a crisp stalk like broccoli, and then rice noodle ribbons rendered to silk. Pad see ew should have just the slightest chew, a little sticky, a little tacky; but it needs to ultimately slide into your gullet as if it were lubricated in KY jelly.
Everything else is execution and depends on the talents of the wok jockey charged to make your dish. There was once a food court vendor called Zesty Thai in the now defunct Palm Court Cafe in Irvine that used to do a pad see ew of unequaled splendor--a masterpiece that bested even Buena Park's Thai Nakorn and Vegas's Lotus of Siam--but they've been gone for years now.
Now I think I've found a close enough replacement. Like Zesty Thai, Thai & Chinese Express is a food court denizen, and it prepares its pad see ew to order. Eaten seconds from the blazing heat of the wok, the noodles have that wok-seared flavor and soul that lasts only a few fleeting minutes. Plus, it's also got the most vegetables I've seen in a pad see ew, which isn't a bad thing--I could always use more vegetables...especially when I order the fried bananas for dessert, a banana deep fried in egg roll skin, which is all it needs to be.
Thai & Chinese Express
2540 Main St. Unit J
Irvine, CA 92614
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