Downtown Dining: My Mom’s Thai Kitchen

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Photos by Alexis Macklin and Miranda Romero
Location and Hours:
20 W. Adams Street
Phoenix, AZ 85003
(602) 252-3873

Mon. – Thu. | 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri. – Sat. | 11 a.m. – midnight
Sun. | 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.

★★

Price Range: $11.00 – $30.00
Recommended dishes: Massaman Curry,
Yellow Curry, Tom Kha Noodle Soup


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With a hungry stomach and a craving for something new, I headed into My Mom’s Thai Kitchen located on Adams Street between Central and First avenues. As I breathed in the aroma of curry that filled the air, I knew I was in for something good.

I was greeted kindly upon entering and noticed that the seating was extremely tight. After being seated, I was quickly served water and a salad. The salad came in a small cuplike bowl and, for being tiny, it definitely made an impact. The salad was crisp, with a sweet and semispicy dressing that was mouthwateringly good.

Reading the menu, I found there was a lot of freedom for customization with each dish. You have main dish choices, including pad thai, chow mein and a list of different types of curry. Then, as in many other restaurants, you are able to select what kind of meat you want in the dish. They also have a spice scale so you can pick the right level of spiciness for your dish, whether mild, medium, hot or Thai hot. They even have double-Thai hot and triple-Thai hot choices for the adventurous and possibly masochistic.

I was happy to learn that I was just in time for the lunch specials, which are available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Saturday. I ordered the pad thai with chicken, a dish made up of rice noodles sauteed with bean sprouts, egg, green onion, tofu and crushed peanuts. Unsure of what my taste buds could handle, I went with the mild spice. I also ordered the Massaman curry, which has carrots, onions, potatoes and peanuts in it. I made sure to order a little more courageously and got this dish at the medium spice level.

As I waited for my food, I looked around at the charming pink walls and the gray and black floral art. The name of the restaurant implies a place with homelike qualities, including a comfortable and welcoming environment. The overall atmosphere lived up to the name.

The pad thai was the first dish to come out, and the presentation was gorgeous. The noodles were golden-brown, and shredded carrots garnished the top. A lunch special Thai veggie roll came with the dish. The Thai veggie roll was tasty, so many flavors bundled into a perfectly cooked roll. It tasted even better when I dipped it into the sweet chili sauce that came with it. The long, thin noodles of the pad thai were sweet and delicious, with just the right amount of spice.

The next dish to arrive was the Massaman curry, and it had a very detailed, impressive presentation. Brightly colored shredded veggies lay on top of the steaming Thai jasmine rice. The curry was thick, but what really stuck out were the hearty vegetables. The veggies were large and crisp, creating a combination of diverse flavors and textures. The spices in the curry were very strong in taste and in aroma. It was a delectable and satisfying dish. I found that both dishes were well-spiced, proving that their spice scale was accurate.

Dessert was next, and I wanted to try something authentic, so I ordered Thai custard with sticky rice. This dish had a neat presentation, and the custard was bright orange against the white rice. Overall, however, I was disappointed with this dessert. I do understand that it had a hard act to follow with those amazing entrees, but it had an oatmeal-like taste that I did not care for. It was lukewarm and not very sweet. It was definitely not what I was expecting, and I did not find it to be of a dessert quality that I’d expect from a traditional Thai restaurant. However, there are many desserts to choose from, such as the fried banana with coconut ice cream, so your options are far from limited.

My Mom’s Thai Kitchen is the place to go for anyone new to Thai food and also those who are familiar with it. While the dishes did not sweep me off my feet, I will say that it’s worth visiting for the entrees.

Contact the reporter at mnromero@asu.edu

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