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He Said: Thai Lahna offers top Asian tastes in Arcadia

Always searching for the best Pad Thai the Phoenix area has to offer, I stumbled on one that is right down the street.

I can’t count the number of times I have driven past Thai Lahna, always telling myself I should stop in at some point. Thankfully, I followed up on that promise and found a quaint Thai restaurant that serves up a pretty authentic menu, not to mention a mean Pad Thai.

Not much to look at, it sits in a little Arcadia strip mall with a Chinese restaurant and Bosa Donuts flanking each side. I have found this little shopping center actually has quite a few gems to be reckoned with.

Stepping inside, there are a few tables and a row of booths and we were instantly greeted and seated. Next, we were handed our menus of Thai options and as many Asian restaurants do, some that were a little outside the Thai experience. It had what I was craving — Pad Thai.

But first, let’s start with our appetizer. My first experience with Satay was actually on my way to Kuala Lumpur, where I learned it was a staple in their country’s cuisine. I have since learned that it actually originated as an Indonesian meal but has become widely popular in almost any Southeast Asian country.

Either way, I am glad it was on Thai Lahna’s menu. The chicken was grilled perfectly and the peanut sauce had just a little kick, which makes it a winner in my book. It was presented with toast points and we weren’t sure if we should use them to make little chicken sandwiches or what. However, I loved the sauce so much I spread it on the toast like peanut butter. I could have had it alone for my meal, but I continued on with my new favorite Pad Thai.

Thai Lahna lists their Pad Thai as Phaht Thai. A little research into this and it turns out it is a common second spelling. Either way you spell it, they do a good job in its representation. It is plentiful in size and, as I took half of it home for another meal, there will be no empty stomachs on this Thai journey.

It’s important to note that, for each of our main dishes, we were asked how hot we wanted them and also were warned about the Thai hot levels. I, of course, went mild because that’s how I like it. My dining partner went hot and they did not lie about the heat. He ordered the Shrimp in Cray Pot which, oddly enough, also comes with more than just shrimp in the pot — octopus and scallops were supposed to be in the pot, but the restaurant was out of scallops. Unsure of what transpired, we went online to see if we just misread the menu. We confirmed it was just called Shrimp in Cray Pot, but alas, who complains when given something extra? Again, the presentation was great and a real conversation starter as it arrived in a fake silver pot with a few dings in it. The pot contained vermicelli noodles along with vegetables and the shrimp and octopus in their special sauce.

I am happy to add this to my neighborhood gems list and next time I want to enjoy some great Thai, I will be giving Thai Lahna a visit.