Portland >Food & Dining > Esan Thai
133 SW 2ND Ave, Portland, OR | Directions 9720445.521580 -122.672955
Neighborhoods: Old Town - Chinatown, Neighbors West - Northwest
Absolutely delicious! – Very impressed! My husband and I decided to go out for Thai while we were staying in Portland, and after reading reviews of several different restaurants, we chose E-San. My husband isn't normally a fan of this type of cuisine, but he absolutely LOVED his curry dish (and so did I)! The prices were very reasonable, the staff was great, and the atmosphere was cute. Highly recommend.
Outstanding Thai Food – Wow! Impressive! My wife and I love Thai food, and have a few favorite spots in Portland - and have more than a few bad meals. Wanting to try something new, and after reading reviews here, we tried E-San on NW Thurman.
Wow! Abosultey the best Thai food we have had in Portland! The yellow curry was excellent - light and not overly done with coconut milk. The Pad Ke Mow was perfect - so many layers of flavors, and just the right kick, and the noodles just done prefectly. Everything was fresh and flavorful. And if you like spicy - this is the place!
Service was excellent - our waiter was very knowledgable, and there when we wanted him and out of the way when we did not.
We will be back many many times!
GOOD for lunch – this place is pretty good for lunch. Very efficient and the food is good. DON'T mistake this place with Esan in NORTH portland. That place is terrible.
Man, I love this place! – They have great hours and such tasty food. All for a reasonable price and in a great location! Little is lacking, except sometimes the service can be slow, but again you will be happy you waited. Watch out for spicy as you get what you ask for!
very good thai, good prices – I am new to the area and have had a hard time finding good thai restaurants and this one surprised me with how good it is. I've been a few times and always get chicken w/ veggies and ask them to add cashews. They also have some liquor drinks which most thai restaurants don't have. I will definitely be going back here. The pricing is pretty reasonable and they also have happy hour drinks.
Favorite Thia – I love E-San!
Ther are so many Thai resteraunts in P-land these days it is hard to differentiat. E-San has consistently been my favorite for years. I hold all other Thai reseraunts to their calaber. The only other that is better is
Typhoon but they are extremely different. Typhoon is fancy gourmet Thai food and E-San is classic Thai food just done very well. There are a lot of Thai resteraunts (by sheer number) that are decent but don't settle for OK if you are downtown and can go to E-San.
The Best Pad Thai – Now, I'm not going to lie ... the service can be S-L-O-W, especially during lunch hour, Mon-Fri. However, my friends and I have learned that if you get there before or after the usual traffic hour then you're good to go. But, I won't promise you anything. Yes, I've been a waitress -- at another Thai restaurant -- so I know what good and bad service is because, first and foremost, I am a consumer and I love Thai food! At the downtown E-San Thai, there are only a handful of good waiters and the others can use some improvements. To those good waiters, I thank you.
For those that have bad things to say about the food, I think it's because you're used to other Thai restaurants' cooking that you're stuck on their flavor only. No, I didn't care much for E-San Thai when I first visited a few years back; but, I gave the menu another shot and I'm glued to it now!
Anyway, the REAL reason why I am posting this review is because the food is so GOOD. Their Pad Thai and Beef Salad are the BEST! And, I love my food EXTRA SPICY, please! If you can't deal with the spices then take it down a notch or two; everyone is different so you can't blame the restaurant for not knowing YOUR actual tolerance when others are totally okay with it, like me. Yes, I know what REAL Thai food is all about. My grandmother was a Thai chef and helped launch many Thai restaurants before she passed on; people still rave about her cooking to this day. Needless to say, I grew up on Thai and Lao homecooking.
If you don't like the food at this establishment then that's fine, you're not forced to. I'll understand. In my opinion, that just leaves more open tables for my friends and me! Thanks!!! =) BTW, their happy hour rocks! Their fresh mango mojito is yummy!!!
Service needs improvement – This review is for the location on 2nd Ave. First, service is lacking, as others have related. No greeting or thanks, and S-L-O-W service. Granted, it was lunch hour, but people who came in after us got their food first (same # of people in their party too). Although the pad thai was good, the service ruined it for us. I've also done take out and once asked for an extra lime wedge with the pad thai. I was charged an extra .50 cents and after I already got back at work, only noticed that there was no extra lime!! Maybe that's a small gripe, but come on, .50 cents for an extra lime wedge?? I haven't been back since, there are other places in Portland that do better.
Worst service ever 3 times.....go elsewhere – The North Porthland outlet of E-San has the worst service I have ever received in any restaurant in any Thai place in Portland. The food was good enough that after eating at the restaurant two times and being completely ignored in favor of the girls at the bar, we decided to give the take out a go. The website details a delivery option, so we gave our address and directions. We didn't get a call from the restaurant within 10 minutes, so we called the restaurant as directed by the webpage. The person who answered mentioned my name (from caller id I believe) and said, "We've got it," and hung up. After an hour had passed with no food, we called only to be rudely and defensively informed that they only deliver when the order is more than $50. Given they had our number, they might have thought to have called to clear up any misunderstandings about the promised delivery option on the website before chewing us out on the phone. We were informed that our food had been sitting at the counter waiting for us for over 30 minutes.....so appetizing....so we cancelled that order and called another Thai restaurant in the neighborood, Thai Ginger. As we were walking in the door with out food from Thai Ginger, we received a call from E-San. Apparently, the owner felt bad about what happened and wanted to deliver our food to us. (I wonder if it was the same food that was sitting at the counter all that time). When we told them we had already received our order from Thai Ginger they hung up on us without any apology or attempt to show their concern about having us return. DON'T EAT HERE UNLESS YOU HAVE A LOT OF TIME AND PATIENCE.
Terrible Service – I wouln't recommend this restaurant to anyone. The service was the worst I've ever had to deal with in Portland. It took 45 minutes for our food to come and that was only when we got up from our table to leave. The hostess walked away from me when I asked if they carried comment cards for the customers. They were down right rude and made no apologies for it. The food is good, but not worth putting up with the attitudes I received from some of the waite staff. There was only one waitress that was somewhat helpful.
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