Thai and Japanese Kitchen is a relatively new eatery located at 9369 Mansfield Road in Shreveport, sandwiched between local mainstays Smitty’s Pizza and Southern Maid Donuts. The restaurant is a combination sushi bar and Thai place. As someone who loves Thai food, I eagerly ate my way through much of the menu over the course of several visits before reluctantly drawing the following conclusion: you’ve got to try the pad Thai ($9.95) at this place. There are sexier, harder-to-find dishes on the menu — lots of interesting curry dishes, for example — but the pad Thai at Thai and Japanese Kitchen is just out-of-this-world good.
I would never claim to be an expert on what constitutes authentic Thai food, but the pad Thai at Thai and Japanese Kitchen doesn’t have that sweet, somehow artificial-tasting flavor (too much tamarind sauce?) that many local versions of the dish have. It’s also spicier than most local versions. Everything can be spiced to order at Thai and Japanese Kitchen, and be advised that even “one pepper” can make a dish pretty darn hot. Bird’s eye chili peppers, I think, are the culprit; a huge appetizer of papaya salad ($7.95) spiced with just one of these peppers had me practically crying my way through lunch. I took the leftovers home, but ended up chickening out — if it was that spicy to begin with, how spicy would it be a day later?
I’ve also enjoyed the yellow curry with chicken, a sour but delicious version of tom kha kai soup, and some perfectly-fried chicken wings with sweet Thai chili dipping sauce. But, if you’re going to make one trip out to Mansfield Road, be boring and order the pad Thai. You may feel a little bit like you’ve just ordered orange chicken in China, but you won’t regret it.
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