Sen Yai Sen Lek vs. Taste of Thailand: Who has the best pad thai?
This week Food Fight went for another top takeout dish, pad thai. Between our two competitors, Taste of Thailand and Sen Yai Sen Lek, we found that while the main ingredients are fairly uniform--a heaping pile of noodles, a sprinkling of crushed peanuts, some scrambled eggs, shrimp, and tofu--the secret is in the sauce. Read on to find out which sauce stormed our tastebuds.
A.J. Olmscheid A taste of Taste of Thailand's pad thai
Sen Yai Sen Lek
Sen Yai serves up a pad thai that isn't spicy and comes with a pleasant pink-red hue. Luckily for spice lovers, Sen Yai offers tiny takeout portions of their pepper sauces, to up the ante with tiny bird chilis or jalapenos. The dish has about half a dozen shrimp and a scattering of tofu chunks. Sen Yai doesn't do much to its tofu, but the shrimp was moist and well-seasoned. One serving costs $11.95 and is enough to serve two.
Taste of Thailand
Taste of Thailand's pad thai is nearly identical to Sen Yai's, save for the style of tofu and the sauce. The tofu is of the deep-fried and cubed variety, crisp on the outside and moist on the inside. The sauce was spicier than Sen Yai's (no escape for spice sissies!). The dish came with a surprise, too, which no doubt would delight some diners and disgust others--stray seafood had sneaked into our take-out container in the form of a single chunk of squid meat. A serving costs $12.95 and feeds two.
The winner: Sen Yai by a thin margin, for the spice--and quality-- control. We like picking how hot our dish will taste, while we can do without the mystery meat.