I pulled into the small furniture store parking lot, read the sign about how I was illegally parked, and then looked into my rearview mirror. A woman wearing headphones bobbed her head. Her tattooed legs bounced to the same silent beat. The rest of the waiting crowd to their own. It was an interesting mix of antsy people ranging from coat and tie types to a construction worker twisting his hard hat in a circle through his hands. I decided to risk it, illegal parking and all.
Located just off the Mercer St. I-5 exit, Kaosamai isn’t a quiet place to grab a bite. Don’t be afraid to yell over the sound of traffic when ordering. The man inside is used to it. Nor is it a good place to sit and enjoy your food. There are no tables and chairs. What the orange food truck lacks in amenities, they make up for in clean, fresh flavors. The smells in the small parking lot were enough to make me salivate. One can only understand the “Kaosamai shuffle” once they’ve joined the hungry crowd.
One look at the menu and it’s clear this is not an Atkins friendly food truck. Its thick wild rice noodles and deep fried spring rolls call for all sorts of sink-your-teeth-into-me carb loving attention. And what would curry be without sticky white rice?
While we’re on the subject of curry, theirs is fantastic. It has a little bit of a kick to it, particularly the PaNang. If you’re up for some heat it’s fabulous. Thick with coconut milk, the nutty undertone of flavor comes just before the heat hits your tongue.
As Phad Thai’s go, I found theirs a little lacking. I like my Phad Thai to have a more peanut in it. Instead, this one had an acidic taste, as though they added an extra glug of vinegar.
For the veggie lover, the Phad See Iew is a great option. Packed with broccoli and carrots, the flavors are well balanced and the chicken is moist. The spring rolls are also good. Just be sure to eat them first because, as with most fried food, they are a little questionable when they sit.
If you’re interested in trying multiple things on the menu, consider one of the lunch combos. Though slightly more expensive, they’re a larger portion and provide small tastes of three different things.
They also have a restaurant location at 404 N 36th St. in Seattle. But the cost of sitting is a larger bill.
Spring Rolls: $6.00
Phad See Iew: $7.50
PaNang Curry with Beef: $7:50
Combos: $8.50 (Combos include Phad Thai, some choice of curry and rice, and spring rolls)
527 Fairview Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98109