TLO Restaurant Review: Moon Thai Restaurant
4:15 AM EST on February 23, 2021
After a cold, dirty week of gray skies and grayer slush, as it slightly began to warm up on Friday, I begrudgingly trudged from my house—only slipping a few times and awkwardly landing on my knees—to yet another neighborhood gem that’s been around for quite a while, even if I’ve never been there: Moon Thai Restaurant, 2218 NW 23rd.
Surrounded by the enchanting scents of weed shops, nail salons and Billy Sims Barbeque, as I went up to the door, sadly, it wouldn’t open. Despite a blinking open sign, they were seemingly closed; as I turned to walk away, however, a man showed up at the door and asked if I had a carryout order. I told him I didn’t but he thankfully allowed me in to place an order to go.
To be fair, the place has strange hours to begin with no matter the weather, so I suppose it’s best to ignore the sign in the window and just check the door handle. Still, as he let me into the warm and empty restaurant, a new scent of cooking Thai food emerged from the kitchen and quickly changed my sour demeanor to a sweet and sour one.
Back home, I laid out the food across the dining room table, crafting a glorious last supper of sorts, starting off with the Sa Tay ($7.99) appetizer. A quartet of slim sticks with thin beef that’s been marinated in coconut milk with a pinch of curry, then barbecued on a grill, they were still warm when I opened the Styrofoam; I grabbed one of the sticks and bit right into it.
The beef was delicately tender with a crispy outside, one of my favorite textures when it comes to meat. As I dipped it into the accompanying peanut sauce—something I truly wish I had a jar of at home next to the Jif—I realized I was in love with this appetizer. Luckily, I had three more meat-sticks for later.
Now even though Moon is primarily a Thai place, they remarkably serve sushi, which is why I ordered the O.K. Sooner Roll ($10.99). Besides the tender rice and thin wrap on the outside, inside there was katsu chicken, lettuce, avocado, cucumber and spicy mayo. While I had no idea how this represents the University of Oklahoma, it’s still a very enticing mix.
While I’m no longer a fan of soy sauce—thank my heart-doctor!—I happily took a piece of this Oklahoma-bred roll and a little bit of wasabi that, while mildly dry, still put an increased smile on my face, especially as I followed it up with one of those thin ginger slices. The chicken, seemingly fried, was a great thought that really works.
My last dish—and my main one—was a meal named after Oklahoma City itself, the OKC Spring Volcano ($11.99), something that, after these past couple of weeks, I figured I’d enjoy an eruption of right now. With slices of chicken that are lightly sauteed with a rich “volcano” sauce—along with mixed steamed vegetables—were absolutely overflowing out of the box.
With a bottle of cold water nearby, just in case, I downed piece after piece of that rich chicken, the volcano’s lava slowly traveling down a winding path to my cold innards and (sort of) warming it up; while I expected the sauce to be far hotter, like the name implies, I have to remember this is Oklahoma and there are no volcanos here so be happy with what you got.
And sure, I would have loved some dessert to finish it off—the Thai Donut sounded especially good—but, apparently, because of that sonuvabitch Covid they’re currently not serving desserts. How can I complain though…Moon Thai has made me a satisfied man and gave me the cold-pressed courage to stay inside until Monday. Cómpralo ya!
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