It’s rare to find a restaurant that has both sensational food and libations but Chef Tila’s Pakpao Plano does each of these exceedingly. Nestled in the newish strip of West Plano Village this Thai joint helps you leave with a belly as full as Buddha himself.
“From battling the legendary Masaharu Morimoto on Iron Chef America to guiding Anthony Bourdain through the markets and restaurants of Los Angeles’ & Las Vegas, culinary personality Jet Tila has been nationally celebrated for his culinary expertise in modern Asian Cuisine. A born “culinary storyteller,” Jet was appointed consulate as the inaugural Culinary Ambassador of Thai Cuisine by the Royal Thai Consulate, as the first-ever chef to represent his country’s culture and cuisine in the United States.
Chef Jet appears as regular judge on Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen as well as an array of shows ranging from the Today show on NBC, The Talk, Food Fighters, Chopped, Beat Bobby Flay, and ‘Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off’ ” – Pakpao website
From the simple patio exterior donning a bright orange Pakpao logo to the natural wood + green decorated interior, Pakpao is quick to attract. The modern Asian inspired design overflows with simplicity and elegance.
The evening began with a long chat with the bartender regarding their extensive + impressive cocktail menu. After deliberating I landed on Garuda’s Fury 🌶 (Muddled Birds Eye Chili, Cazadores Blanco, Cointreau, St. Germaine, Lime and Lemon). Holy hell! Simply put, this is the finest cocktail I’ve had in Dallas (a title previously held by Komali Restaurant‘s “Habanero Margarita”). I like heat. 🔥
For the starters we landed on the Siu Mai Dumplings (oh em dee!) + Hoi Obh or steamed mussels. The dumplings were hot, fluffy + petite volcanoes of flavor. 🌋 I’m not a dumpling expert but it’s apparent these were constructed by experts. Our second shareable was the Hoi Obh, a dish of steamed mussels. These were exquisite, seasoned to perfection we devoured the mussels and the broth.
When it came time to order I knew exactly which route I would take, Pad Kee Mow or drunken noodles. 🛣 True to form I ordered it extra spicy and that it was. “Pak”ed full of Thai flavor this dish was slap yo mama good! I was in drunken bliss.
Jesse ordered the Pad Thai, his personal Thai goto. To say we both came out winning at Pakpao is an understatement. This rice noodle stir fry was basic, in the best sense of the term possible. Somethings are better left in their untainted and most authentic state. Speaking as someone whom usually doesn’t favor Pad Thai, Pakpao’s dish was enough to convert me.
No matter the DFW location you visit, Pakpao “Pak”‘s the “Pao” necessary to make anyone a life long fan.
Stay hungry, Dallas.
(Disclosure: my trip to Pakpao Thai was comped for this piece. All opinions are my own.)