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Restaurant review: Kao Kangg

The pad thai chicken, phat si lo chicken, and cashew nut chicken combo entree at Kao Kangg. Photo by Joshua Bessex

There are a few chairs and tables in Kao Kangg, just in case you want to sit awhile. But since the food is served in a to-go box and the restaurant’s slogan is “Thai street food on the go,” the implication is that Kao Kangg isn’t really a sit- down place.

Still, the fare isn’t bad and the portions are enormous. Bring $10 and you can pick up dinner for two with leftovers, and still have money for a drink. A rice bowl with one entrée is $6.50, the second entrée is an additional $1.00, and the third is a mere $0.50 extra. If you’d like a deep fried egg on the side, it’ll cost you $1.25.

For those who are new to Thai food, the pad thai is an excellent entrée option, or a good base option for someone who wants more than one entrée. The noodles are well- cooked and very soft, and the peanut taste is present but not overpowering. It’s a great dish to have at Kao Kangg because the stickiness of the sauce makes it much easier to pick up the jasmine rice with your chopsticks. The rice sticks to the noodles and egg, making a very tasty, if rather rich, meal.

Another dish Kao Kangg does quite well is the phat si lo, a wide-noodle dish with broccoli and your choice of meat. The broccoli’s flavor is well- absorbed by the rice, creating a steamy feeling in your mouth.

Kao Kangg isn’t unique among Thai food places in that the vast majority of the entrées typically come with either chicken or pork. However, the meat is stored separate from the entrée, added to the dish only when you order. On one hand this is quite helpful, since it makes it easy for those who wish to go without meat to do so, and keeps the meat from getting soggy or overly tender while sitting in a sauce. However, it also keeps the meat from taking on the entrée’s flavor, and it both looks and tastes rather plain.

Ultimately, Kao Kangg doesn’t pretend to be the best Thai restaurant in Seattle. All it tries to be is a convenient stop where you can quickly get a decent meal to take away at a reasonable price.

In that regard it greatly succeeds and, given the sheer amount of food given, it’s worth giving a try. Nestled right on the corner of 45th and 12th, Kao Kangg is away from the usual lineup of student-friendly restaurants on the Ave, but only a short walk from the Terry and Lander dorms.

The verdict: Kao Kangg offers good, cheap food on the go, and a lot o fit.

Reach reporter Jacob Thorpe at arts@dailyuw.com.

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