CHA DA Thai
Hello flavor and welcome to the McCormick Ranch neighborhood CHA DA Thai! Since moving to Scottsdale I’ve been searching for Thai food that hits all of the marks; bold flavors, authentic curries, rice noodles that aren’t soggy and my list goes on. I think I finally hit the jackpot with CHA DA Thai and the bonus is that it opened up within walking distance from home.
CHA DA is on Via Linda – blink and you can miss it. It’s at the end of a strip mall with ample parking. They don’t have a website up and running yet, but I took a chance and called to order take-out, knowing what dishes my husband and I usually order.
Since I ordered take-out I can’t comment on the table service, but upon arriving to pick up my meal I was greeted cordially by the staff and the restaurant is decorated nicely, with bright light and table space for large parties if necessary. At time of print they did not have their liquor license, but it is in the works.
The portions are large, enough for two people to share and my food was steaming hot when I got home. I ordered Larb for an appetizer which can be made with chicken, beef or pork. It is a cold dish that includes lime juice, red onions, red chilies and a touch of mint. The dish is served over a bed of lettuce and it makes for a nice start to a meal as a salad. The Larb was wonderful, perfectly balanced citrus with the crunch of the onions and lettuce. Nothing was soggy and the chicken was seasoned perfectly. The dinner was off to a great start.
On to the three main course dishes to share. Panang Curry with chicken was up next. Panang is red curry with peanut, peppers and Thai basil along with kaffir lime leaves. It is another citrus focused dish but that peanut flavor kicks your tastebuds silly and it is a rich sauce that coats your rice so delicately that you just keep going back for more. Sometimes I skip the rice and just grab a big spoon. This was one of the best Panang Curries I have tasted. I had to stop myself from eating it all because I knew that I had to try two more dishes.
Another favorite in our house is Pad See Iew. I usually order this for any friends/family tasting Thai food for the first time to get their feet wet and it has always hit a home run. Pad See Iew is a wide flat rice noodle stir fried with egg, broccoli and a sweet Thai soy sauce so it is dark brown in color. I ordered this dish with beef and you can add chicken, pork, veggies, tofu or shrimp if you choose. The Pad See Iew fell right into place with the rest of the meal. Cooked perfectly – beef tender, noodles not soggy, sauced generously….my husband and I smiled and agreed that we had found a gold mine!
Now the test….you can’t judge a Thai chef until you have tasted their Pad Thai. In my book this is where you either succeed and make people smile or fail miserably. I was nervous, knowing that the other three choices were spot on I didn’t wan this one to fall short and ruin my bliss. Pad Thai is a thick rice noodle stir fried with shrimp, chicken and bean curd. Egg is scrambled in and then the dish is topped with bean sprouts, crushed peanuts and scallions. The flavors and textures of Pad Thai create a party in your mouth. My first bite included a little bit of everything and as I chewed each bite I became happier and happier. This Pad Thai was the real deal. Thrilled that we had found our “go-to” Thai restaurant my husband and I ate all that we could until we were stuffed to the gills and then tucked away all of our leftovers to enjoy for lunch the next day. Yes, no worries, you will have enough to indulge the next day.
If you enjoy Thai food or even if you have never tried it and are feeling adventurous, you would be missing out if you didn’t head over to CHA DA Thai soon. It is places like these that make dining a pleasure and I will do my part to keep CHA DA Thai around for a long time. Join me in celebrating a family owned business in McCormick Ranch and dive into flavor filled bliss!