KaTi Thai has filled the hole in my heart that Vege Thai left when it closed a few years ago. Sure, any Thai restaurant can make you a veg version of most of their entrees. But are you sure they left out the shrimp paste and the fish sauce? I never am.
Not only am I convinced that the premises of KaTi Thai are fish sauce-free, it’s the best Thai food I’ve ever eaten. I’ve probably eaten at KaTi a dozen times since it opened earlier this year, along with my husband cousin and a friend, and everybody agreed it’s terrific.
The restaurant, founded by Sarah Jansala and Ketsuda Chaison, bills itself as “rustic Thai.” The menu includes Thai standards, but also many dishes that were new to me. My favorite is the Sukho Thai noodles, which is a big bowl of soupy rice noodles with peanuts, bean sprouts, shitake mushrooms, sugar peas, green onions and optional (no thanks) egg, topped with crispy vegan wontons. So good! I try to order different items, but always want to come back to this one.
The mussa-muhn curry is also a standout, as is the spicy larb tofu salad.
The pla rhad prik is an unusual dish of deep-fried tofu wrapped in seaweed, topped with basil, peppercorns and kaffir lime leaves. Cheers to executive chef Renoo Jansala! Vegans and vegetarians living in or visiting Portland should absolutely eat at KaTi Thai.