I keep thinking that there aren’t any good thai restaurants by me out in the suburbs, but it’s not true. There’s one restaurant super close by that a lot of people swear by (but I’ve found mediocre). Then there’s another one not far off that no one talks about…and is incredible. Isarn Thai is a strip mall gem hidden in plain sight by a Buffalo Wild Wings. I need to come here more often.

It’s a hip place. I’m not a hip guy, but it was still approachable. The menu requires a bit of bravery because it’s not your typical ketchup laden phad thai. Get past that, it’s worth your courage. I came here for a late night snack with some friends and was interested in the Tropical Passion mocktail. It has a bit of a mojito vibe to it but with a “tropical fruit” foundation.

I’m not sure if the generic “tropical fruit” syrup designation is to allow flexibility for season variations, but I’d guess that it’s passion fruit. Regardless if I’m right or wrong, it was delicious. Tart and sweet but not sugary…the mint added a robust depth and the lime gave it a bright freshness. This sounds like a simple thing, but their soda provided the right amount of sparkle. It can be a challenge to mix a mocktail without killing the carbonation.


I was tired, and in good company, so I decided the best thing to do would be order something weird off the menu. This was possibly the weirdest thing on there. Ordinarily I avoid coconut, so this was a bit of a risk. The final product was true to form…I was served a coconut!

It had the consistency of a dessert pot pie. The chunks of coconut meat were extremely tender, and the tapioca balls both thickened the coconut cream a bit and added a bit of chew. I’d say it was moderately sweet. It arrived without a poached egg (although I asked for one) so I can’t speak to that, but it wouldn’t shock me to hear that it’s amazing. Although I wouldn’t order it again I was really happy that I tried it. It’s delicious, but I doubt I’ll ever have room for dessert on a subsequent trip.


So, back to the mocktail, it’s a solid 9 out of 10 on my rating scale. I don’t even care if the syrup is homemade (I didn’t ask), it was just a great drink. I also tried a little bit of the beef fried rice (amazing) and in the past I’ve ordered a dish with minced pork and pink noodles. It’s fantastic. To read reviews of other mocktails, click here.

Catalog: Sampled November 2018