Review: The moment I walked in the Mekong Cafe I thought, man the food looked gorgeous. I saw generous plates of beef and pork and I was ready to partake. Unfortunately, I had eaten too much meat the preceding days, so I decided on the take-out vegetarian platter, which is a mess of vegetables (eggplant, broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, and bamboo shoots) and tofu mixed with a spicy brown sauce.
The cashier asked how spicy I wanted the dish and rattled off the possible levels: mild, medium, hot, authentic. Authentic it was.
Surprisingly, the dish wasn't nearly as good as I had hoped. The vegetables still had a bit of bite to them, although their freshness was gone. The broccoli and mushrooms were quite tasty, but there was little flavor extracted from the other vegetables. The sauced lacked the complex interaction of contrasting flavors (e.g., sweet, sour, salty, heat, bitter) you expect from really good Thai food. And at authentic level, the heat index was significantly lower than expected.
Even though I wasn't a fan of the vegetable platter, I am going to reserve overall judgment of Mekong for now. It might be a case of food looking better than it tastes, but I cannot help but think the dish I ate was the exception and not the rule. I'll update after I've been back for some curried beef or something of the like.
Rating: On hold.