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Summerlin’s Pin Kaow Thai is easy to miss but worth the visit

It’s got an unassuming storefront that’s easy to miss, the parking lot could be bigger and it’s on a curved corner where stacked traffic can be a pain, but the food at Pin Kaow Thai Restaurant1974 N. Rainbow Blvd., makes is worth the hassle.

“It used to be a hole in the wall, but now it’s nice,” said my lunch buddy. “Come dinnertime, you can barely get a table, it’s so busy.”

The interior is a tad dark; there are wood-paneled walls and chocolate-colored flooring and ceilings. There are little pagoda-like tops over the interior doorway, pictures whose frames are scribe-sawed wood and bejeweled fowl flying across the wall. We were lucky to snag a booth, because the lunch crowd had the place packed.

The lunch menu includes weekday specials ($8.95 if you don’t add meat) featuring a good variety, including pad Thai rice noodles, chow mien, a spicy basil dish, stir-fry broccoli, red curry, and sweet and sour vegetables. Order your food with the spice meter in mind, from zero to 10, the latter being “call the fire department because my mouth is on fire” spicy. I, being ever cautious, and ordered mine to be zero. I was still a happy camper as my food was delicious.

The lunch special came with soup, a delicate-tasting thing with lots of cucumbers (my book “The Healer” includes a tidbit about cucumbers; they require more calories to digest than they contain) and pork on the bottom. My pad Thai came with a hill of peanuts, ground so small they didn’t look like peanuts anymore. The side salad had a Pin Kaow signature dressing with just the right mix of flavors.

The service was great. The place was clean. Will I go back? You betcha. There’s a soft-shell crab salad on the menu that’s calling my name.

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