Thai Noodle Express in Main Street Placerville
“This place is giving me San Francisco flashbacks,” my husband uttered after sitting down at Thai Noodle Express. Indeed, it did feel like the “hole in the wall” vendors that fed us through our college days in the City by the Bay; the only difference is Downtown Placerville’s noodle house is shiny, clean and really friendly.
The kitchen may be bigger than the dining room and the dining room, shall we say, “cozy,” but slurping ramen shoulder to shoulder is a great way to get to know your neighbors.
We started with an order of golden-brown gyoza. The crispy fried dumplings—filled with ground chicken and accompanied by a house-made dipping sauce—were like a smaller Japanese cousin to the pot sticker, and delicious at that!
Ramen is the specialty of the house, so for my entrée I ordered the tonkatsu shoyu variety. The pork broth flavored with soy sauce was rich, velvety and complex. Laden with slices of chashu (tender braised pork belly), menma (seasoned bamboo shoots), black mushrooms, fresh bean sprouts, pickled red ginger, scallions, lashings of ramen noodles, and topped with a tasty marinated hard-boiled egg, it was a hearty bowl of flavors and textures…a dish that’s sure to satisfy both ramen rookies and longtime fans.
My husband’s massaman curry was equally impressive. Sweet and flavorful, it was loaded with potatoes, carrots, peanuts and tender chicken in a fragrant coconut milk broth. For those looking to ease into the world of Thai curries or for diners seeking more flavor than heat, this would be a perfect choice.
In addition to offering an array of ramen, the eatery serves pho, teriyaki chicken and other Thai favorites. It’s cheap, the service is fast, and the food is excellent, so there are absolutely no regrets. What more can you ask for?
Hours 11 a.m.-9 p.m. (daily)
Try This Tonkatsu Shoyu Ramen, Massaman Curry, Chicken Pho, Drunken Noodles, Mango Sticky Rice
ALCOHOL Not available
Heads-Up Catering available; limited seating so takeout is recommended; staff can accommodate vegetarians by subbing tofu and veggies in place of meat
Thai Noodle Express
374 Main Street, Placerville, 530-289-8919
By Sharon Penny // Photos by Dante Fontana © Style Media Group