525 New Los Angeles Ave., Moorpark
(in the Starbucks/McDonalds shopping center)
Overview: This Thai food restaurant has all the standards plus a handfull of creations that are all its own listed on its eight-page menu. The restaurant caters, delivers and serves take out as well as serving in its intimate dining room.
Decor: About 12 wood tables line the perimeter of the restaurant. Brown and green walls and low-hanging, single-bulb light fixtures give the dining room a cozy feeling without being too dark.
The Drinks: In addition to the standard tea, soda and juice, Rachada serves Thai iced tea (black tea sweetened with coconut milk and condensced milk), boba drinks, plum wine, various types of sake and a variety of beers, including Singha and Chang, both Thai labels.
Appetizers: Appetizers start with satay and spring rolls. Also included, among other things, are fried shrimp, tofu and wontons. There is a large list of salads, including a larb salad—spicy ground meat (larb) with mint and lime juice—that this Patcher highly recommends. Also on the menu are a full 13 types of soup.
Entrees: Entrees are divided into a few categories: Curries (which are available with beef, chicken or pork), seafood, pan-fried noodles, rice dishes, vegetarian dishes, a la carte items and specials— you name it, they have it.
Sides: Sides aren't listed, per se, though you can order rice on its own: regular white rice, sticky rice or purple rice, which the waitress explained was actually a type of short-grain brown rice that is more purple in appearance.
Service: My waitress was incredibly friendly—and patient, as I asked for explanations on various dishes, starting with the larb salad.
Signature dish: A number of dishes are listed in the "Chef's Specials" section of the menu, but the waitress suggested various curries and the spicy cashew chicken in particular. A few other items on the list that caught my attention—admittedly mostly because of their names—were the Bang Bang Chicken, which is a stir fry with chicken, bamboo shoots, onions, bell peppers, basil and curry paste; and the Three-Friend Panang, salmon, shrimp and scallops topped with panang chili sauce.
The entire menu is available on the restaurant's comprehensive Web site, if you want to browse before you go.