Mini Mango Thai Bistro Review
Google Maps to Mini Mango Thai Bistro
There are two other Thai restaurants in Napa (Thai Kitchen Restaurant and Siam Thai Restaurant). I think the owners of both are relatives or something. And it was nice to see a third one show up. The Mini Mango Thai Bistro is a cut above both of these, and the prices were better to boot. We went after they had been open for just a few weeks (so you know they were still crawling their way up that tough learning curve for new restaurants) If they can survive in that tiny kitchen and inside seating area, they could be here for a while. The food is tasty and not just some quick Thai takeout, and it's reasonably priced by local standards.
Mini Mango Thai Bistro food
We ordered some samosas as an appetizer, and their samoas were fried up in more of a wonton style, filled with sweet potatoes and chick peas served with a cucumber, yogurt sauce. Not terribly filling compared to say samosas you get from an Indian restaurant, but not bad either.
Our two entrees were their double drunken wide noodles which I enjoyed. Some calamari, shrimp, asparagus, etc., and some spices (garam masala?) It's not as heavy and greasy as the pan-fried noodles you often get from various Asian restaurants. Shrimp were nice and juicy. I can see eating this one for lunch and not getting all sleepy 30 minutes later.
Below is their Mango Lovers special. That's a grilled piece of chicken with grilled shrimp on mixed vegetables, slathered in a peanut sauce. The chicken and shrimp were grilled nicely, but everything was drowned in that peanut sauce. Unless you really love peanut sauce, I'd avoid this one.
And for dessert, we had the creme brulee which is infused with some ginger which was pretty nice as a dessert. Good use of ginger to lighten things up.
We were pleasantly surprised overall. Usually when more ethnic restaurants open up, especially those that say something like "Thai Comfort food with California Accents" like Mini Mango does, we're a little skeptical. We're not die-hard purists that food inspired from a certain region has to be super truthful to the area (for instance, Bleaux Magnolia would get flack for not being authentic Creole (ironic given Creole's roots)). We just want it to taste good.
And even if I didn't like my Lovers dish because it was drowning in peanut sauce, the chicken and shrimp were still cooked well. I liked the double-drunken noodles. And some of the other dishes that others were eating looked really interesting like the Eight elements wrap.
Mini Mango Thai Bistro setting and service
We went there when they had only been open for a few weeks. So, you know they're still a bit in the scramble mode. The tiny seating area inside Mini Mango which was shared by Il Posticino and Bleaux Magnolia makes it a little tough to get around. They have that tiny kitchen too which will make for interesting times if they become more popular.
The staff was mostly Asian, presumably Thai. They're pretty friendly and do their best to help you out. English obviously isn't their first language, but hey, they're doing better than most Americans would do opening up an American restaurant in Thailand. And hey, it makes the place more authentic, no?
Price of our meal
1 appetizer + 2 entrees (one with rice) + 1 dessert + 2 drinks + tax/tip = $54.00
Mini Mango's pricing is actually good as Napa restaurants go that are aiming higher than takeout fare. At $9-$12 a plate, it's cheaper than Annalien or even the other two Thai restaurants, and the quality is better.
People who live in Napa are constantly amazed at how expensive restaurants are that basically have a tourist premium built in. I'm not saying it's a bargain; charging $2 for steamed rice for one person is annoying. But by local standards, it's actually pretty good. The owners said they wanted reasonable prices and reasonable portions, and it looks like they have it.
Other Mini Mango Thai Bistro reviews and links