Thai Cafe has no website, is in a strip mall in Hawthorne, and sometimes the woman who owns it is both the cook and server. I ate there with a friend and we both felt as if we were channeling Jonathan Gold as we marveled at the flavors, quality, and quantity of Thai food.

Nothing on the menu is over $20 and the quantities are copious enough for me to eat two meals (your appetite may be bigger than mine, but chances are you will be very full if you finish your serving). The best surprise of all was that the flavors are wonderful! After just one bite of the Pad Woon Sen with shrimp (glass noodles), my friend started smiling. And although he is bigger than I am, he could not finish his plate, saying, “I usually just eat the shrimp if I can’t finish the noodles, but there are too many shrimp for me to do that!” At $12 for a tasty generous portion, it is truly smile worthy:)

I love rice noodles, so I ordered Pad See Ew with shrimp for $12 and asked for it to be spicy. I beamed after I took a bite and found that I did not need to add anything to perk up the flavors from the array of chilies on the table. As you can see, it was an equally generous portion, and I was so relieved to find it wasn’t greasy! My only note on this otherwise perfect plate was that I found the shrimp a tad overcooked.

Because the cafe is in a strip mall that is not in a great area, I ordered some food to go, the chili ginger stir fry with beef for $10, which was mostly celery and although tasty, not a dish I would order again.

My friend’s Pad Woon Sen looked so good, that I ordered it to go with tofu for $10 and was very happy to be able to choose fried tofu, adding a nice texture contrast to the noodles. I managed to eat about half of the portion for lunch, and enjoyed having leftovers for another day.

They also offer curries, soups, rice, and other sauteed dishes, and I will surely be back to try some other items. They recently repainted and refreshed the interior, so you may want to eat in, but if you do, it is still likely that you will be taking leftovers home!