Wednesday, May 22, 2024 May 22, 2024
77° F Dallas, TX

Restaurant Review: Zato

There's a lack of consistency in the Thai offerings of this Plano spot.
photography by Kevin Marple

I have a friend who comes to Dallas twice a year to eat. She used to live here, but now she lives in a small town in Pennsylvania where Yelpers dole out four stars to Applebee’s. She arrives hungry for Thai and Indian food because in another life she lived in Thailand and India. We had a nifty bottle of Prosecco in the fridge, so we toted it to the BYOB-friendly place formerly known as Jasmine Thai II in Plano, one of the two locations of the family-owned business. Monday Night Football and a welcome rainstorm must have kept people home (this spot is usually jumping). And perhaps the lack of business contributed to the lack of consistency in the dishes we picked. Fried corn cakes were hot, sweet, and crunchy, but the papaya salad was merely a handful of limp shredded papaya saturated with a garlic, chile pepper, and lime sauce that could have used a double dose of garlic and peppers. But the Thai herbal chicken, basking in the glory of lemongrass, is by far the best starter. Two out of three entrées impressed. Marvelously wide, flat noodles (pad kee maow), tossed in a stout sauce of garlic and fresh jalapeños, were hot on the plate and the palate. The cashew chicken was a miserable sight: small bits of chicken, baby corn, carrots, and a few cashews submerged in a mysterious brown sauce. But the mildly spicy yet intensely flavored Panang curry, thickened with coconut milk and spiked with kaffir leaves, is a dish I would drive through another rainstorm to eat.

For more information on Zato, visit our restaurant guide.