I returned to Pao Lim, determined to get a handle on the place. We had spare ribs and green papaya salad for appetizers; mongolian beef, duck with orange sauce, eggplant with garlic sauce, and pan-fried noodles with seafood for entrees. The beef and eggplant were very good, the rest mediocre to lousy. The papaya salad -- shredded papaya and tomato -- was so awkwardly flavored and limp that we sent it back to the kitchen. I would guess that it was at least a day old.
It's hard to know what to say about a place like this. The potential for good food clearly exists, but the follow-through is wildly erratic.
In the end I feel that the place is a bit too expensive (roughly $20 per person) for this kind of inconsistency. I doubt we'll return.