I originally posted this on Yelp but I figured that I'd repost it here as well....
I just came back from a terrible first time visit to Mittaphab. I went there blindly and on a whim, not knowing what to order for lunch. I ordered the lunch special gai young, described on the menu as chicken marinated in Lao-Thai spices, served with a sweet-spicy sauce and your choice of sticky rice or steamed rice. I went with the sticky rice. Since I have had a craving for papaya sald for a long time now, I asked if I could possibly half a half order. The Nice Lady said that they didn't do half orders. At the last second, I decided to be brave and get a full order of the Lao-style salad after the Nice Lady explained the difference to me.
Since I went on a Friday, soup came with the lunch special. (Monday, Wednesday, Friday are their soup days; Tuesday, Thursday and possibly Saturday are their salad days.) The soup was a rice porridge type with bits of celery and ginger. Tasty but nothing spectacular.
My gai young came out with a basket of sticky rice. The chicken was cold and tasteless save for the very surface where I could taste the Lao-Thai marinade. The serving was generous -- four pieces of chicken, two dark and two light -- but completely overcooked. I figured the dryness was just because I was eating the white meat but the dark meat proved just as dry. It was so dry that I could barely cut it. I've had pieces of chicken at KFC that were better cooked!
I hoped that the papaya salad would be better. I had opted for the Lao version rather than the Thai version. The Lao was as promised: much more pungent with more fish sauce and chili than its Thai cousin. I only took two bites before the chili overwhelmed me. It would have been okay if it wasn't so hot. That was my own fault; I don't know what in the world possessed me to think that I could handle Lao-style spicy.
I wasn't happy with my lunch at all. Noticing that I didn't eat much of my lunch at all, the Nice Lady asked if everything was all right. I was honest and said that I wasn't satisfied in particular with the chicken and told her what was wrong with it. Her brow furrowed and she adjusted my check. Strangely, she took off the papaya salad, not the chicken, but they were the same price so it didn't matter. It was a nice gesture and I appreciated it.
All the reviews I've seen rave about this place. Did I visit this place on the wrong day or something? What do the hounds think, should I give this place another chance?