I might as well report on our PortlandFood.org outing while I'm thinking of it. Last week, nearly 20 of us piled into Sukhothai for a feast. You can see some pictures here:
I tried to indicate which dishes weren't on the menu. I think everyone really enjoyed it. I think the proprieters of Sukhothai are from Chiang Mai and may be at least somewhat ethnically Laotian. But I don't know for sure.
Anyway, we had over a dozen dishes, all family style, and there was actually food leftover which bottomless guts like myself kept picking at, causing me to have to unbutton a button on the drive home, I was so bloated.
Several of the dishes were off-menu, and it figures, they were usually some of the best. eg, there was a young banana flour and chicken stew, not sure of the proper name, that was excellent, with a great balance of flavor and a lot of depth and high notes as well. I almost missed that dish and then was so happy when I found it and got to eat the rest of the plate of it.
They made a Thai sausage of some sort, I believe pork, for us that was seriously excellent. It was served with chilies, cilantro, and, I believe, young ginger. I ate more than my share. Screw everyone else. I kept grabbing slices off the plate.
There was a kow soi (sp?) -- a yellow curry with fried bean threads and other bits that was quite tasty. One of the better curries I've had anywhere, I'd say. Very good. I think it might have been the favorite of most people. I don't think it's on the menu, either.
Oh, and a green mango salad with soft-shell (I think) crab that was excellent. Their som tum was tasty, but I liked this salad even more.
Those were my favorites of the night and I think all of them are off-menu! Ugh!
With all that food, our bill only came out to $18/person with tip, so we made it $20 even per person, which I thought was a good thing. They were so hospitable and did such a great job.