Chowhounds from the Portland area might remember a tragic fire at the former Seng Thai restaurant on St. John St. a couple of years back, in which a woman died. I've included a link if you're interested in reading more about what happened, and want to know why the owner returned to try again.
The owner of the old Seng Thai, Suwanna Truong, has recently opened a new Thai restaurant out on Forest Ave., this one called Sengchai Thai. It's painted a pretty light green color, and it's just a block or so away from Mehkong Thai, in a storefront space next to an Asian grocery. It just opened, and after a few opening-week glitches (understaffed kitchen, a fill-in host with limited English skills), they're getting it together, and the food is as good as it ever was, maybe better.
I went there with my Dad on Friday, and we got an unexpected surprise: an unadvertised (and unannounced, and very welcome!) special. Everything on the menu is available for only $5, from now until August 16th! We're talking things like crispy fish and garlic shrimp, seafood, mussels, curries, you name it, not just noodle and rice things. Talk about bang for your buck!
I had an excellent red curry, and my dad had a dish with scallops, shrimp, mussels, fish, and (I think) squid with veggies in a tamarind sauce that he loved. The satay was good, with two different homemade dipping sauces. We flipped when we got the check -- we thought there had been a mistake, since everything looked half-price! But no, our server said no mistake, it's $5 for everything until the 16th. Suwanna was making the rounds to see if everyone was enjoying the meal, and so many people were praising the food and telling her they were glad to see her back in town that she was moved to tears...I almost started crying along with her.
The special is only until next weekend, so hurry hurry hurry!