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Panang 2

14101 N. May Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK
(405) 752-8400

Panang 2 on May Ave. across from Quail Springs Mall

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Panang 2 in far north Oklahoma City took over the space of another Thai restaurant which I liked quite a bit, so maybe Panang will have to try a little bit harder to impress me. I had heard about Panang (Number 1) at S.W. 89th and Pennsylvania for a number of years, and even saw it in person when I ate at the Vietnamese restaurant next door. The two Panangs are among the most popular Thai restaurants in town, and have a large following.

Panang 2 has a lot of things going for it. One is that they gave me a good spice level when I asked for it. The building is nice, the menu is fairly large, and the service is good. The curries have a pretty good flavor, although it is really hard for me to judge whether they are "authentic" (I think it must vary in different parts of Thailand, just as American food varies in different states). One important item is that Panang has always given me enough food to be quite full or to take some home.

One thing I can say about Panang 2, though, is that everything I tried tasted sweet to me. I know this is one thing that gets many restaurants positive reviews, but this makes me very suspicious about whether the food is authentic. Without saying it is or it is not, all I can say is that across the board the food tasted too sweet to me.

Panang curry
Panang curry

When I give certain dishes here a five-star rating it is really a low five stars because of the food's sweetness. One example is the Panang Curry, which otherwise I thought was a very good dish. It had lime leaves, something I really enjoy and which is hard to find in Oklahoma Thai restaurants. Everything was good about the flavor of the curry except that the sweet flavor overwhelmed some of the others (which I believe were there or else the curry would not have been as good as it was). Anyway, the vegetables, tofu, and curry were good, but it gets a low five stars.

Spicy stir fried
Spicy stir fried

Another good dish is the Spicy Stir Fried (this one was also with tofu). This was made with a curry paste (made without coconut milk) which possibly makes it more flavorful and less sweet than the regular curries. There was a good basil flavor to the dish, and the green beans were a very good touch. Although the curry paste in this dish was possibly better than the Panang curry, I still give the overall edge to the Panang curry because of the lime leaves and the way the flavors came together.

Pineapple fried rice
Pineapple fried rice

When I sampled the Pineapple Fried Rice it was really difficult to think of this as Thai food, since I thought it was lacking in the flavors I normally associate with the cuisine. Otherwise it was a fairly good dish, but just not as good as some I have tried at other restaurants.

Sweet and sour stir fried
Sweet and sour stir fried with chicken

The Sweet and Sour Stir Fried seemed to have even less flavor than the fried rice, but since I just sampled it I will not try to dissuade others from ordering it (I will just say it is probably not for me).

The dish I use to compare different Thai restaurants is usually pad prik khing. Panang said the closest they had was spicy stir fried, and I did think the flavor was very similar. I will probably go back and try some more dishes, but so far it seems that the best bet at Panang is to order a curry, and to get it as spicy as I can stand to enhance the flavor and offset the sweetness. So far Panang's curry dishes do seem to be worth trying.



Cuisine: Thai
Cost: $$
Hours: Open Daily
Accessible: Yes
Tea: Thai tea
Smoking: No Smoking

Most Recent Visit
Jun. 4, 2015

Number of Visits: 2

Best Item
Panang Curry

Special Ratings
Panang Curry:
Spicy Stir Fried:
Pineapple Fried Rice:
Sweet and Sour Stir Fried:
Thai Tea:

Restaurant Menu
Panang menu