Bryan Richardson
You can't swing a dead cat in Portland without hitting a Thai restaurant, but quite often people don't have the time or resources to find (let alone swing) a dead cat for the sake of choosing a spot to eat. So, in order to save you the hassle--and the cleanup--we've compiled this handy list of great Thai places. KATIE SHIMER

Aroy Thai
506 SW 4th Ave, 274-7004

Aroy Thai is downtown's worst kept secret, starting now: their pad Thai is unrivaled. The portions are unbelievable, and unbelievably cheap. Everyday there's a different lunch special. Their Mussamun curry is swimming in heavenly peanut sauce and overflowing with fresh broccoli, carrots, and potatoes. If that's not enough, I don't think you can find a spicier plate of Thai food in the nation, unless you spice it yourself with gunpowder. If you like spice, cheap, and satisfying, visit Aroy. EVAN JAMES

Thai Noon
2635 NE Alberta St, 282-2021

Thai Noon tosses crisp, colorful vegetables with their noodles and curries, which makes them the best choice for people who are trying to eat healthy. Of course, you'll be spoiling your diet when you order from their drink menu, especially if it's the creamy Thai Island Iced Tea. KS

Vege Thai
3272 SE Hawthorne, 234-2171

Some persnickety bitches may not like Vege Thai, but I have nothing to do with those people--for Thai in Southeast, nothing surpasses their excellent and affordable curries. Everything comes with brown rice, the vegetables are cooked just right, and their fake chicken is on the top of my list for mouth-watering deceptions. The quality here is just insane, the service is incomparable, and nowhere else will you find a menu more accommodating to vegetarians and vegans--they even leave out fish sauces and shrimp paste. EJ

1705 NE Couch, 231-5708

Lemongrass and Khun Pic's Bahn Thai (3429 SE Belmont) win the awards for most skillfully constructed Thai food--and the slowest service. These restaurants corner the market on upscale Thai dining, using beautiful fresh vegetables and extreme care in striking the balance between salty and sweet. If you're a fan of spicy food, Lemongrass is infamous for their 1-20 heat rating scale, although there are few who have gone above 10 and lived. Recommendations include the flawless fried tofu, fresh prawns, or chicken. This is your chance to try Thai favorites like green curry or pad Thai at their absolute finest. KS

Chaba Thai
5810 NE Sandy, 282-3970

This is the Thai restaurant I probably eat at most frequently--it's fast, cheap, friendly, and always damn good. Chaba Thai's peanut sauce, served with their plump salad rolls, is by far the best peanut sauce I've tasted in my life. Creamy, but thin, I can't go there without ordering it. The Chaba Thai soup is also delicious, a slightly sour broth loaded with squid and pieces of pork sausage. It's a daunting dish, but utterly satisfying. Their noodles and curries are well executed, too, but beware--sometimes they skimp if you order meat. KS

Pad Thai Kitchen
2309 SE Belmont, 232-8766

This hidden-in-plain-sight gem on Belmont is a personal favorite. The spring rolls burst with fresh flavor. The signature Pad Thai is not the gloppy gray mess served by other Thai restaurants, but colorful, savory, and light. Vegetarian options exist for almost everything on the menu, but beware--the soup that comes with your lunch probably contains a meat broth. Note that although they take other forms of payment, they have a sign that reads "cash appreciated and on Monday they are close (sic)." BRAD BUCKNER