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On the last night of my mom's visit, she requested Thai food. I’d seen Mea Kwan 2 (Eastlake) on the way to and from my daughter’s ballet classes, and we decided to give it a try.

Inside, the yellow walls, turquoise floor, and red tablecloths create an exotic and calming atmosphere. The lighting in restaurants often feels like an afterthought, but at Mea Kwan 2, the lighting is dim enough to feel intimate and bright enough to eat by.

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Every time I go to a Thai restaurant, I have the same conversation with myself:

“Pad Thai?”

“You always get Pad Thai.”

“Ok. How about Pad See Ew?”

“Maybe, but you always get that, too.”

“So, something new? I’m not much into curry.”

“Me either. Let’s go for the Pad Thai.”

Occasionally, the conversation ends with me ordering duck something or Pad See Ew. That evening at Mea Kwan, it ended with the Pad See Ew (spelled Pad See You on their menu) with beef and a Singha beer.

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Mom ordered the red curry with mango and a cabernet. And for the little one, fried tofu, steamed white rice, and a lemonade.

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Fried tofu.

I love the combination of the sauce’s sweetness and the bitterness of the Chinese broccoli. Mom loved her dish, too, but halfway through it, she realized she hadn’t yet tasted any mango.

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Where's the mango?

She mentioned it to the waitress, who apologized (profusely) for her mistake on the order.

“It’s ok,” Mom assured her. “It’s still really good.”

We forgot about it until ten minutes later when the hostess brought us a plate of sweet sticky rice and mango.

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“Please accept this,” she said.

We did. I’d say from the first taste to the final battle over the last bit of coconut-flavored stickiness, it took us about 1.2 seconds to finish it off.

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