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Tara Thai Northwest Restaurant Review: Thai places may be ubiquitous in Portland, but Laotian restaurants are not. Tara Thai offers all the Thai standards, with an especially good choice of seafood, but also some subtle and densely flavorful Laotian offerings. The welcoming ambience of the dining room, in a restored Victorian home, and (on nice days) a lovely shaded patio, add to the pleasure. You'll instantly feel relaxed and in good hands at this family-run establishment. To prepare the dishes, authentic seasonings and preparations are combined with local ingredients to produce favorites such as mango paradise (mango with spicy paste, carrots, onion and fresh basil), coconut tofu, and green mussels sautéed in yellow bean sauce with fresh ginger and spices. You will also find Laotian classics such as banana blossom garnishes, handmade Mekong sausage, and fish cooked with citrus marinades. For dessert, order the sweet purple rice in heated coconut milk. There’s a full bar with tropical cocktails, plus a small wine list as well as familiar Asian beers.