Bida Manda – A Review

Ok, the place is beautiful inside – bamboo, good lighting, very clean, new restaurant smell. Outside, well, it’s next to Tir Na Nog so what can you do.


Staff is very friendly, met the owner, the mixologist, all easy people to talk to.

Now the food:

I started with the Fresh Summer Rolls.


Very good! It’s filled with cucumber, vermicelli, shrimp, mint, etc. All the right stuff. The peanut sauce side was the dark thick kind which I’ve had at other places which is good. They cut it up to sushi roll size. Together, it would equal about 1 big roll. There’s only one problem with the dish: it cost $6.50. I usually get 2 rolls for $4.50. Nevertheless, very good.

Next up was the Shrimp Pad Thai. They have “mild, medium, or Laotian hot”. I went all in for the hottest they got!


And first I thought “Did I order the appetizer?” but in actuality, it was plenty. This had everything mixed up in it and it was gooood. The shrimp were tiny and mixed in well. It had carrot, bean sprouts, peanuts, not much egg that I could see, chives, etc. The only problem I had was that on a scale of one to ten in heat, I was at something like a three! Very flavorful, but not going to cut it. I asked for a spice tray and they promptly delivered: it included hoisin sauce, fish sauce, soy, chili oil and sugar (apparently it’s a common added spice). Once I spiced it up (about 10 scoops of chili oil), it was just right. Very good. Better than my favorite Sawasdee? I’ll have to eat it a few more times before I can deliver that title. I brought up their Pad Thai and they were quick to say “Oh yeah, it’s really good over there!”

Well, the chef got wind of my disappointment in the heat and made me this: Papaya salad


Well, this slaw type of salad was pretty mild except for the cut raw red chilies sprinkled throughout. Once I hit those, it was a good burn. This had a good flavor that was very unique. I can’t recommend it but I might get it again. And I can’t complain, it was free! Not sure where the papaya was though.

Lastly, they gave me a shot of their Laotian Iced Coffee:


It was very very good and gave me enough energy to roll out of the restaurant. I would love a full cup one day.

So in the end, this place is pretty good.