The Dear Mom Cafe is an impossibly cool Thai restaurant with impossibly cool owners that just opened in Bend. Jattalee (JJ) Chalernhinthong, the owner, is a mom herself and opened up the restaurant with her husband in honor of her own mother who still lives in Thailand. The dishes are inspired by her mother’s traditional recipes and values she helped instill in JJ. The staff, most of whom JJ knows personally, wears cute shirts that say, “Have you called your mom today?”
The dining room is open and modern with bright wallpaper and upbeat, pop music playing on the speakers. The whole atmosphere is fun and inviting with the hope that customers feel comfortable and welcome to stay as long as they like. The menu is also refreshingly small, which lets you know the chefs are really focusing on making all the dishes right and you know no matter what you order it’s gonna be good—each plate looks like a work of art and it smells and tastes just as good ! They also have options for those with dietary restrictions like vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free dishes or substitutions.
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Start off with an order of the delicious Midnight Chicken Wings for the table that are tossed in a caramelized fish sauce chicken wing served with veggie pickles. Then move on to your entree where every choice you have will leave you singing the chef’s praises.
One great option is the Yellow Curry (the only curry they offer) that’s perfectly spiced and made with crispy red norland potatoes, onions, cherry tomatoes, and roasted vegetables served with rice. Or if your go-to at a Thai restaurant are noodles, the dependable Grandma’s Pad Thai are some of the best around made with a cage free egg, bean sprouts, chive, shallot, and peanut.
Another standout that customers rave about is the Spicy Crispy Holy Basil made with bird’s red eye chili, mix roasted vegetable, broccolini, bell pepper sautéed in mom’s spicy umami sauce and served with fried egg over rice (you can also get this made with tofu or roasted veggies).
Don’t forget to leave room for dessert, and maybe you should consider ordering two! Two of the best are the Sweet Mango Sticky Rice and vanilla ice cream, and Aunty Jeep’s Daily bake, a decadent toffee cake served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Round it out with a refreshing glass of Thai Iced Jasmine Green Tea and you’ll have the perfect dining experience.
- Saturday and Sunday, 12:00pm to 8:00pm
- Monday – Friday, 11:30am – 2:00pm for lunch, 4:30pm to 8:00pm for dinner
Address: 320 SW Century Drive, Suite 100, Bend, OR
Phone: (458) 281-0511