I have loved the food at Mini Mango since my first visit three years ago. The food is always excellent and the service is always friendly. This week is the first time I realized that it is also the most vegan-friendly restaurant in Napa! They recently moved their location from a quiet, out of the way spot tucked away on Clay Street to a highly visible local in the midst of historic downtown on Main Street. In honor of the new location, they also have a new moniker – Mango on Main by mini mango Thai bistro. The name & address have changed, the dining room space has increased, the décor has improved but the one thing that hasn’t changed is the delicious food. The Restaurant Manager, Mee Peng, is also another wonderful reason to return again and again. He is always friendly, chatty and no matter how much time has passed in between visits he always remembers that I am vegan and have a weakness for their delicious tofu Peanut Bomb!
Though I have ordered take-out, this week was my first opportunity to dine-in since they moved locations. The space is larger than the last location but still has a very intimate feel. The lighting is soft and the music soothing and energetic at the same time. Though there are only 10 or 12 tables, when it is full it is a bit loud and has a great energy. Steve and I shared an appetizer and a dessert along with our entrees so we were there for a while and once the restaurant cleared out it became very quiet.
Since Mee and his wife Anchalee Chitamnuayothin (she is also the Executive Chef) are Buddhist, the décor includes a lovely Thai Buddha statue as well as a quote from the Dalai Lama in the Ladies’ Room. They have also been very creative showcasing beautiful umbrellas hung upside down from the high ceiling.
The night we were there Mee was in charge and had three more staff that all work as a team. They all take orders, deliver food, fill water, bus tables and seat quests. I think each of the staff came to our table at least once throughout our meal. It seems like it would be disorganized but they have a system figured out and it works well.
The most exciting thing about their menu is that it is all made to order so besides a few grilled meat/seafood dishes, virtually anything on the menu can be made vegan. According to Mee, they have a very large market of guests that request vegan food and are more than happy to accommodate their dining needs. They have a good wine list that includes many local wineries. For Napa, their pours are certainly on the “heavy” side and the prices for wine by the glass on the low side. That always makes me smile! I mentioned earlier my near obsession with their tofu Peanut Bomb. I have to admit that I order it virtually every time I eat at Mango on Main. It is delicious and will satisfy anyone who loves peanut butter. But when Mee mentioned that they are willing and able to “veganize” virtually anything on their menu, I decided it was time to explore some new options.
We started our meal with the sweetly amazing Indochine Corn Fritters drizzled with plum reduction. They came to the table in a sweet and crispy little pyramid. We enjoyed one each and shared the third.
Though we often share one entrée when we dine out in Napa Valley – this saves calories and money plus there is sometimes only one vegan entrée available so we have never seen the point in ordering two of the same thing. Because of the fact that Mango on Main has so many vegan-friendly options, we decided to splurge and each order our own entrée. Steve ordered the Tofu Massaman which has a mildly spicy cardamom-citrus sauce, onions, potatoes and braised tofu curry. I love curry & coconut milk with a capital “L” so I ordered the Kari Curry with tofu, potatoes, carrots and coconut milk. I typically have to order my curry mild but in this case it had just the perfect amount of spice for me. To that we added brown rice for two and commenced to whole-heartedly enjoying our meal!
Their current menu does not offer any vegan desserts but the night we were there they offered a special dessert that included hot, sweet sticky rice and a scoop of mango sorbet made with coconut milk that was vegan. It was one of the most delicious desserts that we have ever shared. The hot rice topped with the ice cold sorbet was not only an amazing combination of flavors but the combination of hot and cold was a delightful shock to my taste buds.
The new location now offers a large lunch menu that includes Potstickers, satay skewers, Bangkok bites of the day, Thai Wraps, Noodles on Main, salads and much more. And just like dinner, almost all lunch menu options can be made vegan using vegetables or tofu.
Mango on Main is located in historic downtown Napa at 1142 Main Street near the corner of Pearl Street and Main. To make a reservation for parties of 6 or more, they can be reached at 707.253.8880. They serve lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Dinner is served Tuesday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday they are open all day from Noon to 10 p.m. and Sunday is open for dinner only from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
This is a dining experience that you will not want to miss! Many of these delicious recipes have been passed down through the generations and were shared with Chef Anchalee by her Mother. Chef Anchalee then decided to attend culinary school so she could take her family recipes and add a decidedly and delicious California spin to them!
Please be sure to thank them for offering so many delicious vegan options. And as always…eat, drink and be vegan!