Places of Reno: Moo Dang, the Best Thai Restaurant in the Biggest Little City?

A restaurant review by Kristin Mitra

Coming to Reno, you’re immediately drawn to the bright lights of downtown. Casinos and bars make up the city’s nightlife. Diners and hole-in-the-wall food places dot its main strip, Virginia street. With the vast array of food available, it’s hard to know what the best of anything is.

If you go into the heart of Reno’s Midtown district, you’ll find Moo Dang, one of Reno’s hidden gem.

While Reno already has a diverse assortment of restaurants to chose from, it certainly is not lacking in Thai cuisine. But even with the competition, for me, Moo Dang still manages to rise above the others.

Inside Moo Dang restaurant in Midtown on 1565 S Virginia St.

A Pad Thai Craving

When it comes to Thai food, the first thing people think of is Pad Thai, a spicy, stir-fried noodle dish garnished with crushed peanuts and bean sprouts.

Traditionally, Pad Thai is served with shrimp, but Moo Dang offers a choice between chicken, beef, tofu, and shrimp, while also allowing the customer to choose a level of spiciness on a five-star scale, zero being no spice and five being the spiciest. In addition to Pad Thai, Moo Dang’s top sellers are also their Panang Curry and Drunken Noodles.

Moo Dang’s Pad Thai

A Casual Experience

Something that sets Moo Dang apart from other Thai restaurants in Reno is also its more casual style. Instead of a fancier, more traditional scene, owner John Rahm wants his diners to have a casual dining experience.

“We are trying to stand out by trying to be a bit more contemporary,” said owner John Rahm. “Often we feel a lot of Thai places are essentially the same in decor and are more old school and fancy. Ideally, our decor would be more like street food in Thailand.”
Owner John Rahm is no stranger when it comes to Thai food.

When he was 16, John Rahm started working at a Thai restaurant, soon working his way up to being a cook. After marrying his wife in 2008, they decided to open a Thai restaurant in Reno. For an authentic taste of Thailand, I believe Moo Dang will always deliver.

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