A strip-mall storefront adjoining a UPS store just off Interstate 90, Noodle Boat is a dazzling outpost of Thai fare. The setting includes a golden spirit house outside and interior decor replete with evocative Siamese memorabilia; the menu is a full roster of complex taste-buds thrills that include classic Pad Thai and curries as well as such intriguingly named items as King of Garlic and Volcano Gem Hen.
Noodles are a must, both the spicy-sweet thin variety of Pad Thai and the thick, soy-saltier ones that are the basis of Pad See-Ew, the latter including broccoli florets and egg. Other must-eats include Tom Kha soup, a teeter-totter hot and sour coconut milk concoction humming with cilantro. And oh, wow: sunny fried trout! This is a crisp-fried fillet of rainbow trout topped with an enthusiastic slaw of mango, carrot, cabbage, ginger, peanuts, carrots, lime juice, and cilantro. It is breathtaking.
The multi-page menu features a photo of each dish, from from Thai-style fresh spring rolls (steamed, not fried) to a dish called Queen of Banana. When I visited with a party of six, we over-ordered and only scratched the surface of what this kitchen does. Nothing on the table was less than delicious. I look forward to return trips to Issaquah and this gem of a restaurant.