There's a somewhat under-the-radar Pan-Asian restaurant on Atlantic Avenue that goes by the name of Mai (497 Atlantic Ave., between Nevins St. & 3rd Avenue, 718-797-3880). It's simply decorated inside, but it's the peaceful garden that's the big draw, along with the fresh and not-your-usual-Pad-Thai dishes. We ordered take-out from there recently and thoroughly enjoyed our meal.
We started with a classic appetizer of Chicken Satay. The meat was tender, slightly juicy and just a bit charred and the peanut sauce was thick with pieces of peanut. It's one of my favorites.
For my entree, I chose to get the Bun Tao, a glass noodle dish with vegetarian duck, shitake mushroom and asian greens sauteed in a ginger sauce. It was delicious. I love veggie duck, and Mai does it the best. It's not greasy, more like baked and a bit crunchy, and there were plentiful slices of mushroom. The greens were crispy, not boiled to death and the sauce was sharp, astringent and light.
My boyfriend got an order of Mee Rojak, a Malaysian style egg noodle with steamed vegetables & tofu in peanut lime sauce. The sauce is more like a curry, and a bit spicy. The noodles were thick and a bit chewy, but in a good way, the veggies nicely cooked and there was a perfectly cooked egg on the side. Very tasty.
I really like Mai. The food is fresh, quality and different from the standard Thai/Pan-Asian places around. Definitely go when the weather is good to sit in the beautiful back garden!