Thursday, the beloved calendar date we are all itching to arrive, provides the time and space to stop everything -- work and the daily grind, especially -- and celebrate family. Whether around a table, in a football stadium, or over video chat, we collectively pause our routines to appreciate those whom are most special to us. Those who are the reason we're here today.
One family, in particular, celebrates and appreciates such values; not just on Thanksgiving, but every single day. It's apparent as soon as you walk through Mosa's doors on Poplar and White Station. You're greeted by Michelle or Alex, most likely, and then you peek over the 25 sauce-studded bar to find the man behind it all: their father, Eddie Pao. He's whipping up a fabulous lo mein that he's mastered since beginning the business 37 years ago.
Eddie and the Pao family represent one of the few long-standing, family-owned Memphis restaurant businesses that has sanctified tradition yet evolved through the generations. After sitting for coffee with Michelle, I witnessed her continuous commitment to updating the menus, refreshing the space, and perfecting the customer service that keeps diners on the meal plan for years and years to come. The face-to-face value creates loyalty, in my opinion. It's why I love grabbing basil rolls and sautéed vegetables to-go, just so I can catch up with sweet Michelle at the register. It's why my family deems it our go-to spot while everyone is out and about and in need of a centrally-located, reliable, and enjoyable setting for dinner.
Just as we value the family dinner table as routine, Mosa seeks to be a routine, everyday experience for its customers. With its price point, menu variety, and Asian farm-to-table specials, you can come to Mosa on a weekly basis without getting sick of it or breaking the bank. Personally, I go between the pad see ew, shrimp and broccoli with brown rice, and mushroom lettuce wraps. Always a basil roll or spring roll to start. Dumplings if I'm feeling extra hungry. The dozens of choices are fantastic for families, large parties, or a party of one on a weeknight.
The fresh vegetables, brought in weekly through a CSA program, are prepped for hours before the restaurant even opens. I'm in awe of Michelle's description of her team's day-to-day duties, which I hope to experience soon in-person. The bok choy and broccoli never arrive pre-cut. Eddie and his team hand chop the vegetables, formulate the 25 sauces, and prepare for catered affairs, take-outs, and tables seven days a week. It's remarkable!
For the party of five who has transformed customers into "family" for almost four decades, I encourage you to try the consistently delicious Pan-Asian fare, especially once Thursday passes and we'll all be sick of cooking! You'll be impressed with Mosa's fresh focus. It's about great food and great service.
photos by Sophorn Kouy