As Basil’s doors flung open in 2009, the Columbus Dispatch reported on the owner's inspiration: his mother Judy Ruanphae’s string of successful Thai restaurants—beginning with Thai Village in Chicago’s Wicker Park—that she ran with her husband while her son Rhome was growing up. Rhome borrowed his mother’s culinary mastery for Basil, which teleports taste buds to the jungles of Thailand with a menu of authentic southeast-Asian cuisine. Chefs gather rice or egg noodles to lay the foundation for many entrees, such as specialty kee mow, a soft or crispy maelstrom of rice noodles with thai basil, tomatoes, and bell peppers. The pla radprick invites forks to spear a whole fried tilapia adorned with sweet-and-sour garlic sauce and cilantro. The menu also features a rainbow of curry dishes, soups, done-up salads, and appetizers to keep ravenous diners from eating their napkins. The seasoned confines of a former antique shop welcome diners to Basil, decked out with bare brick and a retro advertisement for ice painted on the back wall. As a glittering chandelier casts light on colorful curries, wine-dark panels of varnished wood gaze at diners from the wall, and exposed lengths of ductwork add a neoindustrial aesthetic without the overkill of steam-powered dessert trays or austere Orwellian maitre d's.