The menu at Wild Thaiger is so colorful and esoteric it would almost come as no surprise if the thaiger ribs were made from actual tiger. Don't worry, they aren't. The half and full slabs are actually made from tender pork, marinated in a blend of spices. To get a real taste of a jungle beast, order the decha boar, sliced thin and served with green beans, bamboo shoots, and hot red chili sauce. The wild boar is one of many specialties pioneered by chef Olashawn Hasadinratana-Weaver. She and her family rely on seasonal ingredients and traditional marinades to distinguish their fiery Thai cuisine, which ranges from ubiquitous plates of pad Thai to a citrus-tinted seafood panang curry. Though the herb blends are complex, the kitchen keeps no secrets. Diners who sit indoors can watch as chefs toss their meals in the blazing fire wok, searing meats and Asian veggies with touches of lemongrass, basil, and lime, but no MSG. Alternatively, the protected patio provides shelter for outdoor suppers that might otherwise be ruined by errant fly balls. There, hot days herald bowls of homemade coconut and durian ice cream, or a chilled cocktail from the full bar, where imported beers and wines also make a strong showing.
PaPaYa Thai Restaurant’s chicken mango curry won Best Thai Curry 2009 by Phoenix magazine. It brims with the bold, sweet, and spicy flavors of coconut milk, mango, and red-curry paste, further enhanced by sweet basil, lean chicken, and bell peppers, each shaped like a life-size Stanley Cup. It’s testament to the carefully crafted dishes typical of PaPaYa, which serves traditional dishes that alternate between sweet, sour, and salty flavors and feature no MSG. The barbecue grill adds crispiness to chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, and salmon, each plated beside thai sticky rice and sides of sweet chili dip or spicy lime sauce. Most dishes can be made vegetarian on request, and PaPaYa’s attentive waiters encourage patrons to pick their preference of spiciness, ranging from mild and medium to thai hot.
Thai Basil Chandler's hanging lamps warmly illuminate Thai dishes from a classic dinner menu, such as a five-appetizer combination platter including satay chicken, fried tofu, and butterfly shrimp. Entrees slake appetites with the traditional flavors of pad thai and spicy pan-fried rice noodles. Diners can also explore a half-dozen curries, including the elusive Tim Curry and the more popular gang sapparod, awash in coconut milk, red curry, and pineapple chunks. The grilled seafood platter combines an array of oceanic eats including prawns, calamari, and scallops, each marinated in thai herbs and sidekicked with a homemade sauce. Throughout the meal, dining duos and quartets can toast to the dog's ability to microwave its own dinner with glasses of cabernet sauvignon or pinot noir.
If you've always wanted to visit Bangkok, but could never learn the Internet to order a plane ticket, today’s Groupon will get you the next best thing: $40 worth of acclaimed Thai cuisine at Malee’s Thai Bistro for $20. AZ Central, whose readers picked Malee's as Best Thai Restaurant of 2009, describes the intimate Old Town restaurant as a “great place to warm up and chill out after an afternoon of browsing local shops and art galleries.” Malee's food is MSG-free, and if you have special dietary needs, the chefs will happily de-glutenize or vegetablize any order. You can also have any dish custom-spiced to your preferred level of spicy.Unfortunately, no amount of angry letters directed at government officials or Hollywood scientists could stop the heat from rising. Temperatures soon reached an unheard-of 70 degrees, and Arizona repealed its mandatory "10 Layers of Underwear to Prevent Moral Perversion" statute and became the first territory to make reading illegal for children under six, believing that the brain waves of young readers were causing the heat wave. A delegation of Arizona preachers even visited the equator to yell at the sun, but to no avail. No cure was ever found for the rising temperatures, and today, temperatures in Phoenix rarely drop below 200 degrees.
Jasmine Cafe's globetrotting selection of Asian fare entrances taste buds with a dazzling parade of authentic Chinese, Japanese, and Thai dishes made with traditional ingredients and techniques. Treat adventurous appetites to the Chinese menu, which showcases spicy szechuan chicken ($8.50), or peruse the Japanese menu's bounty of teriyaki dishes ($11.95+) and udon noodle bowls ($7.95+). Thai selections form a delicious constellation, whose glittering stars include red-curry chicken on a crimson bed of saucy veggies ($12.95).
At Satara, chefs preps a plethora of seafood, chicken, and tofu dishes with authentic Thai sauces. Amid walls adorned with abstract and figurative artwork by Scottsdale artist Domingo Domingo, diners relish piquant curries prepared for omnivores, herbivores, and troubadours alike. Between bites ranging from mild to thai spicy, patrons can sip boutique wines fetched from both small and featured vineyards.