Within a streamlined storefront that recalls an aquarium, Sharky's Burgers and Fries swiftly placates palates with a menu of sandwiches and shakes. Chefs hand-hew spuds for fries and pack pure beef into patties that are never frozen or molded into action-figure shapes for fun before they hit the grill. Burgers tower to their tipping point with topping options that include bacon, fried egg, A1 steak sauce, mushrooms, and green peppers. Rows of booths and tabletops couch malt-slurping customers beneath surfboards and sharks hung from aqua-blue walls.:
The sharp, citric aroma of Lemongrass’s namesake herb drifts around decor that Folio Weekly described as “wasabi-hued” in an article that also named the eatery the city’s Best Thai Cuisine. “The ginger-infused salad,” the writer continues, “is possibly the best bowl of leafy greens in Northeast Florida.” Another customer favorite, The Amazing, stews a choice of meat in peanut curry and coconut milk, ladled over a bed of steamed broccoli and spinach. Chefs forge coconut curries, working all the while to add modern accents to dishes to intrigue palates and keep crabby time travelers from becoming bored. The menu separates mild dishes from their hot and Thai hot counterparts.
Green Papaya's chefs draw from more than 20 years of combined culinary experience to craft Thai and Chinese delicacies, including simmering curries, fluffy fried rice, and stir-fried noodles. Appetizers and entrees cleared for landing arrive with the house’s signature sauces in tow, sporting spicy sichuan, fruity mango, or rich peanut curry. Dark wood sets doorways apart from deep-red walls and decorative glass screens, and skinny chairs with square cutouts tuck diners into glass tables topped with wineglasses, folded cloth napkins, and lyric sheets for traditional predinner sing-alongs.
The couples eating Valentine's Day dinner at Buddha Thai Bistro would have been flooded with rose pedals, if not for the gauzy tapestries that hung from the ceiling and held them aloft. The eatery's ceiling is a canvas that changes with the seasons, sporting hundreds of folded paper sculptures for the Thai New Year or colorful streamers for other celebrations. Though the decor fluctuates, Buddha Thai Bistro's commitment to flavorful cuisine remains constant. In the kitchen, seven varieties of curry simmer with meat and vegetables, fried rice sizzles alongside eggs and glass noodles, and extra spices lend a sobering kick to drunk-man noodles, served for lunch or dinner. A new vegan menu offers dishes such as soy shrimp and papaya salad and tofu egg rolls, and a robust wine menu helps diners pair reds, whites, and sakes with their meals.
Nestled within the brick-lined streets of the Tapestry Park shopping center, Lime Leaf Thai Restaurant lures diners in with tangerine walls, piquant framed artwork, and mocha-colored banquettes. Its menu sports classic Thai plates and house specialties helpfully arrayed alongside a barometer of spiciness, with portion sizes that prompted the Florida Times-Union to proclaim, “When they say ‘seafood,’ they mean it … you won't leave hungry.” The rich scents of curry and deep-fried duck waft off tabletops set with neatly folded linen napkins that can be used to demurely wave at passing sailors.