Muang Lao Cuisine blends traditional dishes from Laos with familiar favorites from its neighboring country, Thailand, often splaying entrées out on the tables for entire parties to share at once. Along with dishes such as larb—meat with a splash of lime juice, cilantro, ground roasted peppers, and rice—bowls of Lao-style pho and vermicelli noodles with bamboo, mint, and cabbage waft authentic East Asian aromas into the air. In the cream- and mauve-colored dining room, emerald-green booths line a wall decorated with cloth hangings and paintings of the elephants that wove them with their dexterous trunks.
Beyond the twinkling string lights that frame Thai Jasmine's front windows, traditional tapestries dollop the cream walls as framed artwork of bronze elephants stares down at cozy booths. But decorative flourishes take a back seat when waiters begin to drop off steaming noodle and rice dishes—all available vegetarian or vegetarian-repellant by request. Alongside steaming crocks of hot and sour soup lay morsels of flame-kissed chicken, beef, and shrimp amped up with coconut milk, sweet-and-sour sauce, or several varieties of curry. After polishing off the last Thai-style chicken wing, patrons can retreat to the gated outdoor patio for a banana sundae with fried ice cream.
The chefs at Blue Mint Thai & Asian Cuisine take omnivores', vegetarians', and vegans' taste buds on a tour of the Far East with their menu of rice and noodle dishes. Appetizers such as fried or fresh spring rolls strike the dinner gong before servers present soups infused with lemongrass and coconut milk or salads crowned in peanut dressing. Stir-fried starches support a choice of meats or veggies, and curries bring their colorful flavor to sides of jasmine rice. Open since 2008, this casual pan-Asian BYOB eatery boasts vibrant red booths and low-top tables, as well as free WiFi.
Blu Ginger Thai Cafe stages a flavorful musical for the senses, starring an ensemble cast of traditional Thai fare composed of fresh spices and ingredients. Build the meal around the dependable Fish Cake Tower, a foundation of deep-fried fish patties reinforced with ruby-red curry, kaffir leaves, and diced green beans ($6.99). The Golden Field fried rice enriches taste buds with its Thai brown sauce ($10.99), and flat rice noodles, basil leaves, broccoli, onion, and other veggies arrange themselves in the shape of pad kee mow before rearranging themselves into an impressive food pyramid ($10.99). Seven steamy noodle soups, such as the seafare-filled Ocean udon, pair up with a choice of seven curries, including the yellow curry with its charms of potatoes, carrots, and onions in a coconut cream sauce ($10.99). A sweet conclusion of ice cream ($3.99) or a crispy banana wrap ($4.99) lets diners sit back and reflect on the meal's choices, coming to peace with the impulsive appetizer orders and hastily blended sauces of youth.
Zense's menu of traditionally prepared dishes transports diners with an infusion of fresh ingredients, exotic spices, and complex sauces. Duos can begin jaw-powered journeys with an appetizer of summer rolls ($4.99–$5.99) stuffed with chicken or shrimp and slathered in a peanut-pineapple sauce that possesses an SPF of 45. Tender morsels of siam beef soak in thai spices before chefs impale them with skewers and prop them next to a scoop of cucumber salad ($9.99). Palates swerve like miniature Segways down the pad see iew's wide rice noodles, which wind through egg, broccoli, and black-bean sauce ($9.99), and flavor receptors balance on pad thai's thin rice noodles, which weave through bean sprouts, scallions, and peanuts ($10.99). The menu closes out with stir-fries and a spectrum of colorful curries that are perfect for impromptu face painting on dull first dates.