Galangal's kitchen decorates the tables in the refined dining room with an international menu of Asian flavors spanning japanese sushi, fragrant thai curries, and chinese dumplings. "Much of the food takes a cue from the stylish setting," wrote New York Times contributor Joanne Starkey, highlighting a neatly sculpted plate of pad thai ($7–$9 at lunch, $14–$18 at dinner) garnished with drizzled egg, orchids, and a shot glass full of mung-bean sprouts. Lunchtime diners can devour spicy basil eggplant ($7–$9) or throw out plastic pails emblazoned with Batman in favor of the neatly organized nutrition of a shrimp-tempura bento box ($14). At dinnertime, a charcoal-grilled half chicken ($17) bathed in sweet chili sauce gilds smoky notes with sweeter flavors, and sushi chefs expertly pack the salmon family roll ($15) with a quartet of fish preparations including king salmon, crispy salmon, and salmon roe.
Wild Ginger's woven lanterns drizzle light on a wall-spanning triptych of paintings that blends modern abstraction with traditional Asian styles. Cherry-red banquettes cushion patrons as they dine on dishes that blend the cuisines of China, Japan, Thailand, and Indonesia. Sushi shares menu space with made-to-order entrees of chicken, duck, and scallops in curry and fruit-based sauces. While waiting on a wok entree to cool, patrons can try to down a frothy brew using only their chopsticks.
Ai's menus are replete with classic and creative plates. A selection of traditional rolls, such as tuna or salmon ($4 each), will fill the usual sushi strongholds, but for hardened appetite bunkers, call in the game-changing bombs of special rolls such as the rainbow (a California roll topped with assorted sashimi and rainbow caviar, $9.95). There are also hearty chef's specials, including mango passion shrimp (sautéed shrimp and mangos in a special Thai pepper sauce, $13.95), and dinner entrees, including teriyaki beef negimaki (thin-sliced beef and scallions in teriyaki or Asian garlic sauce, $12.95).
Thai Rock spices up mealtime by combining the lively flavors of authentic Thai cuisine with daily doses of live music and panoramic views of Jamaica Bay. As evening approaches, impress a date with your singing voice and pronunciation of traditional appetizers such as kui chai, a scallion-speckled veggie patty pan fried to perfect crispness, or som tom, a zesty and healthy salad tossed from string beans, carrots, green papaya, and a sauce of fresh lime, garlic, and chili. Mouths brought to boil by simmering pots of hot-and-sour coconut soup (tom kha) can cool off with a house salad of greens, cucumber, tofu, tomatoes, carrots, and a choice or peanut sauce or fresh ginger dressing. Entrees invite appreciation for any combination of noodle dishes, fresh seafood offerings, curries, or house specialties such as pad kaproaw—a colorful, chili-sauced conglomeration of white onions, bell peppers, snow peas, and fresh basil—or pad pak—a medley of mixed veggies, spicy ginger, and oyster sauce whose flavors meld equally well with beef, pork, shrimp, duck, scallops, or a fork. Cap off the five-fold feast with plates of bananas in sweet coconut milk or homemade fondue with challah bread.
With its menu of authentic Thai tastes, Thai Basil keeps taste buds and their corresponding bodies thoroughly sated and comfortably seated. While culinary classics such as chicken pad thai help diners reminisce about delectable meals past with its stir-fried rice noodles, scallions, egg, and ground peanut ($10), various wok-stirred ($12–$16) and duck ($19) provide the ground work for new eating experiences. After catching a movie or scenic glimpses of a fast-approaching asteroid, diners can stop by for bites of crispy red snapper ($20), or refuel midday with slurps of grilled-beef pho ($8).