?Food can?t lie. If I tell you it?s good, but you taste it and it?s not good, it won?t be good,? says Nori?s owner. ?If you make good food, it?s always successful.? This simple philosophy has led the owner and his staff to curate a creative menu of sushi, maki, and dinner platters. Inside, an open-air sushi bar offers glimpses of the chefs hand-rolling each selection, lavishing diners with a more entertaining culinary show than an all-snowcone production of The Iceman Cometh as they savor a variety of hot tea blends or sip on their own BYOB imbibables.
A Multicultural Moniker
Kin Sushi's name was no accident. Instead, it drew on three languages?Thai, Japanese, and English?to find a moniker that meant three different things: "to eat," "golden," and "family." Then it made every effort to ensure that the eatery lived up to its trio of definitions.
Classic and Creative Dishes
Diners have plenty to eat from a menu, brimming with Thai and Japanese classics. Stir-fried rice mingles with curry powder, egg, pineapple, and cashew nuts for a tropical Thai meal, whereas the rich massaman almond curry is sweet with a hint of spice. The restaurant, however, is best known for its sushi, which doesn't disappoint. Specialty maki rolls include the avocado-topped Emerald Dragon, composed of unagi, shrimp, and crunchy tempura, and Red Sky, made with spicy shrimp and cucumber and crowned with tuna, avocado, and unagi sauce.
On the Michelin Bib Gourmand list from 2011–2012 for gourmet value, Thai Village excites palates with traditional Asian cuisine, including many vegetarian options. Behind the restaurant’s carved wooden façade is a bright, exposed-brick dining room with a pressed-tin ceiling and walls speckled with ornately framed art. During warm weather, the restaurant’s outdoor patio allows guests to mingle spicy tastes with no-holds-barred staring contests against the sun.
From Korean kimchi to Vietnamese noodles, Thee Asian Restaurant lassos the culinary aesthetics of multiple cultures into a comprehensive menu of Asian-fusion fare. Crispy appetizers such as egg rolls and fried shrimp segue into rice bowls and steaming noodle dishes, each highlighted with a choice of veggies, chicken, beef, or seafood offerings such as sea eel. Frozen fruit drinks temper the spice of green-curry dishes and foster fruity rushes without the sting of belly-flopping into a pool of applesauce.
Orapin "Penny" Chiamopoulous opened Penny's Noodle Shop in 1991, creating a menu influenced by Thai, Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese cuisine and also by the food served in Americanized Asian restaurants. Today, patrons can visit the restaurant at five Chicago-area locations to slurp barbecue-pork soup with Chinese greens, savor creamy red curry over basmati rice, or devour shrimp-and-pork Thai ravioli, which earned praise from Serious Eats. The eatery's chefs prepare ample options for vegetarians, ranging from watercress with garlic-bean sauce to bowls filled with vermicelli rice noodles, tofu, ground peanuts, and six veggies.
In the aquamarine pool of paint of at the center of Thai Lagoon's circular sign, red and yellow koi swim in circles, forming, in essence, the shape of a yin and yang symbol. The symbol describes interplay and balance between two opposite forces, such as light and dark or salty and sweet.
Thai Lagoon's chefs seek this balance in their dishes, both in terms of texture and taste. In the crispy rice namsod, savory chicken and peanuts harmonize sweet flashes of ginger; in mussaman curry, soft chunks of meat and potatoes reside amidst crispy bell peppers. In beef broccoli, a velvety sauce offsets the crunch of fresh broccoli crowns.