Anna Makmok and her mother, Noy, have grown accustomed to sharing their contemporary pan-Asian cuisine with Chicagoans. In addition to helping found Thalia Spice, Anna and Noy have spread their influence by founding Anna's Asian Grill & Sushi Bar and Anna's Asian Bistro & Sushi Bar. The common theme uniting all of these restaurants is their eclectic cuisine, which consists of Thai, Japanese, Korean, Indian, and Laotian cooking featured alongside fare from other nations.
Noy looks to put her own mark on these familiar recipes through experimentation. This leads to dishes such as the fried avocado stuffed with spicy tuna, which was featured on an episode of Chicago's Best.
Choose Your Texture
When pairing wine with spicier cuisines, it helps to pick something with a touch of sweetness, such as an off-dry riesling. The delicacy of sushi means that an equally delicate wine?think vinho verde for white or pinot noir for red?works well. For heartier, savory dishes, consider something with fruit-forward flavors and a bit more boldness: merlot. If all else fails, choose your favorite bottle of wine and enjoy.
For more than three decades, Booth Bay Whale Watch has escorted spectators fascinated by the sea's magnificent giants on three- to four-hour treks 15 miles off the Gloucester coast. Passengers on the 115-foot professionally piloted Hurricane II can witness the natural grace of humpback whales, finback whales, dolphins, and pirates disguised as mermaids cavorting in the depths. In the course of the approximately 60-mile circuit, a member of Planet Whale narrates excursions, illumining the sight of each water dweller by discussing why whales breach, how to recognize individual humpbacks, and various feeding styles.
Thalia Spice is a pan-Asian bistro that invites diners on a world tour of flavors served in a modern lounge. Co-owner Anna Makmok's mother lends her Thai and Laotian expertise in the kitchen, and co-owner Vincent Tan culls from his Malaysian and Singaporean roots for many of the menu's exotic dishes.
Where's That Recipe From?
From the Press
Though the chefs at Thai Urban Kitchen draw from the flavors of Thailand and Japan's street food, they aren't afraid to add in more upscale ingredients. To wit, they use gourmet cuts of meat and vegetarian alternatives to make unique twists of classical cuisine. In infusing a little something extra to their signature pad thai, they add cuts of duck, calamari, beef, and shrimp with just a touch of red apple for sweetness. On their sushi menu, chefs design creative rolls such as the Salmon Lover, which combines raw salmon, masago, and avocado with spicy mayo, all topped with pink nori and seared salmon. And to end the meal on a sweet note without having to whittle the check out of chocolate, the chefs also scoop Asian-inspired flavors of ice cream as well as 18 gelatos.
Juxtaposing with the colorful sushi rolls and eye-catching plating is the dining room's sleek decor. A monochromatic design scheme adds a touch of modernity that is not impervious to comfort thanks to high-backed leather seats. Silver metalwork and treated glass hang above the expansive bar, where bartenders pour sake by the glass or offer their favorite selections in drink flights.
A curved wooden roof and exposed brick walls dotted with Thai art shroud Star of Siam just steps away from the famed Magnificent Mile. Star of Siam's Thai morsels have earned the adoration of publications such as the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun Times, and Food Industry News, which voted it Number One Favorite Thai Restaurant ten years in a row. Diners perch at small wooden tables along the walls or crouch on floor cushions on an elevated dais in the middle of the restaurant, supping on Thai pepper steak and sipping on libations such as Phuket Thai beer.
The Terrace at Trump, open exclusively during Chicago's warmer months, elevates the al-fresco dining experience to high above the city's downtown streets. Described by metromix as one of the best views in the city, the lounge-style spot for drinks and light snacks sends sight-lines across the Chicago River, the Michigan Avenue Bridge, and the regular Navy Pier fireworks displays from the 16th floor of the Trump Tower. Amidst L-shaped couches, bistro tables, and an 18-seat communal table, socialites sip on wines from around the globe, and a host of cocktails complimented by bites of ceviche, sliders, and salads.