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.
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.
If you aren't sure what you want to eat, Simply Thalia is the place for you. The Asian-fusion restaurant prepares a rainbow of dishes from Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, China, Korea, Japan, and others. Whether you have a hankering for creative sushi rolls, b?nh m?, or bibimbap, you'll have a satisying meal within the sleek dining room. Guests can also take a tour of Asia with the rice- and noodle-based entrees, which include peking duck, panang curry, and the restaurant's signature Malaysian thalia laksa.