Recipes made popular by street food vendors in Bangkok populate the menu at Iyara Thai Cuisine. Kick off the culinary expedition with chicken satay—a grilled-meat popsicle marinated in a blend of herbs and spices ($7)—before letting your spoon mingle with a gaggle of chicken on the bone, shallots, and crispy egg noodles bathing in the spicy coconut milk of the khao soi kai ($10). Patrons may partake in a game of hide-and-seek with the pla yum, a deep-fried rainbow trout buried beneath shredded mango, cabbage, carrots, peanuts, ginger, lemongrass, lime juice, and cilantro ($12), or chase fried wide rice noodles around a plate of pad see-ewe, dodging patches of chinese broccoli and cooling off in a river of sweet sauce (chicken, pork, or tofu, $9; beef, $10; prawn, $12). Pair eats with a beer ($4), iced tea ($3), or wine served by the glass ($6–$8), bottle ($20–$25), or nanny's tablespoon.
Chantanee’s menu mingles Thai classics with a variety of Asian cuisines in a culinary particle accelerator that produces delicacies such as pineapple fried rice ($12), sizzling panang duck ($18), and the phad chaa’s spicy mélange of stir-fried meats sprinkled with peppercorns, chaa paste, krachai, onion, peppers, and holy basil ($12). But the upscale restaurant’s biggest stars are its paparazzi-attracting cocktails ($10 each) and tiki drinks. One-eared painters can keep it traditional with a glass of real absinthe. Otherwise, knock back an ultra-manly Lumberjack Sling (maple-smoked bourbon, chai cider, lingonberry syrup, barrel bitters, and lemon) or finish your feast with a round of bubo floats (dark rum, crème de cacao, espresso stout, and vanilla ice cream) paired with deep-fried ice cream ($7). Chantanee's renowned team of drink doctors hand-carve every ice chip, and might whittle them skillfully into miniature busts of your favorite Surgeon General if you ask nicely.
Named for a the eight-spoke Thai horoscope wheel, Noppakao Thai Restaurant puts guests in control of their culinary destiny—even for just one night. The menu introduces diners to some of the finest examples of Thailand's rich culinary culture: from aromatic coconut-milk curries, to savory rice noodle stir-fries and rice dishes of marinated tofu, chicken, pork and trout. Each dish blends Eastern flavor with elegant presentation, with basil leaves, sliced peppers, cashews, and colorful curry sauces layered upon fragrant foundations of jasmine rice. Chefs lovingly craft specialty dishes of lemongrass chicken, garlic pork ribs, and deep-fried duck swimming in red curry, capped off with desserts of coconut milk ice cream and sweet mango sticky rice.
The interior reflects Thailand's island landscape, with towering palm trees, glowing lanterns reminiscent of sea life, and an aquarium. The walls also feature a giant, antique-style treasure map and sketches of jellyfish playing jump rope with pirates.
Broth, noodles, and meats can converge to form many dishes, but with appropriate herbs and spices, they yield the unmistakable flavors of Vietnamese pho. At Asian Pho, diners can begin their meal with pan-Asian appetizers such as gyoza or spring rolls before digging into small or large bowls of pho. The pho features tender meats, seafood, or veggies embedded in noodles and broth, like a deli built on a foundation of Top Ramen.