Waiters adorn tables with steaming plates of familiar Thai fare in Montira Thai Restaurant’s sunny brick eatery. Tamarind or peanut sauce dominates stir-fried rice or egg noodles, whereas spices such as basil and lemongrass steep in coconut curries to balance their colorful chili powder blends. The cooks take a particular interest in seafood, frying up salmon, catfish, tilapia, and soft-shell crab, and dressing prawns in a special kind of homemade red curry. Drinks such as Thai iced tea and coffee accompany weekday lunch specials to quell taste bud fires set to keep those at lunch meetings alert.
Tasty Thai’s chefs have been keeping the citizens of Vernon Hills stuffed with Thailand’s spicy, basil-speckled food for more than 15 years. During that time, they have served countless orders of homemade egg rolls, color-coded curries, and Thailand’s beloved stir-fry dish, pad thai. To complete meals, the eatery’s entrees can be bookended with a bowl of hot-and-sour tom yum soup and a plate of Thai custard made with a blend of eggs and coconut milk.
More than 2,500 miles separate Japan and Thailand, a fact that is made apparent by their cuisines’ contrasting values—an adherence to clean, simple flavors on the one hand, and complex mélanges of fragrant herbs and spices on the other. Embracing both sides of this spectrum, Bangkok Tokyo’s menu features an extensive selection of fiery and savory curries as well as freshly sliced maki and nigiri.
Karma's interior flawlessly blends ultra-modern designs with traditional Zen-like fixtures, creating a peaceful atmosphere that compliments its fusion menu of pan-Asian favorites. Begin the gastro journey eastward with shiitake-mushroom potstickers ($9) or black-salt and Szechwan-pepper calamari served with garlic-lime aioli ($8). Other stomach stretchers before the main game include the stir-fried Thai-basil noodles mixed in a spicy lime peanut sauce ($5) and the jumbo Thai vegetarian spring roll ($11), which is rolled up with carrots, napa cabbage, marinated tofu, and sweet chili sauce. Karma's entrees—such as the Asian BBQ salmon ($19), orange-peel tempura chicken ($16), and yellow mango vegetable curry ($15)—gather symphonies of savory spice alongside elegantly simple flavor profiles to accommodate a range of visiting palates.
Chefs imbue Zakuro Thai Sushi Cuisine's intimate dining room with the aromas of traditional Thai noodle dishes, fried rice, and seven types of curry. For dinner, they craft specialties such as deep-fried soft-shell crab with basil sauce, served with vegetables and a choice of white, brown, or fried rice. At the sushi counter, chefs hand-roll maki including the Hollywood, layering spicy tuna and shrimp tempura inside kelp or soybean paper and topping the bundle with fried onions and seared Cajun albacore. The softly lit restaurant boasts wood floors, Asian figurines, and tall, twig-like accents that are lit from beneath, casting spindly shapes on the walls like two saplings making shadow puppets.