Upon walking into Prince Hookah Lounge, patrons are enveloped in hues of crimson that set off a sinuous forest of hookah pipes. Merlot-hued curtains draped across the ceiling and walls filter light from hanging globe lambs, casting shifting light across the lounge and through veils of scented smoke. Once visitors settle onto long benches or cushioned banquettes, they pop open BYOB beers or wine and pass around a hookah pipe's mouthpiece. The cool smoke from flavored tobacco rises past mounted TV screens, and hands snag bites from shareable plates of hummus or potatoes sautéed with roasted chili and lemon. In the kitchen, tzatziki sauce brims with cool yogurt and cucumbers near grape leaves stuffed with extra-virgin olive oil, mint, rice, and tomatoes like the backpack of a child who is not prepared for first grade.
Siam Square is to Bangkok what Times Square is to New York—a place full of trendy shops, four-star hotels, and gourmet food. The folks at Siam Square Thai Cuisine want to bring the essence of that spot into their restaurant, but they don't rely on the chic decor or panoramic photographs of the square that hang around the dining room to do it. It's the menu's contemporary take on traditional Thai dishes that truly embodies Siam Square's hip, urban vibe. Chefs grill freshwater prawns to top with Pa-nang curry reduction and sprinkle with kaffir lime leaves, or they roast half-ducks, fry the skin to make it crispy, and apply a tamarind sauce galze. All their curries and stir-fries can be made with chicken, tofu, pork, beef, or shrimp, and there are vegetarian options upon request. Noodle dishes include traditional pad thai, spicy drunken noodles, pad-woon-sen (stir-fried clear noodles), and pad-see-eew (wide rice noodles served with broccoli and egg).
To handle the heat of a spicy curry, diners can order red and white wine and sake, or pick from a beer selection that includes SweetWater brews as well as Thai and Chinese imports. Diners can also sip thai iced tea or coffee as they linger in the modern dining room, which features red accents that pop against cream walls.
L’Thai Organic Cuisine & Wine Bar's menu lists organic Thai dishes including curries made with vegetarian-friendly sauces and noodles and fried rice prepared on special high-heat jet stoves that can be found on the streets of Bangkok. Appetizers, such as the vegetarian-style spring rolls ($4.95), and soups, such as the coconut-based tom kha ($4.95), lull appetites into a false sense of security before entrees, such as the garlic pepper beef ($12.95) or tippling drunken noodle tofu ($12.95), sneak in to deliver the culinary coup de grâce. Diners can supplement their smorgasbord with L'Thai Organic Cuisine & Wine Bar’s extensive beer and wine list, which overflows with fine fruit bloods such as Night Harvest chardonnay ($7/glass, $23/bottle) and Silver Ridge cabernet sauvignon ($7/glass, $24/bottle).
Curry Curry Thai wraps snouts in an aromatic spread of handpicked spices and pleases bellies with market-fresh vegetables and proteins served in traditional Thai style. Both the Smyrna and Marietta menus kick-start meals with appetizers including satay chicken, skewers of grilled, marinated chicken buttressed by peanut sauce and cucumber salad ($5.95 for five), and fresh-basil rolls, rice paper wrappers filled with shrimp and veggies ($3.95 for two). Curries, noodles, and fried rice dishes make filling entree options for vacant stomachs or empty fanny packs. Scoop up a bundle of pineapple fried rice—a vibrant potpourri of pineapple, onion, beans, carrots, black pepper, and curry powder ($7.95 for lunch, $9.95 for dinner)—or lap up a bowl of red curry—a mixture of coconut milk, bamboo shoots, and red and green bell peppers ($6.95 for lunch, $8.95 for dinner)—in an effort to prove dominance over utensils.
Surrounded by bamboo shoots and polished wood tables, diners at New Saigon Vietnamese Bistro Restaurant bow their heads over steaming bowls of pho, traditional vietnamese noodle soup. The eatery offers pho varieties to suit any palate, including rare and well-done beef, chicken tenders, and assorted seafood. Once the bowls are served and diners put on their slurp-guard suits, they can customize their dishes with traditional accoutrements such as thai basil, bean sprouts, sriracha, and fresh lime wedges. The menu also includes other authentic Vietnamese dishes, such as dumplings filled with shrimp, braised duck, and rare beef mixed with egg noodles and flavorful greens, as well as manager’s favorites such as singapore curry noodles and seafood lo mein.
Since opening more than 22 years ago, Taste of Thai Halal has celebrated the traditional flavors of Thailand with a halal menu of curries, noodle dishes, and seafood. In addition to classic dishes such as pad thai and fried rice, adventurous palates can sample squid tossed in tamarind-spiced curry, or duck flavored with fresh ginger root and hot peppers. Dessert takes the soothing shape of coconut ice cream or bites of rasmalai, an Indian delicacy made with cheese dumplings and sweet cream.