Having developed his expertise in Thai gastronomy in Thailand, Colorado, and New York City over the course of more than 20 years, chef Chai Chunton now flaunts his culinary skills in Lotus Thai Restaurant & Bar. Vines of steam rise from time-tested noodle, vegetarian, meat, and seafood dishes, curling toward nostrils with the hot, sour, sweet, and salty notes of the region's cookery. Adorned by a design team from Thailand, the lounge's dining room is laced with leather booths, ornate Eastern flourishes, and antique chopstick sharpeners. Against the sonic backdrop of occasional evening DJ sets, events in a private room launch the sounds of revelry against exposed-brick walls and a collaborative painting by acclaimed artists Pairoj Pichetmetakul and Kittisak Chontong.
Glow Thai’s manu is rife with dishes described by Brooklyn Exposed as “texturally interesting” and “rare Brooklyn offerings.” One example being the pla rad prik, a combination of sole or tilapia mixed with a sweet chili sauce, which, according to the article, is only served in one other restaurant in Brooklyn. Other options include rice and noodle dishes that incorporate fruit, vegetables, eggs, and a choice of protein. Curry dishes abound, made with pepper, string beans, or milk straight from the udders of free-range coconuts. Many menu items use vegetables picked that morning or pickled using runoff water from rice instead of vinegar.
Thai Rock spices up mealtime by combining the lively flavors of authentic Thai cuisine with daily doses of live music and panoramic views of Jamaica Bay. As evening approaches, impress a date with your singing voice and pronunciation of traditional appetizers such as kui chai, a scallion-speckled veggie patty pan fried to perfect crispness, or som tom, a zesty and healthy salad tossed from string beans, carrots, green papaya, and a sauce of fresh lime, garlic, and chili. Mouths brought to boil by simmering pots of hot-and-sour coconut soup (tom kha) can cool off with a house salad of greens, cucumber, tofu, tomatoes, carrots, and a choice or peanut sauce or fresh ginger dressing. Entrees invite appreciation for any combination of noodle dishes, fresh seafood offerings, curries, or house specialties such as pad kaproaw—a colorful, chili-sauced conglomeration of white onions, bell peppers, snow peas, and fresh basil—or pad pak—a medley of mixed veggies, spicy ginger, and oyster sauce whose flavors meld equally well with beef, pork, shrimp, duck, scallops, or a fork. Cap off the five-fold feast with plates of bananas in sweet coconut milk or homemade fondue with challah bread.
The cooks at Chopstick and Taste of Bollywood fuse traditional Indian cuisine with Chinese cooking techniques, mixing in hints of Thai and Malaysian culinary traditions as well. Masterminded by chef Alok Pratihar, the menus include succulent seafood, piquant lamb entrees, and vegetarian dishes.
Formed of exposed brick and flowing fuchsia drapery, the modern, Zagat-rated Beet Thai has garnered a mélange of press for its distinct lunch and dinner dishes, which borrow select flavors from the culinary powerhouses of France and Japan. Steaming starters of crab and shrimp cool in savory chili-peanut & plum dipping sauces, and entrees utilize champagne, bamboo, and mango to ramp up pork chops and crispy duck.
The seasoned kitcheneers at Mango Thai Restaurant dish out a menu of both classic and creative Thai dishes augmented by a selection of beer and wine. Stretch out mouths before the big game with the crispy spring rolls ($3.95) or the peanuty chicken satay ($5.95). Six selections of fried rice, including the green-curry variety, dotted with bell pepper, green beans, and carrots, come with a choice of 10 herbivorous, carnivorous, and vociferous proteins that include seitan, salmon, and crispy duck ($7.50–$9.95). Diners can cast a net over the royal spice red snapper wading in a house-roasted chili sauce ($13) or ingest one of the eatery's copious vegetarian dishes, such as the Bok Choi 101, a classroom of brown sauce where seitan-based vegetarian duck or tofu tidbits learn the basics of the nutritious green ($8.50).
Mee Thai caters to Asian fare aficionados with an extensive menu of authentic Thai cuisine. Proverbially spring into lush feasting with an order of genuinely springy spring rolls, vegetarian rundles served with plum sauce ($5.95), or try a bowl of Tom Kha Gai, a chicken-based concoction that amalgamates coconut milk, red pepper, mushroom, and lime juice for an alluring dish that doubles as a scrumptious soup and an alternative source of fuel ($5.50). Herbivores can satiate their penchant for poultry with the vegetarian duck Pad Si Ew, a traditional flat-noodle dish served with faux fowl and Chinese broccoli, ($8.95), and meat eaters can indulge in the same, but with real duck ($15.95). Mee Thai provides fish-based dishes for seafood savants, such as the Tilapia Lad Prik, a helping of deep fried tilapia baptized in a ginger tamarind sauce ($12.95). Supplement Thai spreads with a warming cup of Hot Pot Tea, which comes in green, jasmine, or ginger flavors ($3).