Red Parrot Asian Bistro puts a fresh take on Thai, sushi, and other pan-Asian specialties. The chefs pack the huge menu with specialty sushi such as the royal mountain roll, complete with steamed lobster, asparagus, and seared white tuna. Freshly cooked dishes also abound, including Thai noodles and Korean short rib, which guests can pair with cocktails or bubble tea.
The ingredients used in Chinese, Japanese, and Thai cuisine are vastly different, as are the methods of preparation. At Zhuang's Garden, they come together in surprising ways. Eight crackling hibachi-grill tables and a sushi bar represent Japan, and Chinese décor and the aromas of lo mein hint at the traditions of that nation. Glasses of wine clink together above plates of Thai food at the BYOB eatery, where the dishes include curry that is the brilliant yellow of turmeric or a banana salesman’s business card.
Voted the Best Ethnic Restaurant by Berks County Living in 2009, Thai Cuisine packs Southeast Asian flavor into each lunch and dinner dish. This laid-back eatery specializes in quality, vegetable-filled entrees such as the shrimp curry in red coconut cream sauce ($16.95) as well as lighter salads ($7.95–$8.95), and traditional, flat and tasty pad thai noodles ($15.95 with chicken). Each meat-centric dish can be made vegetarian-friendly, and diners can specify the spiciness of their order, selecting from mild, medium, hot, or hotter than the surface of the moon. The eatery also maintains a friendly BYOB policy, making its dining quarters a prime spot for group get-togethers.
The dining room at San Sushi Too & Thai One On defies all geographical logic. Turn one way, you're in Thailand; turn another, and you face Japan. On the Japanese side, "the service is rapid and polite and the sushi is fresh," according to the Baltimore Sun. Fourteen seats line the sushi bar, where the chefs prepare 18 creative house sushi specials. For the selection, just look to the chalkboard menus?or ask the chef to make an off-menu favorite, since they happily take requests.
Meanwhile in the kitchen, chefs pan-fry Japanese noodles and channel the flavors of Thailand into drunken noodles or panang goong: shrimp saut?ed with curry paste, coconut milk, and fresh basil. Baltimore City Paper praised the thom kha kai as "tangy and rich at the same time, a study in contrasts" in a 2002 roundup of the city's best soups. On the weekends, the restaurant also hosts live music and dancing once the dining room closes and the chefs fly back to their respective countries to sleep.
Spice & Dice Thai Restaurant livens up meals with bold flavors and equally bold surroundings. Beginning with traditional family recipes and spices imported from Thailand, the chefs prepare a menu of homestyle Thai cooking with a near-perfect Zagat score. These dishes include familiar favorites, such as pan-seared duck with a tamarind sauce and homemade curries, along with many appetizers and entrees that can be prepared vegan or gluten-free.
The casual, homespun spirit of Spice & Dice's menu carries through to its whimsical decor. "Spice and Dice's decor is so playful you can't help but be in a good mood," wrote The Baltimore Sun. Moods become even lighter on Thursday evenings when the restaurant hosts live jazz performances.
"I really love Thai food," says Jazmine Thai co-owner Josh Morton. "I love how it reflects all the taste buds, all the sensations, from sweet to sour, to spicy to salty." He shares this passion with his partner and executive chef Somsak Kechat, who artfully prepares and plates a wide range of dishes from Thailand's vast culinary treasure trove. With a Kechat does everything from sculpt fried rice into a heart to serve the shrimp-chicken-veggie dish inside a masterfully carved pineapple. He also prepares dishes such as the Spicy Sea of Love?a blend of seafood and green peppercorns?and the Evil Jungle Princess, a red curry he saut?es with shrimp, chicken, and veggies. Meanwhile, a bartender compliments these interestingly named meals with a lineup of refreshing libations that includes wine, sake, and the My Thai cocktail, a tropical blend of fruit juices, liquors, and giggle zest.