Amidst burnished gold walls and soft lighting, Thai Bistro & Sushi's chefs use a palette of ginger, Thai basil, lemongrass, and chilies, painting a bouquet of aromas across the restaurant. Thin or wide rice noodles twine around chicken or shrimp in various sauces, and bamboo shoots and bell peppers float in coconut-milk curries, all perfumed with the range of spices. The spiciness of each dish can be adjusted to suit a palate sensitive to heat or a need to pretend to be crying at a third-grade production of Of Mice and Men. Inside the dining room, pieces of modern art, suspended statues, and images of Buddha punctuate the walls.
From the elegant and elephant-arted confines of their new Southaven restaurant, Bangkok Alley’s Thara and Dottie Burana keep the fresh fish swimming into their lunch and dinner dishes, where they morph into schools of sushi and Thai concoctions both creative and traditional. Starters such as the shrimp hompa—which envelops its shrimp with golden-fried panko and sweet-and-sour sauce ($6)—irrigate parched mouth-deserts to create an inviting climate for the seafood keow han, a mélange of shrimp, scallops, and the fish of the day served in green curry with basil sauce ($20). Otherwise, silence the howls of were-stomachs with heartier fare such as a grilled strip steak and panang sauce served with grilled asparagus and squash ($20), or a panang curry underscored with a coconut base and garnished with chopped Kaffir lime leaf (up to $14 with choice of protein).
At Leelavadee, flickering candles cast a buttery glow on tender morsels of chicken, beef, and shrimp simmering in spicy curries and homemade ginger sauces. Kitchen doors and portals to other dimensions fly open to reveal dedicated servers, their arms lined with plates of crispy duck, salmon steak, and stir-fried noodles. Meals arrive at blonde wood tables surrounded by Thai-style wall art that features elephants and pastoral hunting scenes.
Showcasing the spicy, aromatic cuisine of both Northern and Southern India, the chefs at Saigruha curate a menu of classics served alongside a handful of lesser-known dishes. More than a dozen veggie curries fill the menu alongside dosas—an Indian-style filled crepe—and spicy lamb and goat kebabs. In addition to Indian cuisine, servers carry out Pan-Asian dishes, such Szechwan noodles, fried rice, and the the Great Wall of Naan.