Sedthee welcomes diners with a warm atmosphere and gracious hospitality. The menu is packed with traditional Thai cuisine, including stir-fried dishes, hearty curries, and delicately flavored desserts. Start a gustatory voyage with the prosperous baby––baby back ribs in Thai herbs and flash fried for a texture bonus ($8.95)––before delving deeper into the dark heart of flavor with the Jungle Feast, which bathes crispy duck (or vegan soy duck) in a tub of sweet pineapple, grapes, and a spicy coconut-milk forest curry made with freshly-ground spices ($13.95). Sedthee's specialty spicy lamb chops come grass-fed from New Zealand to get a marinated coat of Thai spices ($15.95), and Devil's fried rice, which comes with a choice of chicken, beef, pork, or tofu ($7.95), and the creamy medium spice of the Panang curry, made with fresh, hand-juiced coconut milk (starting at $7.95), can please traditionalist palates. A dessert order of taro custard cake à la mode ($5.95) places the sweet end cap on top of the dinner pipe.
You could argue that every meal at Gaucho's Village includes live entertainment—servers are constantly visiting tables with humongous skewers of meat and slicing off choice pieces with a sword-like knife. To summon such a show to your table, all you need to do is turn a small marker over to display its green side, or turn your "Bring on the Meat" t-shirt right-side out. Then, you select from an array of flame-roasted cuts, ranging from the traditional picanha, or sirloin cap, to tri-tip and filet mignon wrapped in bacon. The blazing churrasco fires backstage also cook lamb, pork, and sausage, and the menu suggests a proper wine pairing for each cut.
Though these meats have been featured on the Travel Channel's Tastiest Places to Chow Down, they aren't the only impressive spectacle at the restaurant. The real show occurs on weekends, when samba dancers and DJs rev up the always-festive atmosphere. Guests who would rather kick back than shimmy along can visit the attached lounge. There, a separate lounge menu boasts empanadas and coxinha—fried balls of chicken and cheese—as well as flavored hookah on a back patio fenced with live bamboo.
Captained by executive chef Sean Poplar, Barbarella’s kitchen dishes out a seasonal menu of highly sophisticated, eclectic cuisine. When possible, dishes contain local, organic, and hormone-free ingredients sure to please carnivores, herbivores, and their hybrid omnivore offspring. Start off a supper with a rich burrata bruschetta loaded with prosciutto and sun-dried tomato pesto ($11) or a satisfyingly savory hummus with teriyaki mushrooms and hot loaves of pita ($11). Protein-packed platters, such as a braised short rib with crispy polenta and brussels sprout chips ($15) or Pacific salmon with rice cake, shitake mushrooms, and ponzu ($15), stifle deafening belly roars, and veggie dishes such as the mushroom risotto with shaved scallions and truffle oil ($8) lightly tickle the appetite into a blissful slumber. An assortment of pizzas, including a delicious discus topped with chicken sausage and parmesan reggiano ($16), are created using egg-free dough whipped up by Barbarella’s cooks in-house, not in the car on the way to the restaurant.
A coral tree sprouts from the center of Rockwell Table & Stage's outdoor dining area, illuminated by both an in-ground sidelight and the moonlight pouring through the slats of exposed wooden beams. This atmospheric patio is a fitting arena for the menu's artful plates, such as the goat cheese and truffle ravioli, which chefs bathe in roasted-tomato sauce and pine-nut aioli. Inside, meanwhile, bartenders furnish glasses with signature tonics and glasses of wine as live musicians summon toe taps and head nods from the elevated stage. Plush booths, flickering table candles, and stone walls emanate rustic charm, creating the perfect vibe for a first date or a romantic game of Dungeons and Dragons.
Rambutan's elegant eatery welcomes diners to colorful feasts of coconut-milk curry, small plates of skewered barbecue, spicy papaya salad, and fragrant lemongrass noodle soups. Like a chauffeur wearing skinny jeans, the décor is cosmopolitan hip with a refined elegance, surrounding diners at close-knit tables with soft lighting. As guests sit on luxurious, padded seating, they tweeze lacquered chopsticks around morsels of water-chestnut-stuffed steamed dumplings, or they plunge spoons into aromatic galanga seafood soup or oyster mushroom tom yum. Weekends often find revelers sipping craft cocktails in the adjacent lounge area while DJs churn out danceable beats.
Now in its third generation of management, Taix satisfies the palates of Franco-feasters with a menu of country cuisine presented in generous portions. Begin the edible expedition with a bowl of traditional french onion soup ($6.95), or start with a half-dozen escargots in garlic butter ($12.95), which arrive at tables still modestly dressed in their shells to accommodate prudish American attitudes toward gastro-nudity. Leaf lovers can focus their forks on an assortment of salads, such as a mélange of baby greens, sesame-seed dressing, tomatoes, and bell peppers topped with a boneless chicken breast ($12.95), and carnitarians can seek out the proteined pleasures of grilled skirt steak with lemon parsley butter and pommes frites ($18.95). Roasted fresh salmon is served with champagne cream ($19.95) to permit taste buds to toast their good fortune, and a savory schedule of daily specials allows mouths to keep track of what day it is without chewing on a calendar. Midday munchers can sate their cravings with a lunch menu sporting an array of sandwiches and other selections suited to daytime dining.