Set within a warm, romantic atmosphere that melds modern accouterments with ancient mystique, Thai Basil regales foreign fare finders with a menu of Asian fusion cuisine. Commence exotic eating excursions with a cream-cheese-stuffed crab cheese wonton ($4.95) or lemongrass mussels ($7.95), or dive into a squall of stir-fried shrimp swimming in a spicy sea of tamarind sauce ($11.50 at dinner). The red-curry chicken slathered in peanut sauce ($9.95 at dinner) tantalizes taste buds, and the stir-fried dynamite noodles delight pasta-prone diners and consternates cartoon coyotes with an explosive sauce, diffused with chicken, beef, or tofu ($8.95, $9.95 for shrimp). Veggie-philes can sink their herbivorous teeth into the thai eggplant ($8.50) as they partake in a sudsy potable from the full bar.
Stefano’s Gelato is a frozen fantasy world of handcrafted gelato and sorbetto, whose milky frigidity boasts intense flavors free of hydrogenation. Sample gelato editions such as pistachio hazelnut, banana orange cream, and Butterfinger. Sorbettos (close relatives of gelato that are crafted with fruit and purified water) delight the mouth with wild berry, mango, passion fruit, and other zesty essences. Prices depend on how you want to eat your treat—grab a 3-ounce small glob of gelato for $3, a medium 4-ounce serving for $4, or a pint for $8. Cones are also available ($1 for kids’ cone, $2 for value cone), and carbonated throat-cleansers await your esophagus in the form of 16- or 20-ounce Italian sodas ($3.50/$4.50), retro sodas ($0.50), and Mexican coke ($1.50).
La Fountain Mexican Restaurant caters to cravings with a packed menu of Mexican favorites. From quesadillas to chile relleno platters, the cooks whip up authentic dishes that can be paired with rice and beans to create stick-to-your-ribs feasts. Homemade flour tortillas transform the typical burrito or taco into something special, and breakfast is available at any time of day.
Executive chef Ken Rose—the flavor architect behind Tiburon Fine Dining—tantalizes gourmands with his variation on popular American dishes. Each dish bursts with high-quality ingredients, ranging from artisanal cheeses to wild-caught seafood that includes salmon and Pacific white shrimp. Servers coax out flavor notes with the help of a staggering wine list that catalogs varietals hailing from California, Australia, and Italy. Located in The District, The Wild Rose lies within walking or hopscotching distance of shopping and theaters.
The owners' menu of traditional Polynesian dishes hearkens back to their upbringing on Hawaii. Within an open-air kitchen, the staff grills and fries fresh ingredients and assemble them into lunch plates inspired by Hawaii's diverse immigrant population. Techniques and flavors borrowed from Japanese, Korean, and Indian cuisines are woven into Polynesian favorites, such as frybread, barbecue pork, and chicken-curry rice bowls. Through the tall windows of the exhibition storefront, sunshine spills in to bathe the eatery's goldenrod walls in natural light and allow diners to wear their mining helmets solely as fashion statements.
At Rumrz, amid lively rooting and cheers, families and friends linger over plates of hearty burgers, wings, and ribs and frosty mugs of draft beer. Meals pair with bucket-size servings of the kitchen's renowned fries, which are seasoned with spices such as garlic, parmesan oregano, or sports-drink powder. Some of their specialities include a roasted red pepper burger, with mayo, roasted red peppers, bacon, onions and cheese, and a teriyaki chicken burger, topped with mayo, onions, lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, and sprouts.