Lit by warm red lights, V21's four shelves of spirits shimmer alongside stacked bottles of wine and a row of gleaming taps, sending festive scraps of light down on the lounge where guests laugh, chat, and pair sips with small plates. Music fills the air as cocktail-sipping patrons recline on leather couches and sample pulled-pork empanadas or greek nachos covered in marinated lamb and feta.
Glassware and china drown in extensive happy-hour menu offerings including small plates, wine, and handcrafted cocktails made with specialty vodkas. On weekend mornings, diners can stroll or roll through the door for a hearty brunch, read a complimentary newspaper, browse the web on free WiFi, or exchange tongue twisters with pet dogs on the outside patio.
The Bangkok Chef kitchen is a treasure trove of fresh, exotic ingredients—from juicy mangos to crisp kaffir leaves to fiery chilies. Chefs fold the ingredients into a comprehensive array of traditional Thai specialties, including curries, noodle dishes, and stir-fries. Inside the bustling kitchen, you'll find them flying around stirring tender duck and pineapple into a red curry and peeking into pots of bubbling tom yum soup, ensuring each dish is spiced to perfection. Servers carry dishes out into the bright dining room, where soft lights illuminate intimate tabletops and comfy booths, and expert bartenders blend up lychee martinis and minty mojitos. The restaurant sometimes closes briefly after the lunch rush before reopening in the evening, allowing chefs time to assemble fresh ingredients for dinner or attend rehearsals for the kitchen's upcoming production of Oklahoma!.
For more than 27 years, Kru Pong and his wife, Toon, cooked Thai cuisine in three different continents. They have since settled down and unpacked their recipes at Thai Gourmet Restaurant, where they pour all of their knowledge into every dish of curried duck and stir-fried tofu. Thai food is known for its spice, and Thai Gourmet certainly delivers on that front. But the restaurant has a few less expected tricks up its sleeve, capping off meals with cool thai custard, mango ice cream, and creamy iced coffees. It makes sense that Kru Pong keeps ice on hand at all times; he probably picked up the habit at his other job as manager of Kru Pong Thai Boxing.
Jenni's Noodle House draws inspiration for its noodle dishes from Jenni's mother, who "rocked noodles" for eight hungry children. Maybe that's why Jenni and her staff have so much fun preparing their unique creations, from the traditional Vietnamese pho to Jenni's mom's own "infernal" chicken curry. As Culture Map Houston puts it, "with dishes like 'Stir Me Crazy' and 'Sexy Salad,' you know you're going to have a good time."
At first glance, Asia Market seems like a normal Asian grocery store stocked to the brim with Thai spices, Asian veggies, and imported trinkets from Thailand. But the scent of Thai cuisine quickly reveals that this grocery store doubles as a restaurant. A kitchen in the back of the store is where chefs handcraft such traditional Thai dishes as classic Pad Thai topped with bean sprouts and panang curry with eggplant. These lowkey approach to Thai cuisine has earned the praise of writer Alison Cook who called the dishes "rough-hewn" yet "spirited" and awarded the "mom-and-pop shop" with the #74 slot on her Top 100 list for (The Houston Chronicle)(http://gr.pn/16QVUw7).
When ordering a dish at Bangkok Thai Cuisine, you always know what you’ll be getting into. The restaurant classifies its dishes according to four levels of spice: mild, medium, spicy, and Thai hot. The last of these is reserved for those brave diners whose dietary staples consist of jalapenos, deep-fried chilies, and dragon meat. The rest appeal to a more diverse crowd and include highlights such as sweet-and-sour tilapia and eggplant with basil. Despite the menu’s penchant for customization, there’s only one word to describe Bangkok Thai’s dining room: warm. Chairs of rich cherry wood juxtapose spotless white tablecloths, and plants bask in the glow of small red lanterns that hang from the walls.