Veteran chefs prepare Stir Crazy’s Chinese, Japanese, Thai, and Vietnamese dishes on sizzling woks right in the dining room. So while diners-to-be ponder the menu of more than 50 traditional and innovative Asian creations, they'll witness knives quartering veggies and flames lapping at the edges of the wok as the sights, smells and sounds of the kitchen come alive around them. Should your taste buds riot at the sight of all this mouth-watering action, satisfy them with an appetizer like the Ahi tuna and avocado poke ($8), a spicy stack of fresh fish and cool veggies. For main courses, choose from an array of entrees like the sweet and sour chicken, a dish featuring tender pieces of crispy chicken tossed with broccoli, red and green peppers, onions, carrots, and pineapple in a sweet and tangy sauce ($12.50). Or manage your intake with the Crazy Feature menu, which offers smaller-in-portion but towering-in-flavor classics like Mongolian beef or sesame chicken, served with a crispy veggie spring roll (all $8.88).
Pleasing aromatic combinations of meat and spices fill the air at Siam Square, an authentic Thai cuisine restaurant located in Indianapolis’ Fountain Square neighborhood. With limited street-side parking directly in front of its entrance, Siam Square is distinguishable from other nearby businesses thanks to an easily-visible red external awning. The restaurant’s interior is equally bright and lively, with predominantly yellow walls that merge into large sections full of orange and red tones. A small, wall-mounted chalkboard near the main entrance provides guests with one or two “Employee Picks” selections on any given day, though the usual assortment of classic noodle stir-fry, curry and seafood dishes still abound, utilizing various combinations of lime, coconut, peppers and even pineapple. Thai iced tea is a popular beverage choice there.
The ornate Asian tapestries that line the walls and tables of Thai Kitchen Restaurant reflect the authenticity and precision with which the eatery’s chefs craft signature curries and noodle dishes. The family recipes were tested and perfected over multiple generations, notable as much for their colorful presentation as they are for their piquant spices—though some entrees arrive on hot plates, others rest on beds of noodles and vegetables in the same clay pots used for baking. Though the house specials tend to evoke an air of the exotic, they share a menu with the dishes familiar to the first-time Thai-food eater, including the pad thai and pad kee mao dishes that have made Thai cuisine famous around the world. The soft glow of hanging lamps illuminates steam rising from the fragrant noodles and lends drama to chopstick duels over coveted spring rolls.
The chefs at My Thai Cafe know that you eat with your eyes first, crafting classic dishes and handed-down recipes with an artist's precision and whimsy. They prepare generous bowls of tom-yum soup brimming with shrimp, lemongrass, kaffir-lime leaves, and galanga root, and stir-fry dishes including the pad ped with choice of meat and chili paste—a spicy concoction originating from the kitchen of the owner's aunt. Chefs garnish dishes with edible handiwork: carrots cut into butterflies, rice formed into heart shapes, and bunches of cilantro woven into fans for cooling fiery tongues.
True to its name, China Bistro is a hot spot for orange chicken, lo mein noodles, and other Chinese classics. But the casual dining eatery's cooks also prepare dishes native to Vietnam and Thailand. Specialties include creamy thai panang curry, mongolian beef, and grilled pork chops in traditional vietnamese seasonings. Vegetarians can dig into plates of crispy bean curd or The Farmers Market–a fittingly named dish with six types of vegetables.
As staples of Durham's culinary scene for more than 20 years, the Hui family has showcased its homestyle take on northern Thailand classics at Thai Lanna since 2004. To enliven recipes passed down through the generations, owner Ratana Hui cooks with herbs and thai chili peppers plucked straight from her personal garden. These up the flavor ante of everything from jumbo shrimp coated in a garlicky sweet-and-sour sauce to pork stir-fried with ginger and carrots in a housemade lemongrass sauce. All of Thai Lanna's familiar curries, noodle dishes, and fried-rice options, meanwhile, can be easily prepared as vegetarian entrees.