Curry Curry Thai wraps snouts in an aromatic spread of handpicked spices and pleases bellies with market-fresh vegetables and proteins served in traditional Thai style. Both the Smyrna and Marietta menus kick-start meals with appetizers including satay chicken, skewers of grilled, marinated chicken buttressed by peanut sauce and cucumber salad ($5.95 for five), and fresh-basil rolls, rice paper wrappers filled with shrimp and veggies ($3.95 for two). Curries, noodles, and fried rice dishes make filling entree options for vacant stomachs or empty fanny packs. Scoop up a bundle of pineapple fried rice—a vibrant potpourri of pineapple, onion, beans, carrots, black pepper, and curry powder ($7.95 for lunch, $9.95 for dinner)—or lap up a bowl of red curry—a mixture of coconut milk, bamboo shoots, and red and green bell peppers ($6.95 for lunch, $8.95 for dinner)—in an effort to prove dominance over utensils.
L’Thai Organic Cuisine & Wine Bar's menu lists organic Thai dishes including curries made with vegetarian-friendly sauces and noodles and fried rice prepared on special high-heat jet stoves that can be found on the streets of Bangkok. Appetizers, such as the vegetarian-style spring rolls ($4.95), and soups, such as the coconut-based tom kha ($4.95), lull appetites into a false sense of security before entrees, such as the garlic pepper beef ($12.95) or tippling drunken noodle tofu ($12.95), sneak in to deliver the culinary coup de grâce. Diners can supplement their smorgasbord with L'Thai Organic Cuisine & Wine Bar’s extensive beer and wine list, which overflows with fine fruit bloods such as Night Harvest chardonnay ($7/glass, $23/bottle) and Silver Ridge cabernet sauvignon ($7/glass, $24/bottle).
Siam Square is to Bangkok what Times Square is to New York—a place full of trendy shops, four-star hotels, and gourmet food. The folks at Siam Square Thai Cuisine want to bring the essence of that spot into their restaurant, but they don't rely on the chic decor or panoramic photographs of the square that hang around the dining room to do it. It's the menu's contemporary take on traditional Thai dishes that truly embodies Siam Square's hip, urban vibe. Chefs grill freshwater prawns to top with Pa-nang curry reduction and sprinkle with kaffir lime leaves, or they roast half-ducks, fry the skin to make it crispy, and apply a tamarind sauce galze. All their curries and stir-fries can be made with chicken, tofu, pork, beef, or shrimp, and there are vegetarian options upon request. Noodle dishes include traditional pad thai, spicy drunken noodles, pad-woon-sen (stir-fried clear noodles), and pad-see-eew (wide rice noodles served with broccoli and egg).
To handle the heat of a spicy curry, diners can order red and white wine and sake, or pick from a beer selection that includes SweetWater brews as well as Thai and Chinese imports. Diners can also sip thai iced tea or coffee as they linger in the modern dining room, which features red accents that pop against cream walls.
Voted Best Thai restaurant in 2009 and Best Restaurant for a First Date in 2008 by Creative Loafing, Spoon boasts a menu that is simple yet playful. Chef Aim Suteeluxnaporn, who runs Spoon with her sister Sujaree, adds spicy twists to authentic Thai mainstays such as chicken satay ($8), pad thai ($8 lunch, $9 dinner), and red curry with eggplant and zucchini ($11 for dinner), serving them as works of edible art presented on inedible plate-frames. Like the new Butterfinger candy bar, noodles, curry dishes, stir-fries, and seafood can be prepared medium spicy, hot, or Thai hot. The eatery's specialty entrees include the golden red snapper ($17) topped with a light ginger sauce and toasted sesame seeds. All entrees can be specially prepared with either tofu or vegetables to accommodate vegetarians.
Housed in the W Atlanta-Midtown, Spice Market bursts with the rich colors and flavors of Southeast Asia. Owner and chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten takes diners on a whirlwind tour of New Delhi, Bangkok, and Saigon via delicately spiced dishes. Begin your journey with toothsome peekytoe-crab dumplings served with sugar snap peas ($15) or spiced chicken samosas dipped in cilantro yogurt ($8). All dishes are served family style, inviting diners to set aside bitter primogeniture disputes and grandfather each other in to heaping platters of sautéed snapper with asparagus and shitake mushrooms ($24). The aromatic grilled strip steak rubbed in garlic, coriander, and sesame ($28) separates the men from the boys, the women from the girls, and the girls from the boys if they get too rowdy at co-ed canoe camp. Refresh your palate with a signature cocktail such as the lychee-raspberry Bellini (Cava Brut Reserva 06 Mont Marcal, lychee, and raspberry, $12), or knock back an Asian beer such as Kirin, Singha, Tsing Tao and Kingfisher (each $5). For dessert, nibble Ovaltine kulfi with caramelized banana and spiced milk-chocolate sauce ($7).
On Iron Chef America, Chef Tyson Wong Ophaso elevated curry to new culinary heights, incorporating the piquant spice into banana ice cream and braised sweetbreads. At King & I Restaurant, though, the lauded chef sticks to traditional Thai recipes and culinary techniques. Bamboo shoots and potatoes simmer in an antique steamer, and chefs grind spices with the same mortar and pestle that the original owner used 30 years ago. Additionally, Chef Ophaso enhances his menu of curries and seafood by plucking organic veggies from the restaurant’s own garden, nearby farmers' markets, or the fruit hats of passing conga lines.