For 18 years, David Fliger lived the life of an adman, traveling the world and eating fine foods. But inside the Thailand-born foodie lurked a restaurateur, a seed perhaps planted by his mother, Nicha, who also left a career in advertising to start a restaurant. Today, Nicha and David work together in the kitchen of Latitude Eight Thai Grill, named after a region in southern Thailand known for fresh seafood. This regional specialty is reflected in the menu’s ocean-centric dishes, such as crab fried rice, grilled halibut, and garlic prawns. Servers stride from table to table, recommending dishes and wine pairings inside what Phoenix Magazine dubs a “modern and minimalist” dining room. The dark wood floor and tables serve as a stark contrast to the white banquettes and walls. Spotlights illuminate an oversized piece of art that’s textured to resemble rolling waves or a wall made out of pasta.:m]]
At Pink Pepper Thai Cuisine, spice whisperers summon sauces such as thai curry and lemon chili to grace plentiful portions of chicken, beef, and veggies. Twelve appetizers such as baked mussels glazed with spicy cream sauce ($8.95) and marinated Chicken on Sticks ($5.95) set the course for meals to come, like explorers on their way to a legendary city made of foie gras. Wreathed in shredded cabbage, the pattaya chicken ($9.95) swims in an ocean of sweet-and-sour garlic sauce spiked with curry powder, and Arizona fried rice ($10.95) steeps its wok-fried grains and veggies in a thai curry paste before chefs toss in beef, chicken, or pork. Patrons can also sip traditional beverages such as thai iced tea and coffee ($2.95) or head to Pink Pepper’s full bar to show off their good posture by balancing glasses of beer and wine on their perfectly level heads.
Thai cuisine incorporates an endless range of tiny chile peppers, coconut milks, basil, and other ingredients. Thai Buffet’s chef and owner Lumjuan (Joanne) Ritdej, originally from Puntangchai, Thailand, draws upon 50 years of experience to bring those building blocks together into brightly hued and adventurous dishes. Lemongrass and other herbs may lend their flavor and color to green curries, while pumpkin contributes a sunset palette to red curries with beef. The buffet sprawls across the dining room during mealtimes, and sandwiches brim with American or Thai ingredients.
At Satara, chefs preps a plethora of seafood, chicken, and tofu dishes with authentic Thai sauces. Amid walls adorned with abstract and figurative artwork by Scottsdale artist Domingo Domingo, diners relish piquant curries prepared for omnivores, herbivores, and troubadours alike. Between bites ranging from mild to thai spicy, patrons can sip boutique wines fetched from both small and featured vineyards.
Jasmine Cafe's globetrotting selection of Asian fare entrances taste buds with a dazzling parade of authentic Chinese, Japanese, and Thai dishes made with traditional ingredients and techniques. Treat adventurous appetites to the Chinese menu, which showcases spicy szechuan chicken ($8.50), or peruse the Japanese menu's bounty of teriyaki dishes ($11.95+) and udon noodle bowls ($7.95+). Thai selections form a delicious constellation, whose glittering stars include red-curry chicken on a crimson bed of saucy veggies ($12.95).
If you've always wanted to visit Bangkok, but could never learn the Internet to order a plane ticket, today’s Groupon will get you the next best thing: $40 worth of acclaimed Thai cuisine at Malee’s Thai Bistro for $20. AZ Central, whose readers picked Malee's as Best Thai Restaurant of 2009, describes the intimate Old Town restaurant as a “great place to warm up and chill out after an afternoon of browsing local shops and art galleries.” Malee's food is MSG-free, and if you have special dietary needs, the chefs will happily de-glutenize or vegetablize any order. You can also have any dish custom-spiced to your preferred level of spicy.Unfortunately, no amount of angry letters directed at government officials or Hollywood scientists could stop the heat from rising. Temperatures soon reached an unheard-of 70 degrees, and Arizona repealed its mandatory "10 Layers of Underwear to Prevent Moral Perversion" statute and became the first territory to make reading illegal for children under six, believing that the brain waves of young readers were causing the heat wave. A delegation of Arizona preachers even visited the equator to yell at the sun, but to no avail. No cure was ever found for the rising temperatures, and today, temperatures in Phoenix rarely drop below 200 degrees.