iZap Thai & Sushi Bar's name reflects the dual Thai and Japanese influences that inspire the chefs. Thai-style curries arrive with aromatic combinations of coconut milk, basil, and kaffir lime leaves, which ensure that each bite tastes more complex than a stew full of Rubik's cubes. To accommodate virtually any palate, the chefs can add varying amounts of spice to the entrees and create dishes that range from mild to molten hot. Although the Japanese sushi selection adopts a different approach with its clean, relatively simple flavors, the chefs do roll seven specialty maki with more assertive cores of sriracha sauce or jalapeños.
Cylindrical-pendant lamps and track lighting give the split-level dining area a slightly modern vibe, but the Thai statues and wall art echo the restaurant's commitment to its trans-Pacific influences.
Calling themselves "three Thais and a white guy," Naga Thai Kitchen's quartet of founders imparts creative, contemporary influences to traditional Thai cuisine. Flowers and dramatic, modern design elements spangle the dining room, interrupting orange walls with cutouts, staggered wood panels, and hanging fringes. When they're not plucking ripe lychee martinis off the branches of the bar, patrons select dishes from a menu of curries, stir-fried noodles, and chef's selection seafood plates.
Not every restaurant is inaugurated by the mayor. But in June 1999, Scott Wheeler used his mayoral gravitas to help celebrate the opening of Thai Orchid Restaurant. The eatery's auspicious beginnings accurately reflect its involvement in the community. Today, Thai Orchid Restaurant not only serves the neighborhood with a menu of Thai-style basil duck, sautéed beef in oyster sauce, and chicken with cashew nuts, it is also a member of the Greater Dallas Asian American Chamber of Commerce.
As soon as couples enter Banana Leaf, wine-bottle displays establish a romantic vibe, which continues at linen-dressed tables that sit beneath floral chandeliers. Get adventurous with dishes such as whole deep-fried red snapper or spicy pasta suki-yaki, a tangle of spaghetti-style noodles, egg, choice of protein, and a Cajun-Asian sauce. Stick around for the complimentary verrine.