Muang Lao Cuisine blends traditional dishes from Laos with familiar favorites from its neighboring country, Thailand, often splaying entrées out on the tables for entire parties to share at once. Along with dishes such as larb—meat with a splash of lime juice, cilantro, ground roasted peppers, and rice—bowls of Lao-style pho and vermicelli noodles with bamboo, mint, and cabbage waft authentic East Asian aromas into the air. In the cream- and mauve-colored dining room, emerald-green booths line a wall decorated with cloth hangings and paintings of the elephants that wove them with their dexterous trunks.
Beyond the twinkling string lights that frame Thai Jasmine's front windows, traditional tapestries dollop the cream walls as framed artwork of bronze elephants stares down at cozy booths. But decorative flourishes take a back seat when waiters begin to drop off steaming noodle and rice dishes—all available vegetarian or vegetarian-repellant by request. Alongside steaming crocks of hot and sour soup lay morsels of flame-kissed chicken, beef, and shrimp amped up with coconut milk, sweet-and-sour sauce, or several varieties of curry. After polishing off the last Thai-style chicken wing, patrons can retreat to the gated outdoor patio for a banana sundae with fried ice cream.
The chefs at Blue Mint Thai & Asian Cuisine take omnivores', vegetarians', and vegans' taste buds on a tour of the Far East with their menu of rice and noodle dishes. Appetizers such as fried or fresh spring rolls strike the dinner gong before servers present soups infused with lemongrass and coconut milk or salads crowned in peanut dressing. Stir-fried starches support a choice of meats or veggies, and curries bring their colorful flavor to sides of jasmine rice. Open since 2008, this casual pan-Asian BYOB eatery boasts vibrant red booths and low-top tables, as well as free WiFi.
Happy Bowl Asian Restaurant's spice-slinging chefs match a menu of classic Thai dishes with a casual BYOB policy. Amid seven curry selections swims the sweetly spiced salmon ($10.95) sailing through torrents of broccoli, bell peppers, and basil. Combination platters, such as chinese broccoli with crispy pork ($7.95) or beef in savory oyster sauce ($7.95) share plate space and spicy secrets with a choice of fried or steamed rice and a crunchy egg roll. Midday noshers can slurp up lunch-size portions of spicy basil noodle ($5.99) or comforting pad see ew ($5.99) before returning to less-delicious duties elsewhere.
At Bamboo Pho & Springroll, fragrant steam rises from large bowls of pho noodle soup filled with beef, chicken, or seafood. These bowls have earned notice from the Star-Telegram's DFW.com website, which named the restaurant’s pho one of the Five Hottest Dishes in DFW for couples to share. In another review, DFW.com professed to be "in love" with the pho’s "warm, complex flavors."
In addition to Vietnamese dishes such as pho and spring rolls, the restaurant dishes out Asian fusion cuisine such as lo mein, Korean barbecue ribs, pad thai, and steamed jasmine rice.
Though the cuisine leans toward the traditional, the decor is sleek and modern. Beneath high ceilings, a curved bar with glossy stone tiles lines up refreshing cocktails. The nearby hostess stand lights up with a chandelier whose beads resemble a fuzzy dandelion just before its seeds are whisked away by a breeze. All surfaces, from the bar to the tables are topped in granite, adding to the modern feel while providing protection from diners who like to cut their meat with hacksaws.