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.
Gingerine Fresh Asian’s chefs sling a varied menu of modern Asian fare, with dishes running the flavor gamut from sweet to sour to spicy. Amid charming floral art and checkered brick walls, rev up appetites for a lap around the culinary track with a slurp of noodle soup, such as the Diving Shrimps, a spicy broth chock-full of rice noodles, mushrooms, tomatoes, and synchronized-swan-diving crustaceans ($11.99). The Nutty Professor stir-fry tucks steamed broccoli, bean sprouts, and carrots into bed with a legume quilt of Noodle Swing peanut sauce ($10.99), and the Golden Yellow curry tests a tongue’s spicy threshold and knowledge of primary colors ($10.99). Gingerine Fresh Asian's desserts, including fried ice cream ($4.99) and Thai tapioca pudding ($3.99), seal the meal and signal the brain to order seconds.
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.