General Manager Yace Hang and the chefs at Rak Thai Bistro prepare authentic Thai fare for lunch and dinner, enlivening palates with five levels of spice scaled from mild to Bankai hot. Fresh veggies, fruits, and succulent sauces populate the eatery’s fusion dishes, which exhibit an unrelenting willingness to shake hands with neighboring plates and a penchant for juggling the tapioca balls at the bottom of delectable bubble teas. Rak Thai's clean, modern dining room streamlines dining aesthetics with burnished wooden tables and minimalist accents, vibrant lime-green walls, and a potted bamboo sentry to prevent noodles escapes.
Lai Thai’s skilled chefs mingle bamboo shoots and rice with seared scallops, shrimp, and other ingredients to craft a diverse menu encompassing the cuisine of Thailand, Vietnam, and China. Golden brown crab rangoons ($2.35) seal crab meat and cream cheese inside bite-size capsules, and spoons sift through the Vietnamese pho ga noodle soup to find sliced chicken and rice noodles hidden in chicken broth ($6.95). The sizzling wor bar seafood ($12.95) charges from the pages of Chinese cookbooks, inviting diners to rescue shrimp, scallops, and crisp vegetables from the clutches of a rich gravy. Taste the special curry pad thai's stir-fry of noodles and tofu beneath a blanket of fresh bean sprouts and green peppers simmering in a smooth curry sauce ($8.95) or fork through a shredded papaya salad ($6.95) seasoned with garlic and Thai pepper. Vegetarians calm roaring stomach without gnawing on carrots carved to look like a T-bone steak with vegetable-based entrees such as the curry chay ($8.65) or pad broccoli ($7.95).
It's true that the view of Thailand guests get at Bangkok View is limited to the tabletops, but even so the restaurant presents quite a panorama. Dozens of traditional Thai dishes such as pungent papaya salad, mild and creamy karee curry, and basil-scented stir-fries with a choice of five different proteins fill the menu. Beyond that, the chefs also expand their perspective to touch on other crowd-pleasing dishes from all around Asia: crab-cheese appetizers, egg-drop soup, pho, and szechuan chicken.
There's also an added layer of customization to every order: chefs cook dishes to requested spice levels from 0 (no spice) to 10 (spicier than the Human Torch's kiss). Should customers go the hotter route, servers are at the ready with creamy Thai iced coffee and tea to cool things off.
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Though its food can be fiery, the atmosphere at Mai Thai Restaurant is decidedly cool. Its photographs of serene beaches create a tropical vibe, complemented by sheer curtains billowing between tables and lights twinkling from inside strung netting. Even appetizers of coconut shrimp and crispy calamari transport diners to a scenic shoreline.
Those hoping for something spicy aren't left adrift, however. The staff increases the heat in each dish depending on what number the diner gives them on their spice scale. Those preferring milder fare can ask for a 0-spice plate, while the truly adventurous can select the maximum 4-spice option, or simply ask for their meal served inside a bottle of sriracha sauce. Flavorful curries also follow a spectrum of spiciness, from the sweet Patpong panang to the more intense Bangkok green. And house specialties employ heat in a more literal way—the volcano chicken, for example, arrives sizzling atop a bed of vegetables with plum sauce.
The Thai Lotus kitchen comes alive at mealtimes, when chefs roll up their sleeves and begin preparing fiery noodles, garlicky stir-fries, and creamy red, green, and yellow curries. The aroma of fresh herbs fills the air as the chefs whip up Thai specialties like volcano chicken and sweet basil duck. The versatile chefs also extend their culinary expertise toward a variety of Chinese and Vietnamese dishes, including tangy orange chicken and simmering pho noodle soups. As the chefs labor in the kitchen, their guests perch on tufted booths, sipping fruity bubble teas and imported beers.
The skilled chefs at Thai Gourmet cook up a menu full of authentic curries, mouthwatering noodles, and piquant sauces representative of southeast Asian cuisine. Flavorful appetizers such as marinated chicken satay ($8.95) skewer pre-dinner stomach rumblings, and a dish of pad thai eases exotic pasta cravings with a mélange of roasted peanuts, sprouts, and tamarind sauce ($8.95+ for lunch, $13.95+ for dinner). Meals at Thai Gourmet run the gamut of flavors, colors, and textures from a simmering panang curry swimming in a milky coconut milk base ($8.95+ for lunch, $15.50+ for dinner) to a rich, twice-cooked curry duck served with mixed vegetables and red curry sauce ($28, dinner only). The eatery's spacious interior delights diners with cool blue tones and cushy booths while the inviting bar serves up signature drinks amid distinctive décor such as Thai sculptures and Yul Brynner bobbleheads.