Orchard Thai’s menu spotlights well-spiced authentic Thai dishes. Begin with the Thai summer roll, a montage of lettuce and carrots nestled in vermicelli noodles and served with hoisin sauce and crushed peanuts ($4) or sip your way into satisfaction with the traditional spicy lemongrass soup seasoned with kaffir leaves, lime, and chili-tamarind oil with shrimp broth ($5). The braised short-rib massaman sautés potatoes and bell peppers in a sweet curry sauce ($28), and lightly-fried Thai doughnuts ($5) or sweet coconut sticky rice with ripe mango ($7) are on hand to extinguish spice-sparked fires. Other entree options include an array of curries, noodle dishes, and specialty surf.
Early each morning, when darkness is still fading from the sky, one of Thai Cuisine Restaurant’s chefs is already wide awake, breathing in the aromas of spices from an asian market. He or she plucks fresh vegetables and traditional ingredients from vendors' stands, selecting flavors for the day’s Thai dishes.
Back at the restaurant, curry sauces as colorful as they are flavorful drench bite-size pieces of meat, seafood, or tofu, which also feature in a variety of soups. Traditional pad thai and lo mein dishes share table space with spicier plates stir-fried with basil leaves, peanut sauce, and bamboo shoots. The accommodating chefs can customize meals according to taste requests, dietary restrictions, or allergies to foods that begin with q.
At Thai Singha, cooks specialize in fusing authentic flavors with meats that aren't typically found in Thai cuisine. Here, cognac-infused red curry coats grilled rack of lamb and housemade curry smothers chunks of alligator. Thai Singha's selection isn't limited to its adventurous signature creations, however. Sweet chili paste spices boneless duck, and cubes of chicken, beef, or pork stud popular dishes such as pad see ewe and drunken noodles. In addition to all these meaty mains, the culinary team also crafts vegetarian versions of pineapple fried rice and lemongrass soup.
Although Thai cuisine typically earns praise for its bold, spicy flavor combinations, the chefs at Red Bamboo Thai Restaurant aim to make their cuisine accessible to all palates, personalizing the level of spice from mild to Thai hot. Using red, green, and yellow curry pastes, the culinarians lend a piquant touch to the fragrant combinations of basil, coconut milk, and scratch-and-sniff bamboo shoots that make up the menu. They also wield sweet and spicy chili sauces to lend dichotomous flavors to entrees such as deep-fried red snapper or prawns.
Although each bite of food features complex combinations of herbs and spices, the dining room embraces a more subdued aesthetic. Earth-toned walls surround the booths and tables, remaining relatively unadorned except for a scattered collection of framed pictures and small tapestries.
Amid the glow of the bar’s warm red lighting, the culinary porters at Le Rouge Wine Bar & Tapas deliver patrons piquant packages of European cuisine and wine. Diners start with appetite-ensnaring tapas such as Kobe-beef sliders, accompanied by caramelized onions and truffle farmhouse cheese ($13), or a tomato-and-goat-cheese Napoleon crisply adorned with brioche croutons ($8). Fanatics of fromage may also dabble in artisan cheeses ($7), such as brie, parmegiano reggiano, or manchego, or shrewdly phone Marseille and ask for the cheese department. Sip a smooth-pouring Albrecht pinot blanc from Alsace, France ($12) while artfully bedecking the palate with the house-cured salmon tapas ($14), built with crème fraîche, paddlefish caviar mache, and a delicate sprinkling of je ne sais quoi. Or, methodically deconstruct a grilled and pressed sandwich, such as the chicken, pesto, sundried tomatoes, and smoked-gouda panini ($10), which may be pleasantly partnered with a domestic Wyland Cellars chardonnay ($14) from a Napa grape-stomping operation. Guests twine tines and sip fine vino amid Le Rouge’s sleek wine bar ambience, tastefully outfitted with posh white loveseats and warm brick walls. Polished tabletops provide a smooth surface for invigorating plate hockey, and romantically dim lights add ample ambience to an elegant evening out.