This cash-only spot is located inside of a quaint Victorian house filled with natural light and fresh flowers. Don’t be fooled—the spiciness-level can reach wicked proportions, even for those who choose a 5 on the 1 to 20 spice scale. Green coconut curry with caffir lime and basil is a popular pick.
Pad Thai Kitchen is one of those places people call a “hidden gem” (read: amazing food, lackluster decor). One sight to behold, though, is the “flaming seafood” dish, tossed with garlic, ginger, and oyster sauce, and set aflame at your table. The popular pumpkin curry is an equal, if slightly less-adventuresome, work of art.
If a bowl of coconut curry broth with egg noodles and bone-in chicken sounds like just the thing on a cold, rainy day, consider PaaDee a second home. While the recipes may come from across the globe, PaaDee procures its produce from local farms and favors sustainable seafood and naturally-raised meats.
Owned and operated by husband-and-wife team Mao and Ting, E-San prepares rich cultural cuisine from Thailand’s Issan region. The extensive dinner menu consists of tasty tod, pad, and yum options that are distinctively Thai with Laotian influences. After an appetizer such as the deep-fried thai fish cake with cucumber sauce ($6), extend your tongue toward the yum goong salad, which features boiled shrimp prepared with tomatoes, onions, lime juice, and lemongrass ($10). Then, feast on the roasted duck curry, a serving of quacker cooked with red curry sauce, pineapple chunks, bamboo, and other greens ($13.50). Mao and Ting spend their mornings chasing down the day’s culinary necessities, ensuring that each menu item is prepared with nimble fingers and crisp, fresh ingredients.
Pork and sausage play heavily into the dishes at Chiang Ma, named after Northern Thailand’s largest city and inspired by its distinctive cuisine. The regional specialties—like pork belly curry with pineapple and peanuts—are your best bet, but you won’t regret throwing in the extra $2 to upgrade to sticky rice.
Andy Ricker won the James Beard Award, but that hasn’t stopped him from making frequent trips to Asia to improve his culinary toolbox. Don’t be surprised when you can’t find Pad Thai on the menu—you won’t miss it when you taste Ricker’s famous wings, which are deep-fried and tossed in caramelized fish sauce and garlic.