A chalkboard sign sits on the red-brick sidewalk outside Beauregard's Thai Room, listing handwritten specials such as Thai-style red curry and grilled-chicken avocado salad. Walk past the restaurant's black wrought-iron fence and you'll find a courtyard lush with greenery that leads up into a historic building adorned with a bright-yellow canopy. When weather permits, guests can enjoy lunch or dinner in the outdoor courtyard; otherwise, it's just as nice to take a seat in the dining room, which is illuminated by chandeliers and, if the windows are open and it's a clear day, the occasional solar flare.
It?s quite forgivable if guests forget where they are inside Tara Thai. The atmosphere is more reminiscent of a boat in the water than a restaurant on land?as evidenced by the painted dolphins and fish that swim past port windows on the wall. Illuminated glass dividers etched with marine life separate the booths, and decorative seaweed sculptures rise high above diners? heads. As for the menu, it's populated by classic Thai dishes such as pad thai, fried rice, and panang curry studded with pieces of chicken, seafood, or tofu.
Cool sips of creamy green-tea frappes and thai iced coffee balance the fiery curries and delicately seasoned stir-fries at Elephant Thai Short Pump, whose chefs import their spices from Thailand each week. This touch of authenticity is palpable in the seasoned chicken, pork, and shrimp inside the kanom jeeb thai dumplings as well as in the spicy chili and garlic sauce that drowns helpings of vegetarian drunken noodles.