At Baisi Thai the staff takes presentation seriously. Sushi chefs decorate rolls such as the Rainbow Dragon, Green Turtle, and Caterpillar to look like their namesakes, with caviar eyes and vegetable horns. Bartenders fill cocktail glasses with neon-green Baistinis and other mixed drinks and, in the kitchen, curried noodles collide with stir-fried veggies and traditional Thai basil. The airy, spacious eatery, located at the Oakbrook Center mall, is striped with translucent space dividers, and avenues of thin, vertical reeds sway between orange columns and UN delegates researching models for international flavor cooperation.
Chefs imbue Zakuro Thai Sushi Cuisine's intimate dining room with the aromas of traditional Thai noodle dishes, fried rice, and seven types of curry. For dinner, they craft specialties such as deep-fried soft-shell crab with basil sauce, served with vegetables and a choice of white, brown, or fried rice. At the sushi counter, chefs hand-roll maki including the Hollywood, layering spicy tuna and shrimp tempura inside kelp or soybean paper and topping the bundle with fried onions and seared Cajun albacore. The softly lit restaurant boasts wood floors, Asian figurines, and tall, twig-like accents that are lit from beneath, casting spindly shapes on the walls like two saplings making shadow puppets.
Meals at Thipi Thai are all about indulging the senses. Its assortment of classic Thai comfort foods deftly balance sour, sweet, and salty flavors, while intensely aromatic ingredients such as curry paste and basil tickle noses. After warming starters such as traditional tom kha kai soup, diners move onto entrees of fried rice tossed with shrimp and calamari, or duck in red curry sauce. These dishes can run the gamut from mild to intensely spiced, but guests always have final say as to how much heat their taste buds can handle.
The restaurant's sensory atmosphere extends beyond the menu. Take the eye-catching dining room, for instance?its crimson walls are adorned with gilt-framed artwork, while saffron archways frame the umbrellas that dangle upside-down from the ceiling like chandeliers.
At Lai Thai Restaurant, daintily named appetizers often turn out to be savory, fried surprises. Golden bags, for example, are really wonton skins filled with crab and cream cheese. Likewise, the angel wings are stuffed chicken wings, battered and brimming with bean thread noodles, veggies, and more ground chicken. The menu’s entrees typically bear more transparent titles: spicy catfish, fried rice, and pad thai all constitute popular specialties. Five types of curries—from panang coconut to pineapple shrimp—quell spice cravings, and the sweet almond beef mixes almonds, water chestnuts, and onions in a brown sauce, allowing for a more satisfyingly crunch than eating uncooked noodles out of impatience.
Spicy, subtle, sweet, and sour: that might sound like a lot to handle, but when it comes to a traditional Thai meal at Thai Sawasdee, the chefs aim to create a harmonious blend of all these flavors. From five styles of curry to fried rice dishes and specialty entrees, the menu captures many authentic Thai dishes at this cozy eatery.