King and I boasts expansive dinner and lunch menus brimming with traditional Thai favorites. Drop in through the skylight for dinner and assuage needy, codependent stomachs with an appetizer of chicken satay skewers served with peanut and cucumber sauce ($7.50). The Bangkok casserole brings together oceanic all-stars such as shrimp, calamari, mussels, and scallops to perform an Esther Williams musical number in a light Thai sauce ($14.95). Classicists can stick to the chicken pad thai ($9.95), Thai golden shrimp ($17.50), or spicy beef fried rice ($10.95). The red curry duck simmers roasted duck, sweet pineapple, fresh tomato, and fragrant coconut milk with peppers and basil leaves in a red curry ($13.95), creating a medley more thrilling than a fistfight atop the cone of a launching space shuttle.
Chefs put their sizzling woks to work at New St. Louis Wok, churning out Chinese takeout classics such as general tso’s chicken and beef with broccoli. Since 1996, the small eatery has ensured that the local community has mouthwateringly easy access to noodles, crab rangoon, and combination plates served with fried rice and an appetizer. Customers can choose to dine-in, carryout, or have their meal delivered by a bear trained not to steal chow mein.
Though it sits squarely in St. Louis, Broadway Oyster Bar might as well inhabit New Orleans. Even from the outside, the 150-year-old building exudes the revelry of the French Quarter, as an art-deco neon sign emblazoned with music notes joins colorful string lanterns to form an illuminated invitation for patrons to come in and live a little. Of course, inside is where the Cajun atmosphere is most apparent, especially in whiffs of dishes named the favorite Cajun/creole cuisine of the Sauce Magazine readers? poll every year since 2003. Chef Brad Hagen's acclaimed recipes include marinated alligator with homemade tartar sauce, shucked oysters topped with spinach cream sauce, and fresh-baked Gambino's bread filled with traditional po' boy fixings, such as fried catfish and shrimp. Feasts unfold in a cozy dining room or an open-air patio enclosed and heated in winter. There, local and national musicians grace the stage seven nights a week to play funk and blues tunes, just like Mom used to.