When the family behind L5 Thai Restaurant & Lounge immigrated to the United States from Thailand, they brought along a deep love for their native cuisine. The menu aims to capture the region's complex and distinctive blend of flavors and spices. However, truly re-creating these flavors requires a more personal touch, and the chefs acknowledge this by making some noodles in-house and by giving nicknames to every single peanut. This commitment lends even more authenticity to the selection of familiar Thai staples, including fragrant curries, stir-fries with spicy chili sauces, and Thai-style barbecued spare ribs.
The dining room's white tablecloths appear crisp and minimalist, but the red walls, ceiling-mounted surfboard, and chrome-laden bar seating area imbue the ambiance with some casualness and whimsy. Leafy plants sit in the corner, adding a verdant splash to contrast the reds, golds, and ambers defining the majority of the space.
Thai Dishes Restaurant utilizes authentic cuisine to load bellies with a balanced blend of exotic ingredients and spices. Arouse appetites with starters including spicy, deep-fried fish cakes ($6.95) while titillating eyes with one of the eatery’s four LCD TVs. From 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., patrons can climb over midday humps with lunch specials, such as Thai-style barbecue chicken served with steamed rice, fried wontons, and salad ($6.95).
Black-and-white photographs provide a stark contrast to Tasty Thai's bright fuchsia walls. The chefs strive to strike this same balance between bold flavors and delicate accents in their traditional Thai dishes. Accents of pineapple, lemongrass, and coconut milk appear in pan-fried noodles and fried rice. For many dishes, guests can choose from a host of proteins, such as chicken, shrimp, and tofu, then select a spice level, which, like lists of your favorite fingers, is on a scale of 1 to 10.