On the Bayou is more than the name of Kevin Ruttley's restaurant?it's also a description of his former address. The Louisiana native was born and raised "quite literally on the bayou," so it's no surprise that he knows a thing or two about Cajun and creole cuisine. Ruttley's menu features not one but two types of gumbo, a variety of New Orleans style po' boys, and plates of blackened redfish and overloaded jambalaya. Corn and crab meat soup and appetizers such as boudin balls and fried green tomatoes make for tantalizing starters.
Remington Cafe's cooks specialize in everything American, but their food doesn't stick to any one specific region. They host New Orleans-style oyster roasts and shrimp boils over the weekends, feature Philly cheesesteak ingredients in both sandwiches and pizzas, and augment the menu with a few Southern-style sides, like fried pickle chips. They serve these best-of-Americana dishes in a dining room that also evokes that theme: stone pillars and dark hardwood serve as a backdrop for bits and bobs of American design and history, including the covers of issues of Life magazine set into the bar top. Then there's Ebony & Ivory, where barbecue is king and each dish is as memorable as its first bite. The beef brisket and rib combo piles on pounds of succulent smoked meat and crispy sides that are easy to share, though you won't want to. It's also hard to miss the signature catfish sandwich, which stacks a full filet onto a bun that can barely hold its weight in breading and crunch.
Desserts are far from one-size-fits-all, and Vanilla Blue Frozen Yogurt & Bake Shop carries more than most. Since its opening in November of 2014, the shop has tempted palates with treats of varied tastes and temperatures, from frosting-topped cakes to cherry-topped frozen yogurt. Smoothies manage to appeal to both the sweet tooth and the calorie counter at the same time, while those who don't fancy sugar can opt instead for a soothing cup of tea, a potent cup of coffee, or a healthy but totally boring cup of water.
J's Lounge aims to be all things for all people. The casual, laid-back space features the dim lighting and neon accents of a club-like lounge, the flat-screen televisions of a classic sports bar, and the extensive shisha collection of a hookah bar. Groups can decide to settle in for the evening and share a hookah, choosing from any of the 30 available tobacco flavors. As the slightly sweet smoke begins to drift throughout the room, guests can indulge in a round of beers or a pitcher of frozen margaritas from one of the two bars before perusing the food menu. Much like the rest of the lounge, the menu features a similarly broad focus. Beer-battered onion rings, half-pound burgers, and New York-style pizzas topped with discontinued subway tokens represent classic American fare, although the selection also features baklava and gyros stuffed with lamb that spent 18 hours slow-cooking in assorted spices. The revelry-inducing atmosphere doesn't end until as late as 3 a.m. on Friday nights, which is the evening when live DJs lure crowds out onto the lounge's dance floors.
Siam Square is to Bangkok what Times Square is to New York—a place full of trendy shops, four-star hotels, and gourmet food. The folks at Siam Square Thai Cuisine want to bring the essence of that spot into their restaurant, but they don't rely on the chic decor or panoramic photographs of the square that hang around the dining room to do it. It's the menu's contemporary take on traditional Thai dishes that truly embodies Siam Square's hip, urban vibe. Chefs grill freshwater prawns to top with Pa-nang curry reduction and sprinkle with kaffir lime leaves, or they roast half-ducks, fry the skin to make it crispy, and apply a tamarind sauce galze. All their curries and stir-fries can be made with chicken, tofu, pork, beef, or shrimp, and there are vegetarian options upon request. Noodle dishes include traditional pad thai, spicy drunken noodles, pad-woon-sen (stir-fried clear noodles), and pad-see-eew (wide rice noodles served with broccoli and egg).
To handle the heat of a spicy curry, diners can order red and white wine and sake, or pick from a beer selection that includes SweetWater brews as well as Thai and Chinese imports. Diners can also sip thai iced tea or coffee as they linger in the modern dining room, which features red accents that pop against cream walls.