If you ask chef Lek Saicheur where her recipes come from, she may regale you with stories of the bustling open-air markets of Bangkok, Thailand, where vendors peddle fiery noodles and sizzling fried fish. While pursuing her master's degree at U.C. Davis, Saicheur shared these dishes with her fellow students in Thai cooking classes. Their enthusiastic response compelled her to eventually open up her own Thai restaurant—Thai Recipes.
Deep in the kitchen, Saicheur and her sister whip up a variety of traditional curries and noodle dishes. The aromas of fresh basil, spicy peppers, and garlic flood the air as the sisters simmer meats in pure canola oil or liquid hot magma. They complement their plates of pad thai, green chicken curry, and stir-fried clams with bottles of imported Thai beer and glasses of cool coconut water. Thai Recipes also purifies it's water by using a reverse osmosis system.
The cooks at KetMoRee compose a symphony of curries while scoring an orchestra of appetizers for the restaurant's melodious menu. The staff delivers starter plates of the chili-crusted calamari, which hold tangles of deep-fried squid surrounded by a tarn of homemade plum-chili sauce ($9). Afterward, bite into brisk salads such as the crisp cucumber salad ($4) or the sprightly yum nua salad, which consists of onion and cilantro shrouded with sliced grilled beef tenderloin and spritzed with mild lime dressing ($8). Specialties include the gai yang, a grilled marinated half-chicken soaked in house-made sweet-and-sour sauce ($13) and the flaming broccoli, which combines beef sautéed with broccoli and jalapeño for an entrée more explosive than a summer blockbuster starring both Quaid brothers ($11). Refresh tastebuds with a chilled shot of fruit-infused vodka, available in flavors such as kiwi-mango or strawberry-pineapple ($7). KetMoRee's banquet room hosts upscale after-hours entertainment, furnishing full bar facilities, high definition TVs, and premium sound and lighting equipment.
The spice specialists at Royal Thai Restaurant flip, season, and sear a variety of vibrant ingredients to craft a vast menu of classic Thai eats. Groups can practice learning to share by distributing an order of crispy spring rolls and, once everyone has gotten a fair lot, celebrate by dousing each other in wonton soup. Each helping of Thai-style barbecue chicken arrives at tables festooned in a pickled-garlic sauce. The conga line of zesty flavors continues with the red-curry chicken, before foursomes are allowed to cool down by noshing the ginger beef with mushrooms and onions or by rubbing their cheeks against a block of ice. Various teas are available for sipping and, following the dinner, Royal Thai Restaurant's selection of chocolate, strawberry, or coconut ice cream act as a sweet reward for tongues.
Ginger, saffron, and other aromatic spices mingle in Hot Basil Cafe's kitchen, where chefs create dishes inspired by Indian and Thai cuisines. The kitchen maestros prepare Thai dishes such as cashew-nut chicken and spicy catfish, filling place settings alongside tiger prawns and cream pepper chicken baked in an Indian clay oven. They round out each meal with Thai-style iced coffee and indian fruit lassis, as well as wines and ice creams.