Having developed his expertise in Thai gastronomy in Thailand, Colorado, and New York City over the course of more than 20 years, chef Chai Chunton now flaunts his culinary skills in Lotus Thai Restaurant & Bar. Vines of steam rise from time-tested noodle, vegetarian, meat, and seafood dishes, curling toward nostrils with the hot, sour, sweet, and salty notes of the region's cookery. Adorned by a design team from Thailand, the lounge's dining room is laced with leather booths, ornate Eastern flourishes, and antique chopstick sharpeners. Against the sonic backdrop of occasional evening DJ sets, events in a private room launch the sounds of revelry against exposed-brick walls and a collaborative painting by acclaimed artists Pairoj Pichetmetakul and Kittisak Chontong.
Formed of exposed brick and flowing fuchsia drapery, the modern, Zagat-rated Beet Thai has garnered a mélange of press for its distinct lunch and dinner dishes, which borrow select flavors from the culinary powerhouses of France and Japan. Steaming starters of crab and shrimp cool in savory chili-peanut & plum dipping sauces, and entrees utilize champagne, bamboo, and mango to ramp up pork chops and crispy duck.
Cuisine Type: Japanese and Asian fusion
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 11?25
Parking: Metered street parking
Alcohol: Beer and wine only
Delivery / Take-out Available: Yes
Outdoor Seating: No
Pro Tip: Never try, never know
At ASEA Fusion, the chef and kitchen staff don't craft flavorful fusion cuisine simply to pander to their many customers' cravings. To them, melding culinary traditions is about taking the tastiest delicacies each culture has to offer and elevating them to a gourmet level. That's why their menu boasts a large assortment of Japanese dishes and well as recipes from Southeast Asia. Japan's representation comes in the form of sushi, udon, teriyaki, and yakitori??grilled meats and veggies served on sticks. But diners are also delighted to find Malaysian staples such as shrimp sauteed in a spicy paste, Vietnamese lemongrass chicken, and an assortment of Thai curries.
Though its name leaves no question about its place of origin, Born Thai has found a comfortable home in Prospect Heights. The restaurant’s décor reflects the neighborhood’s up-and-coming hipness, with clusters of bare light bulbs that illuminate metallic walls. Far more important than any decorations, however, is the food, which can be described as a modern approach to traditional Thai cuisine. Crispy duck rolls and crab cakes headline the menu of appetizers; both dishes set the stage nicely for main attractions of tofu covered with tamarind and shrimp sautéed in a sweet pumpkin-basil sauce. Adventurous eaters would be wise to listen to Jill Weiskopf, the New York Magazine writer who promises they “will find their nirvana in the fiery drunken noodles.” Rather than carry around a burdensome fire extinguisher, just order a creamy thai iced tea following the meal. And if that’s not enough to cool you down, there’s always a fried banana served with ice cream.
VIP @ Thai Cuisine's chefs embrace the diverse spectrum of sweet, spicy, and savory flavor combinations that define Thai cuisine. The menu features seven different curries that incorporate bold hints of pumpkin, lime leaves, and bamboo shoots to distinguish themselves, and duck, squid, or tofu lend a protein-rich backbone. Although they import rice from Thailand, the chefs also adopt a homespun approach by making shrimp dumplings and peanut sauces in-house and by tailoring the amount of spice to each diner's preference. In contrast to the vivacious cuisine, the dining room adopts a much more reserved, intimate ambiance. Rectangular pendant lights gently illuminate the walls' exposed brickwork, and twinkling strands of crystals hang from the ceiling above the bar area.
At Qi Thai Grill, the kitchen's creativity shines especially brightly in the signature Qi Pad Thai. That doesn't mean the chefs have spurned the classic noodle dish crowned with crushed peanuts. They serve steaming plates of that, too. Their signature style is just a little different?saut?ed vermicelli noodles come wrapped in an egg-white crepe, and the dish is studded with seafood ranging from sun-dried shrimp to calamari, and finished with fresh mango?plus, of course, the classic crushed peanuts. Like the two versions of pad thai, the rest of the selection carefully balances creativity and classics. For every cast-iron pot of ginger-steamed Chilean sea bass, there's something a little more traditional, like a coconut milk curry.