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From Our Editors
The ambience at Kittichai, wrote the New York Times' Frank Bruni in a 2004 review, is "not so much like a night in Bangkok as a night in Bangkok in a David Lynch movie." Colorful orchids float in midair above an indoor lily pond dotted with floating votive candles. Orange and yellow Thai silks cast a sunset glow. Amid the clean lines of maple lattice, the eye might encounter a swimming school of red cap orandas, whose head-plumage famously resembles an external brain.
It's "enough to lull you into deep meditation—until the next bite of wok-sizzled chili sauce," wrote Time Out New York in 2010. In the kitchen, Chef Angus An draws on his experience cooking for Michelin-starred restaurants to add drama to Thai cooking, much as the designers have done with the decor and the patrons at table eight do by revealing they're each other's father. Traditional flavors show up in strikingly modern forms: pearls of cilantro, green-curry froth, chili jam. As Bruni put it, these elements "appear with the kind and quality of meats that your neighborhood Thai restaurant may not have." Proteins include lots of fish and shellfish, along with duck, tofu, and meats made meltingly tender by long, hot baths in coconut-based broths.