The ability to differentiate between red and green curry is the mark of a good Thai chef and a common tell among children faking colorblindness to skip school. Test your rods and cones with today’s Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of Asian cuisine at Asian Pearl in Glen Ellyn.
Chefs at Asian Pearl design a scrumptiously sprawling menu of Japanese, Thai, and Chinese cuisine. Waiters begin dining voyages by bringing out plates of fried soft-shell crab ($9), which cools itself by jumping into a citrus-soy dipping sauce. Primed palates then polish off traditional Thai noodle and curry entrees, such as the shrimp pad thai ($14) and spicy beef panang curry ($12), before toasting with a salmon-avocado roll ($5.50). Bento boxes ($18–$20) fill compartments with teriyaki, tempura vegetables, and california rolls, and the panang duck ($18) switches belly rumblings to silent mode.
Asian Pearl's chefs practice their craft with multitasking; in order to execute the bistro's extensive menu, they must be familiar with the tenets of Thai, Chinese, and Japanese cuisine. Rice noodles and fragrant curries occupy the Thai sphere of the kitchen, while woks toss Chinese favorites including sesame chicken and five-spice duck. Japanese influence appears both in tempura plates and in signature maki rolls, such as the Sky roll that tops shrimp tempura with masago, kanikama, and crunch. Asian Pearl also blends flavors in seafood or grill dishes, such as Tiger's Tears—marinated beef draped in a sauce they claim is "spicy enough to make a tiger cry," something that was said of Judy Garland.
A gentle bath of neon blue light descends over diners inside Asian Pearl's modernist dining room, punctuated by white tablecloths and mural silhouettes of golden trees. Neatly folded napkin peaks greet patrons as they sit down at the sushi bar, forming a crimson vanguard between the wood-and-silver chairs and the chefs' busy hands behind the glass. Around the perimeter of the dining room, thin hanging lamps cast a contrasting red and white light from behind scrawls of Chinese characters.
466 N Main St.
Glen Ellyn, Illinois 60137Get Directions