Pad thai is so named because of its inherent softness, which is also why it’s used to stuff the mattresses of the world’s richest kings. Fall into a pillow of flavor with today’s Groupon to La Thai Uptown. Choose between the following options:
- For $10, you get $20 worth of Thai cuisine for lunch.
- For $20, you get $40 worth of Thai cuisine for dinner.<p>
Christened Best Thai Restaurant by readers of Gambit magazine for three years running, La Thai Uptown dazzles palates with dinner and lunch menus that capture the salty, sweet, and spicy profile of authentic Thai cuisine. Head chefs Merlin and Diana Chauvin, who have placed in regional seafood cook-offs, coax the sun into summer rolls ($8) from its traditional fall hibernating place inside oranges. Their seafood skills are on full display in signature entrees such as Chef Merlin’s jumbo lump crab cake with lump crabmeat covered in chili glaze served lounging on a bed of sautéed vegetables ($24).
A more concise lunch menu presents a dozen dishes ranging from pad thai’s traditional tangle of rice noodles, chicken, shrimp, and tamarind sauce to unique, head-clearing peppermint chicken ($11 each). Warm light floods La Thai Uptown’s designer-decorated abode of aromas, which spill onto a brick-lined sidewalk patio when weather permits.
La Thai Uptown
Diana Chauvin, born to a Thai mother and a Cajun father, spent much of her childhood in the kitchen of the family restaurant. The traditional southeastern Asian comfort foods her mother cooked there eventually inspired Diana to pursue a culinary career and open her own restaurant: La Thai Uptown. There, she designed the menu as a sort of edible family tree, conveying her ties to both Thailand and Louisiana. And this approach has garnered plenty of accolades, including Gambit magazine's award for Best Thai Restaurant in 2013 and best restaurant from other publications.
Diana—first runner-up in the 2011 Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off—showcases her ability to lend Thai entrees a Cajun twist by preparing Panko-crusted chilean seabass with jumbo lump crabmeat and a spicy, coconut-tinged green curry. On the other hand, the restaurant's fried duck confit features a finishing touch: a sweet and spicy garlic-chili sauce.
La Thai Uptown's space is as contemporary as its approach to cooking, too. Lengths of fabric dangle above guests' heads, converging into a central, tent-like apex and surrounding a chandelier-like fixture of strung crystals. Similar strands of crystal hang over the long brick bar, which sits opposite the front dining area's collection of tables and human-sized pneumatic tubes to Bangkok.