King and I Restaurant

In 1980, the first Thai restaurant opened its doors in St. Louis. Since then, the King and I has made its mark in St. Louis’s culinary history winning numerous awards and accolades. The King and I has been selected by the Riverfront Times newspaper as the best Thai restaurant 16 times. The restaurant is well-known for its authentic Thai cuisine and excellent service. The Prapaisilp family saw the potential to add flavor to the area already known for its vast diversity of culture and dining. From these humble beginnings, the first Thai restaurant in St. Louis was born.

As the first Thai restaurant in the city, the King and I serves not only as an authentic Thai restaurant, but as an ambassador to the Royal Kingdom of Thailand. The restaurant prides itself in introducing and expanding people’s knowledge of Thai cuisine. It is common to hear customers who have been to Thailand share their experience about the country and comment on how the dishes taste just like the ones prepared in Thailand. The King and I uses authentic recipes and only uses the freshest ingredients. The curry paste and sauces are made from scratch, and the restaurant focuses on maintaining the food’s authentic Thai taste. The King and I is famous for its Chicken Satay, Thai Ravioli, Papaya salad, and many other dishes.

The interior is a mix of Thai and Western styles. The King and I can seat more than 175 people in the main dining area. There are also six “Kantok” style tables where patrons may sit in the traditional style of Northern Thais. The bar seats 12, and the restaurant can accommodate up to 120 people for banquets.

Apart from serving delicious food, the restaurant is also focused on its social responsibility to the community. The King and I is a member of the South Grand Development District whose aims are to build up the South Grand community. The King and I has also participated in Dining Out for Life, a fund-raise that donates part of the restaurant’s profit to AIDS research. Mr. Prapaisilp, the main proprietor of the restaurant was recognized by then Attorney General Janet Reno for being one of the first restaurants to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Local projects that the King and I is involved in are the Dog Parade and Pride Fest, in the St. Louis community, the King and I is not only a restaurant, but a neighbor and community icon.

The King and I has become a staple for many people in St. Louis. Come customers have been coming since the earliest days of its opening and have remained loyal customers to this day. One couple first visited the restaurant when they were dating, now married with kids, they continue to patronize the restaurant. The King and I can cause a sense of intense loyalty among some. One customer, upon learning of his flight being delayed at the airport, took a cab to the King and I and had a meal, while the cab waited outside.

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Kittichai’s overnight success

Kittichai’s overnight success

Kittichai was an overnight success when it opened in 2004.The shadowy, aqueous dining room, which wraps itself around a shimmery wading pool, is the perfect backdrop for the well-heeled crowd that has been filling the room ever since.Suspended orchids, floating candles and lily pads, wood trellised walls draped in tufted, jewel-toned raw silk add to the sensual allure.

A giant goldfish filled birdcage at the entrance adds a touch of whimsy.The staff that greets you there; and those that serve you are extremely knowledgeable and help you navigate the creative offerings, which have a refinement rarely seen on Thai inspired menus.Sharing is a must with appetizers like the texturally wonderful Crispy Jasmine rice crackers with Coconut and organic chicken relish, Northern Thai beef salad, Chinese long beans and sticky rice powder, and banana blossom and artichoke salad with roasted cashew nuts and chili jam.An exceptional Coconut and galangal soup with organic chicken and straw mushrooms riffs on the classic.Monkfish and hearts of palm in lesser ginger curry and a Lamb shank in Massaman curry with roasted butternut squash and pineapple relish breathe new life into their category.Wok fried pineapple rice with Chinese sausage and Thai omelet with lump crabmeat and siracha sauce are unexpected sides.

Yes, the menu is vast but soulful and assertive, clearly declaring its Thai roots in the recurring flavors of kafir lime and lemongrass, Thai basil, chilies, coriander, and coconut.This chef orchestrates a flawless harmony of sweet, salty, yet cleverly juxtaposes sour and spicy, sublime and bold, smooth and crunchy, hot and cold.These familiar themes appear on a backdrop of products of superb quality and through seasonally driven dishes.And only a handful of dishes pack a fiery punch.There is a lot of conceptualizing here, from the front door to the last sip of tea, and it’s all very appealing.At lunch, simpler dishes showcase the chef’s hand with subtle flavors and delicate usage of spices.

Word of advice: arrive fashionably early for your reservation so that you can linger out in the orchid-studded lounge and take advantage of the bar’s excellent cocktails, like the immensely refreshing Ginger Lemongrass and Watermelon Coolers.The wine list offers options by the glass and a very reasonable selection of bottles.

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Lanna Thai Restaurant

Lanna Thai Restaurant

It’s been 9 years since Lanna Thai Restaurant opened its doors to the public and has now become an acclaimed restaurant receiving first place awards year after year for categories such as “Best Thai”, “Best Place for Dinner Party” and “Local Favorite.

Owners, Teerakun and Nongnat Karnchanakphan began the restaurant with the inspiration to enlighten others of Thai culture and Thai food along with a warm friendly upscale dining experience.Teerakun and Nongnat have spent 21 years living TulsaOK working in the oil & gas industry. Both of them wanted to share their experience from their homeland with locals so they decided to take action.

On March 15, 1998 they opened their first restaurant seating 110 people.Today, the restaurant atmosphere is flourished in Thai decorations like various antique pottery, brown woven baskets and the family’s treasures in order to create the authentic Thai accents and rustic setting.The sophistication and the details reflect a comfortable and pleasing environment.After three years of success at the first location, Lanna Thai opened a second restaurant seating 333 people on March 18, 2001.The new restaurant gave Teerakun and Nongnat the opportunity to add a spectacular new stage for live entertainment and a full bar.This is one of the reasons Matt Greenwald of Urban Tulsa Weekly reported that, “Lanna Thai is one of those incredible places that’s actually managed to stand out in a seemingly endless ocean of Place Name Tulsa restaurants“.

Lanna Thai’s ultimate success is credited to its succulent and flavorful dishes.The menu has over 4 pages of entrees, appetizers and desserts and each one is unique in its own way. Ingredients are always fresh and vary from herbs to spices and from meats to seafood. Writer Katherine Kelly of Urban Tulsa Weekly commented that her dish was an explosion of flavors, each being courteous of the other so as to be complementary to each other rather than dominating.

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Star of Siam restaurant

Star of Siam restaurant

My wife, Dao, and I opened The Star of Siam restaurant on the near north side of Chicago in 1984 after spending several years in the restaurant business. I received a business degree from Roosevelt University in Chicago in 1975 and my observation of the city during my school years was that all of the Thai restaurant catered to the growing Thai community, and I observed that many Americans went to the Thai restaurant as a special treat or novelty…but no one had thought to bring Thai cuisine to the downtown area where all the people worked and shopped.I returned toThailand for a brief period of time and attended cooking school; I then came back to Chicago and opened a very small low-budget Thai restaurant to gain some experience.Since I could not expand my small operation to the type of restaurant I wanted at that location, I sold the business and began a search for the perfect location to realize my dream.

We found a spot that was ideally located close to Chicago’s loop but needed major ronovation, so we hired on the city’s well-known architects to design a unique upscale setting with a Thai accent.The interior of the restaurant features an open stylized “loft” look with carpeted bench seating and sunken”island” seating for small groups.We also build the lower level to accommodate the party of up to 90 people.This is and ideal restaurant for the private party, where they can have the whole room for themselve.I am happy to say that The Star of Siam was an instant success and has been consistentlyvoted one of the favorite Thai restaurants in Chicago for the past twelve years.We were voted #1 Favorite Thai by the Food Industry News four years in a rows from 1993-1996.Received 4.5 rating (in a scale of 5) by A Statistician’s Guide to Chicago Restaurant and City Highlight.We also believed that we are the busiest and the most popular Oriental restaurant in Chicago, perhap The United States.

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