With a slew of tried and true Asian-themed eateries in our neighborhood, choosing one isn’t easy. But if you listen closely, you’re bound to hear the buzz — Royal Thai just might have some of the best Thai food in the city. In fact, the only real complaint one hears about the Old Town Shopping Center hotspot is that it’s often overly crowded. Some of the staffers suggest going on a weeknight, when the crowd is relatively thin. Even if you must wait a few minutes crammed in a congested foyer, the top-quality cuisine makes it worth every stepped-on toe and bead of sweat endured while awaiting a table. Once seated, take comfort in the aura exuded by the amicable staff. Delight in the brassy baubles that lend an authentic flair to the dining room. And then get ready for the real treat. Fit for a king, Royal Thai’s menu packs quite a punch. Start with tulip dumplings stuffed with shrimp, pork and water chestnuts, and dipped in a soy-based sauce — or skip the sauce if you prefer a tinier wallop. A zesty fave, yahm nuah, a spicy beef salad, equals a mouthwatering bowl of finely chopped lettuce topped with thin shavings of flame charbroiled tender beef and mixed with tomatoes, Thai herbs, hot peppers and lime. And to pair with your fare, the little restaurant offers a surprisingly extensive selection of wines.
5500 Greenville Ave, Ste. 802
Mon-Thurs 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5-10 p.m.
Fri 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5-11 p.m.
Sat noon-11 p.m.
Sun noon-10 p.m.
Five more Eastern delights
1 HOW EXOTIC
Organic gelato with exotic Eastern-inspired flavors, such as ginger goji berry, mung bean and pandan leaf.
Natsumi Gelato and Frozen Yogurt
2323 N. Henderson
2 ALL THAIED UP
Plenty of Thai favorites done right, such as chicken satay on skewers, fried fish cakes and spring rolls.
Thai Noodle & Rice
3 CREPE WITH A TWIST
Order up a crepe Vietnamese-style with pork, chicken and shrimp, grab a bowl of pho, or better yet, swing by for the lunch buffet.
4 MIX AND MATCH
Offers all the Chinese staples you’d expect to find, including an ample lunch buffet with more than 20 dishes to pick from.
5 SKINNY DIPPING
The go-to spot for dumplings — pick chicken, pork or veggie filling, then pair it with a tasty dipping sauce, such as wasabi teriyaki or citrus Thai chili.
Kuai Dumplings & Soups
325 N. St. Paul
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