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New to Town...Thai abounds, but anything amazing?

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I am moving to Chicago next weekend, and have a friend visiting a few days after that who asked me if there were really good Thai restaurants. I have read that Thai food in Chicago is like Chinese in NY: ubiquitous, but is there anything that's can't-miss?

I went to TAC Quick last time I was in town and found it so-so. I'm not trying to hold myself as a Thai expert, but I do enjoy it and eat it alot. I want to show off my new digs and represent Chi town well so I'm curious as to what people's favorites are. My searches on the site were limited mainly to TAC and Spoon, so others would be appreciated. I've read about Arun's but I can't stomach spending $85 on Thai food. Thanks in advance.

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  1. What are you ordering when you go to these thai restaurants? It's just like at a chinese restaurant.. if you're ordering the amerithai or ameri-chinese dishes, I don't think they put remotely as much care into the food as if you're ordering real thai dishes.

    Skip the pad thai and order off the thai-language translations.

    1 Reply
    1. re: gleam

      You make the assumption that I do not order off of Thai menus, but I usually do. I also ask waiters/chefs what they eat themselves or recommend for an authentic experience.

      I did just that TAC Quick, and I certainly wouldn't have otherwise eaten preserved duck eggs with basil and chilis, but it was pretty decent.

      Besides criticizing my ordering techniques, can you provide a restaurant recommendation, as that was clearly the subject of my post?

    2. first of all, welcome to chicago!
      i'm usually way more down with deliciousness than authenticity, but i'm going to try here:

      you might want to check out cozy noodle & rice (http://www.menuism.com/restaurants/bd...) - it has a big chicago following.

      you'll soon become familiar with the northside/southside divide - very silly, very pervasive. if you're moving to the southside, you're lucky enough to be closer to one of my absolute favorite restaurants, chi tung (http://www.menuism.com/restaurants/cB...)
      it does chinese, japanese, and thai, but before you cringe, know that there's a reason why the restaurant is packed and people are huddled around waiting for take-out every night of the week. it's absolutely delicious and the service is fantastic.
      good luck in your search.

      2 Replies
      1. re: pegleggedheart

        Wow. Chi Tung is that uber-suburban pan-Asian pavilion that was totally panned on Check Please! for what that's worth. I guess *packed every night* must mean it's good.
        ---
        It's too bad you(the o.p.) didn't care for TAC. That's a stumper. Still, you might try Spoon, Opart, or Rosded(all within a few blocks of one another)...or, there's Sticky Rice known for Isaan specialties. Arun's is considered to have long since lost it's luster. Good luck.

        1. re: aelph

          oh, i didn't hear about it being on check please. i'm genuinely surprised it didn't do well.

      2. If you can make it out to Evanston, I really suggest Thai Suk Dee, and Ruby of Siam. Both very good spots