BEST THAI RESTAURANT
Sen Yai Sen Lek
We like Sen Yai Sen Lek for lots of reasons: its expansive but well-curated menu composed of near-equal parts curry, noodle, and rice dishes; the entire menu section featuring cuisine from the northeast Isaan region of Thailand (sticky rice! small plates! sticky rice!); and its friendly, inviting, brightly colored space with origami cranes and paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling, to name just a few. But what makes this Northeast gem extra special is its extra attention to its business practices. Community-minded to the core, Sen Yai Sen Lek not only proudly sources its menu items from local producers (serving Thousand Hills beef, Schultz Farm eggs delivered by Larry Schultz himself, and a variety of beers from local brewers), but also pays close attention to its environmental practices. As sensitive to its diners as to its sources, the restaurant is also very vegetarian- and vegan-friendly and even has a gluten-free menu. Protein seekers will like the pad bpai gra pow, a kicky ground pork and Thai basil dish topped with an egg. Veggies will like the lettuce wraps, which taste like healthy candy. Also bomb: the papaya salad and the dessert sweet sticky rice.