Arun's | Albany Park | Thai, Asian | Restaurant
Pricey and sophisticated Thai from chef Arun Sampanthavivat.

Our Review

I’ll admit this Thai restaurant is a fine-dining player. But for the price of the degustation with wine pairings, you could put together five more surprising, authentic, and delicious meals at, say, Spoon Thai. If you can’t be convinced of that, your willing suspension of disbelief gets you multiple courses of Arun Sampanthavivat’s exquisitely plated but domesticated versions of his homeland’s cuisine. The event begins with several appetizer courses, in which every wonderful detail seems to be unbalanced by an inappropriate one: maybe a one-bite salad arrives perched on a perfectly shaped betel nut leaf, but then an oyster pancake will be drizzled with sriracha, the Heinz ketchup of the Far East. Appetizers are followed by main courses served all at once, family style, many of which over-rely on the sweet end of the Thai spectrum. On my most recent visit the dish that was perhaps the least authentic was my favorite—a fist-size hunk of tender pot roast in green curry drizzled with coconut cream. Given the notorious challenges in pairing Thai food with the grape, someone at Arun’s does a really good job matching things up. Then again, the delicate Brut Laurent Perrier that came with crispy fried pike on chard, bean sprouts, and sweet-and-sour rhubarb would get its ass kicked by something like a real papaya salad with chiles and dried shrimp.

Mike Sula

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Price: $$$$$
Payment Type: American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa


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