Sushi and Thai food on the Gold Coast.

Our Review

Chai and Vanna Gumtrontip opened Lincoln Square's remarkable Spoon in 1996, serving fresh, competent Ameri-Thai standards, but also, more important, a range of authentically Thai dishes from an extensive "secret" menu, which isn't so secret anymore thanks in part to steady advocacy on Internet food-chat boards. Their Gold Coast location, next door to the Thai consulate, adds Japanese food to the fix; in fact, in April the first floor reopened as a separate restaurant, Friends Sushi. The basement remains Silver Spoon--and a good thing too. Nam pla goong chae, butterflied raw shrimp marinated in fish sauce, is a very strong and delicious dish intensified by a sliver of raw garlic and bits of pickled yellow daikon. And, just as at Spoon, you can also get some of the more home-style dishes, like the marinated Thai fried chicken--small chunks of bird on the bone with a tamarind dipping sauce--which is every bit the miracle that it is on the mother ship. Even standards like panang curry are done with respect, full of lightly sauced cuts of tender beef flank instead of the canned-curry-drowned shreds of rawhide you get most places. Silver Spoon is one of a handful of local restaurants that will honor requests from non-Thais for food made "pet-pet," or Thai spicy.

Mike Sula

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