Japanese-Thai restaurant.

Our Review

Inheriting a space (and some cool twisted wire furnishings) from former restaurant and dance club Spice, Japanese-Thai Thalia sprawls over two rooms with several cozy VIP chambers. Though we're sometimes hesitant to chow down on raw fish at fusion places, we found the artfully arranged chirashi here freshly fine. Some Thai selections seemed dialed down, but when I gave our server the green light to make it real, seared tuna came out deliciously dressed with chiles and fish sauce; the owner’s Laotian mother works the kitchen and knows how to turn up the flavor. Green curry with pleasing chunks of eggplant and sweet pepper packed full-on Southeast Asian seasonings and good heat, and Thalia's version of honey-marinated duck--something I haven't noticed much on other Thai menus in Chicago--was full of tasty crunch. Even Thalia's fusion creations--sake baby ribs, spicy salmon maki--show a commitment to fresh ingredients and honest flavors, so even if you're skeptical of such offerings, as I am, get over yourself and enjoy. Prices are reasonable, with a three-course sushi lunch special (dumplings, soup, and six pieces of sushi or sashimi) for $14.

David Hammond

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Payment Type: MasterCard, Visa

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