Kao Thai Cuisine
The best sweet and sour chicken I ever tasted was prepared at a Szechuan Chinese joint in, of all places, New Orleans. Since then, I've looked long and hard but have never found a version that lived up to that dish. Until now. What I liked was that the chicken was not battered and deep-fried. Instead, its was quickly stir-fried naturally. The sauce was more spicy than sweet, the vegetables were crisply fresh and very full of flavor. The Thai version that Chef Wasan Trimas served me last week was very close - given his own unique twists. The aroma coming off the beautifully presented plate was rich with spice - it already possessed the contrast that my senses were expecting. Thinly sliced pieces of chicken were tender and gently bathed in the sauce. I anticipated veggies like scallions, onions, bell peppers and pineapples. What I didn't expect were incredible little sweet nuggets of sautéed fruit: grapes, strawberries and diced mango that added surprisingly delicious layers of flavors and organic sweetness. Kao is one of those places that is in an odd location but, thanks to the reputation of its chef, grew and continues to thrive. From classic dumplings to his elegant presentation of Chambord Duck, Trimas consistently plates dinners and lunches that attract casual diners - as well as the city's food professionals who recognize his talent.
3017 E. Victory Dr./691-2080
Bites about town....
My favorite Friday night fun is to bounce from eatery to eatery, having a little sumpin' here, a little sumpin' there. The whole evening may look like the work of a schizophrenic foodie but it's a blast to sample little bites that range so wildly across the gastronomic spectrum. Most recently, it was a little seared scallop and foie gras at Sugar Daddy's, a nibble of tuna carpaccio, and then into Jazz'd Tapas Bar for a "meal." There, I listened to Trae Gurley belt our some standards and had a nice piece of pork topped with candied pecans. Frankly, I don't recall the side dish - it doesn't matter - I was "in the moment." Sometimes, it's not as much about the analysis as it is the sheer enjoyment, the discovery and the pleasure of sharing the experience. If you're not that adventurous, no sweat, a menu like the one at Jazz'd lets you have the experience under one roof. Early and mid-week diners are often treated to some great wine deals on full bottles.
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