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St. Matthews place quickly became a hit, expecially for the banchan, the assortment of sides that come with each entrée. $ L D KIM & BAB 3012 Charlestown Crossing Way, New Albany IN, 725-9844. This little Korean restaurant is getting rave notices from locals who love the mandu (dumplings), japchae (a noodle dish), galbi (short ribs) and dak-kangjung (fried marinated boneless chicken in a spicy sweet and sour sauce). More familiar things like bulgogi and fried rice too. $$ L D KOREANA II 5009 Preston Hwy., 968-9686. One of the city’s few restaurants devoted entirely to authentic Korean fare, Koreana is worth a special trip for this ethnic cuisine that offers a hearty, spicy alternative to the more familiar Chinese. $$ L D LEE’S KOREAN RESTAURANT 1941 Bishop Ln., 4569714. This little spot has been a secret since the ’70s, and it just keeps on going. Walk into what looks like a diner in an office building, but push past the counter to the back room, where you’ll find generous heaps of really authentic Korean food for next to nothing. $$ L Dh

hanging sheer white scrims that divvy the room up into serene little chambers. The menu of Thai specialties is small — just a dozen or so entrées — but nicely executed and beautifully presented. $ L D THAI CAFÉ 2226 Holiday Manor Center, 425-4815. You’ll find this small café tucked into a corner of the “Holiday Manor Walk.” Owner Chavantee Snow and her family offer a small but well-prepared selection of authentic Thai dishes at very reasonable prices. $ LDf THAI NOODLES 5800 Preston Hwy., 961-9018. The menu covers Thai standards like pad Thai and curries, with some interesting variations, including several duck items, such as Bangkok duck and pineapple curry duck. Noodle dishes range from flat and thin egg noodle to bean thread and rice noodle. $ L D TIME 4 THAI 2206 Frankfort Ave., 996-7899. This Clifton location has not been propitious for former

GENGHIS GRILL 4002 Towne Center Dr., 426-4945. \. At this suburban location you can choose one of their dozen “signature bowls” including Szechuan bamboo beef, ginger herb shrimp, Mexican jalapeño and chipotle steak. Or design your own from a choice of protein, vegetables, sauces and starches. $$ L D p

LEMONGRASS CAFÉ 11606 Shelbyville Rd., 244-7110. Lemongrass Café offers an appealing blend of Vietnamese, Thai and Chinese fare in a simple setting that transcends an obviously low budget with style and grace. $ L D h

YEN HAPA 2245 Bardstown Rd., 456-2022. This fastcasual Highlands spot features soups (Vietnamese pho), noodle salads and stir-fried noodles. Focus is on Vietnamese dishes with tastes of Thailand, Cambodia and Singapore too. $$ L D ZEN GARDEN 2240 Frankfort Ave., 895-9114. Vegetarians with a philosophical bent have found a combination guru and den mother in Zen Garden’s owner Coco, who serves up sincere and soulful Asian vegan dishes. $ L D h

A TASTE OF THAI 6549 W. Highway 42, 365-1809. Quickly becoming one of the area’s top Thai spots, the brightly-painted building stands out in downtown Crestwood. Early reports warn that the spice levels are not toned down for wimpy Western palates, so approach Level 3 with caution. $$ L D

TAN THAI RESTAURANT 4510 Charlestown Rd., New Albany IN, 948-2012. It’s in a strip mall, but the folks who run Tan Thai create a distinctive atmosphere by

LA QUE 1019 Bardstown Rd., 238-3981. La Que provides the lower Highlands with a dependable, economical Vietnamese menu that includes some dishes from other Asian cuisines. $$ L D hf

VIETNAM KITCHEN 5339 Mitscher Ave., 363-5154. This little South End storefront is well worth seeking out. The chef goes beyond the ordinary, preparing authentic Vietnamese dishes of unusual subtlety and flavor. We have yet to be disappointed with the quality of the food or service. $ L D h

SHAH’S MONGOLIAN GRILL 9148 Taylorsville Rd., 493-0234. Thirteenth Century Mongol warriors used to turn their steel shields to use as frying pans over the campfire, using their swords as spoons. Shah’s carries their spirit forward. This all-you-can-eat buffet is fun, and the food is fine. $$ L D

SIMPLY THAI 323 Wallace Ave., 899-9670, 12003 Shelbyville Rd, 690-8344. Owner Mahn Saing and his wife, a classically trained Thai chef, are pleasing diners in St. Matthews and Middletown. Their menu of traditional Thai dishes, well-made sushi and a few upscale Thaistyle “fusion” dinner items use many ingredients from their small home garden. $$ L D f

FOUR SISTERS 2246 Frankfort Ave., 384-4262. Four Vietnamese sisters have developed a devoted following for their Clifton coffeehouse and tea room that also serves sweet and savory crepes and bahn mi. $ L D

PHO BA LUU 1019 E. Main St., 384-6822. This Butchertown restaurant focuses on Vietnamese street food such as pho, the classic noodle soup, and banh mi sandwiches. The very cool repurposed space was once a welding shop; its large open spaces and high ceilings make for an elegant place to sip sweet iced coffee or munch on an Imperial roll or tuck into a rice or noodle bowl. Fast casual service at lunch; after happy hour the full bar and large patio have full service. $$ L D pf

SARANG 1908 Eastern Pkwy., 216-2351. The store on the Eastern Pkwy. side of the Schuster Building most recently was a Ce Fiori yogurt shop, but it now serves Korean food such as bibimbap, mandoo, ramen and dakkangjung. Bubble tea is back, too. $ L D

SALA THAI 8125 Bardstown Rd., 231-1992, 10403 Glenmary Farm Dr., 493-3944. This entry on the growing list of Thai restaurants is gaining fans, partly because it is vegetarian- and vegan-friendly. $$ L D

CAFÉ THUY VAN 5600 National Turnpike, 366-6959. A bit off the beaten track, this South End spot is true, authentic Vietnamese. Friendly service overcomes any language barrier, and prices are hard to beat. Don’t miss the banh mi, traditional Vietnamese sandwiches. $ L D

NAMNAM CAFÉ 318 Wallace Ave., 891-8859. This small St. Matthews Vietnamese restaurant has gained many enthusiastic fans who flock there for the pho, the banh mi and other authentic Vietnamese dishes. $ L D f

RICE BOWL 3114 Grant Line Rd., New Albany IN, 5906786. Rice Bowl is another addition to the restaurant row area near the IUS campus. It serves Korean and Asian dishes. You will find clay pot bibimbap, chicken curry rice, several varieties of ramen. $$ L D

MAI’S THAI RESTAURANT 1411 E. Tenth St., Jeffersonville IN, 282-0198. With a broad range of well-prepared and authentic Thai dishes, Mai’s is the eatery to beat among the metro area’s Thai restaurants. For both authenticity and quality, it’s right up there with the top Thai places in New York, San Francisco and Seattle. $ L D

Asian dishes to happy regulars, might finally wean Louisvillians from referring to his building as the former Lentini’s. $ L D hp

businesses, but the new owner is veteran restaurateur Pavana Tasanibriboon who has had restaurants in Thailand, Florida and New Jersey. The elegantly redone interior is matched by some unusually elegant dishes, such as the volcano Cornish hen, a whole bird, marinated with Thai herbs and spicy chili sauce, which is flambéed at the table. All dishes are cooked to order, so choose your spice level. Gluten-free and vegetarian choices available. $$ L D p

ANNIE CAFE 308 W. Woodlawn Ave., 363-4847. Annie Cafe ranks not just as one of the better Vietnamese restaurants, but one the city’s best of any variety, particularly when value and price are taken into account. Authentic Vietnamese food is made with care and served with pride. $ L D CAFÉ MIMOSA 1543 Bardstown Rd., 459-1259. Owner Phat Le, serving his Vietnamese, Chinese and pan-

h = Late Night p = Full Bar f = Outdoor Dining e = Live Music

J. GUMBO’S 2109 Frankfort Ave., 896-4046, 8603 Citadel Way, 493-4720, 103 Quartermaster Crt., Jeffersonville IN, 282-7823. Former jockey Billy Fox has created a popular mini-chain serving hearty, affordable Cajun cuisine. The drunken chicken is addictive. $ B L D f LOU ORLEANS 430 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd., 654-7927. There is Cajun food on the lunch buffet: always chicken sausage gumbo and a salad bar, and a rotating selection of red beans and rice, jambalaya, Cajun smothered potatoes with shrimp, Cajun smothered cabbage and sausage and fresh sautéed vegetables with chicken. An a la carte lunch menu includes po’ boys and gumbo. $ L SELENA’S AT WILLOW LAKE TAVERN 10609 LaGrange Rd., 245-9004. This Cajun/Creole place in a renovated Anchorage roadhouse continues to find fans. Shrimp or fish with Manale sauce is a tribute to Pascal Manale’s in New Orleans. $$ Br L D hpf

CUBAN FLAVOR 5700 Outer Loop, 618-2181. The flowering of Cuban/Caribbean cuisine is reaching out www.foodanddine.com Winter 2016 73

Winter 2016 (Vol. 54)  

Nov - Dec - Jan 2016/17