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Blue Elephant

View Map1235 W. Devon Ave., Chicago
Tel: (773) 262-5216
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Editorial Review of Blue Elephant

Since its inception as an offshoot to the last Eastward bits of Indian on Devon, this pint-sized BYOB Thai joint has been all the rave for chef/owner Ida Pasty's French-trained hands, spiking the mostly curry, rice and noodle norm menu with specials like blackberry roasted duck and chicken and coconut-stuffed crepes.

Though with a recent makeover, replacing its sky-washed tables and walls with faux-marble, flower oil canvases and track lighting, Pasty 86-ed many of the more French-inspired fusions, paying more attention to presentation with new, mod flatware and a UB 40-friendly music selection.

Most of the changes have been a move to draw the sit-down set, as its carryout team was burning out. And the sweet part about that is that the prices stayed put, which, yes, employ dishes rooted in 'normal' Thai tastes, but are not 'normal' by any means. Pasty’s full of Westernized quirks, like the blazing shrimp & scallop ($13.95) wok-tossed with roasted walnuts and pineapples, or the garlic chow fun ($7.95), stir-fried with wide rice noodles, spinach, carrots, eggs and bean sprouts in a creamy garlic sauce. Dig the tangerine and seasoned steak salad elements, if you're not convinced.

Pasty has some style to her desserts, as well, spinning homemade custards ($2.95) and taro mousse-topped sticky rice ($4.25), with ginko nuts and coconut crème that are well worth the addition to the bill.

Average cost: <$10

Centerstage Reviewer: Gavin Paul

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11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday; noon-9 p.m. Sunday

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chicago, metromix