Grande is earnestly and tidily pretty, like a mail-order catalog's idea of a cafe. The walls are painted in lavender, ochre and celadon and decorated with precisely arranged displays and photographs. The restaurant's corner location and its large windows combine to bring in light and views of the neighborhood. A small sushi bar occupies one side of the small dining area.
The menu is almost evenly split between traditional Thai dishes and traditional Japanese fare. It's not a fusion so much as a shuffling of offerings. For an appetizer, you can choose between Thai satay or Japanese yakitori; Thai spring rolls or Japanese goma-ae; crab rangoon or shrimp tempura. If Thai salads like nam sod (with pork and peanuts) aren't your preference, you can order Japanese seaweed salad instead. Soups range from Japanese miso to Thai tom yum. The Thai entrees include curries, fried rice and noodle dishes like pad thai or lad nar. The Japanese portion of the menu features maki, sushi, sashimi, tempura and teriyaki. Desserts include Thai custard and green tea ice cream.
Grande's prices are anything but grand, which is grand in and of itself. Sushi platters, in particular, are moderately priced, as are the daily Thai and Japanese lunch specials. BYOB.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Alan Simmons