A sometimes-finicky friend of mine doesn't throw around the word "amazing" lightly, not when talking about food anyway. As a neighborhood local, she turned me on to the Thai Grill & Noodle Bar, which sits in The Sovereign apartment building's ground level. With the colorful, refine and warm dining atmosphere, you may expect "classier" prices than your other more casual Thai noodle houses. But don't; Jasmine rice, stir-fried noodles, soup or curry entrees run from the expected $5.45 to $7.95. Your best bet is the special combination (only $6.99) that includes your choice of entree served with two pot stickers, an egg roll and jasmine rice.
As for what to drink, you and your date are welcome to BYOB, but the Bubble Bar (with seven flavors of bubble teas) is not to be missed. Try the Similan, a blend of fresh mango, pineapple and coconut served with or without tapioca bubbles and topped with fresh fruit, or go for the simply sweet Sukhothai, a lychee-flavored black milk tea. The open and comfortable dining room is complemented by a private room that can be reserved for larger parties, with buffet-style selections ready for your group.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Heather Blaha