Whenever I order in dinner with friends and everyone cries excitedly for Thai, I feel secretly ashamed that I'm missing the love-of-Thai-cuisine gene. Not anymore. Rest assured, a trip to Tamarind put me at ease; I simply hadn't tasted the right Thai.
Before stepping into the storefront, my senses were awash with the vibrant flower displays on the sidewalk; rich lime-green walls covered in sticks of bamboo and sleek wooden booths carry that feeling inside. A full menu of fresh Thai, Japanese and Chinese eats matches Tamarind's bright aesthetic. Big Bowl Soups, like the delectable garden citrus (featuring fresh broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, napa cabbage and peapods in a lemon broth) and Thai seafood options (with shrimp, clams, straw mushrooms and lemongrass) are big enough to enjoy as entrees and cost $5.50 or $8 with noodles. Or enjoy the make-your-own stir-fry menu, with your choice of protein, vegetables, rice or noodles and sauce, appropriately dressed, but not doused, in seasoning. For those craving a Chinese dinner, Tamarind offers up everything from the savory moo shu to General Tsoís, all available with either chicken, pork, shrimp fish, beef or tofu. If itís Japanese you want, try the traditional teriyaki or tempura dishes, or browse the extensive sushi selection, which features specialty maki rolls like the Tamarind Special, with eel, salmon, tuna, avocado and radish.
Dishes rarely exceed $15, and you can easily leave with a satisfied stomach for less than $10. The drink menu includes fruitinis like the Spring Fling, with passion fruit juice, chilled vodka and splash of sour, and the Fuji Apple, an apple juice-based concoction shaken with apple pucker, chilled vodka and a splash of citrus. You must save room for dessert. Where else will you find exotically indulgent banana and chocolate egg rolls or mango cheese cake?
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Dina Zwiebel