By Amy McCarthy
By Scott Reitz
By Scott Reitz
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Alice Laussade
By City of Ate
Thai grub is conflagration cuisine, loaded with the weaponry to mercilessly scorch delicate mouth parts. To guide diners through this fiery danger, Thai Chili has a menu legend with heat levels designated by chili pepper icons: mild, medium, hot, etc.
But the icons don't accurately reflect flammability. Several dishes ordered with the fire level set to medium were as tepid as a stadium bum warmer. This was a near detriment to the spicy seafood, "angel hairs" studded with mussels, shrimp, scallops and calamari and threaded with bell pepper slivers in a curry sauce. The seafood was serviceable, but it needed more to heave it above the mundane.
Sizzling seafood was less in need of chili thrust. Like the duck, it was delivered on a hot skillet. But unlike the duck, it was tucked in a foil pouch with a little basket handle sculpted in aluminum foil looped just above the contents. This dish had the same seafood quartet as the spicy version, though here it was in a puddle of light sauce thickened with egg that, hidden in the liquid, resembled tepid shreds of crabmeat.
Garlic taste, "most favorite dish in Thai household," is a marvel of balanced understatement. Though available dressed in chicken, beef or pork sautéed in garlic sauce, ours arrived with rows of thin chicken breast shavings neatly spread over cut leaves of romaine, each cupping tiny pools of mild garlic sauce (for a restaurant brandishing chilies at every turn, spice heat is air-conditioned into homogeny).
Thai Chili is a clean, narrow tunnel of a restaurant with a curvaceous bar crusted in rustic hunting-lodge paneling. But it's the ceiling that is compelling. It's a series of interlaced, suspended panels neatly fitted with murky white plates, reinforcing the Southlake reflex to look up and out.