6. Spicy Shallot

Spicy Shallot

Open since 2005, Spicy Shallot is a Thai-Japanese fusion restaurant along Woodside Avenue. The Little Thailand restaurant features a more upscale ambiance with pink, gray, and blue chairs, gray brick walls with the restaurant’s name in neon, and disco ball-like light displays with lots of plants. Another sign toward the back of the restaurant reads “You’re hotter than spicy food” below a shallot.

The Thai portion of the menu includes dishes like Golden Empress tofu, curry puffs, pork jerky, and papaya salad with long beans. Specialty entrees include salmon clay pot, grilled marinated pork chop, crab meat fried rice, and panang curry. Duck also features prominently on the menu for dishes including crispy duck basil and curry duck. The Japanese side of the menu includes a variety of donburi (rice bowls), over a dozen a la carte sashimi options, two dozen maki rolls, and specialty rolls.

7. Boon Chu

Boon Chu, located along Broadway in the heart of Elmhurst’s small Chinatown area, features one of the larger menus among the neighborhood’s Thai spots. With wooden stools and walls, the restaurant is recognizable for its vivid artistic depiction of Thai historical scenes on its walls. The cozy spot has just a few tables but a full menu with all sorts of northern and southern Thai dishes.

Boon Chu’s appetizers include Yum Pla Merk, squid salad in mint and lime juice, and Hoy Jor, ground pork and shrimp wrapped in tofu skin, in addition to chicken roti curry. Soups range from Gang Jud Tofu with bean curd and ground chicken to Tom Kar Gai with chicken and coconut milk. Entrees include a barbecue beef or pork “waterfall” with crunchy rice and vegetables, eggplant in curry paste called Pad Ped, and soft-shell crab with mango salad. Other popular entrees include a seafood pancake with bean sprouts, jungle curry, and whole red snapper in ginger sauce.