Arun's Thai Restaurant ( 4156 N. Kedzie Ave.; ArunsThai.com ) has a storied historyand this writer has wanted to go to the three-decade-old spot for the longest time.
Of course, this anticipation came with its own set of problems, including the possibility of the cuisine and service not living up to its reputation.
However, I shouldn't have worried. The word "amazing" is used a lot, but it definitely described my time at Arun's.
Even the experience with cocktails is different than just about any other place I've tried. The craft cocktails ( $14-$18 each ), such as the Phuket Pickled Mule and my incredible Spa Thyme, not only have the ingredients spelled out on the menubut the garnishes have their own separate listing as well. For example, with Spa Thyme the garnish assortment included a "Spa Thyme" ice cube ( naturally ), fresh mint, a cucumber ribbon, pickled cherry blossoms and St. Germain float.
The cuisine was simply incredible. For example, things started off with a trio platter consisting of a golden basket, golden pouches with dungeness crab and steamed chicken dumplings. Partner Paul Schermerhorn even advised my dining companion and myself regarding what order to consume the itemsresulting in a gustatory experience that was almost beyond words. As for the artistry involved in the presentation, I defy to not take a photo of the dish; it's awe-inspiring.
And then the hits kept coming: Thai spring rolls were followed by ( pink ) Siamese noodles and savory massaman curried beef. However, the Beyond the Sea was the apexred snapper surrounded by pastry and accompanied by a goldfish carved out of carrot. ( The server even asked if I wanted the fish in a "bowl," which consisted of a plastic cup with lid. ) The dinner concluded with mango with sticky rice crepe and coconut ice creamlight, refreshing and delicious.
Arun's is a singular experienceand the place ( which had a brief renovation earlier this year, but with most of the "artistic integrity" preserved, according to Schermerhorn ) provided one of the best restaurant experiences I've had this year.
Note: Restaurant profiles/events are based on invitations arranged from restaurants and/or firms.