Last night tables at The King & I were packed with parents accompanied by an abundance of people under the age of twelve, all doing their best to behave properly and keep Thai food from dropping on their cute dresses or starched khakis. Except for two boys a few tables over. Midway through their meal they couldn’t resist. They hopped up and busted out a couple of dance moves that they had obviously been trying to perfect for quite some time. That’s when I realized what was going on.
Disney’s High School Musical: The Ice Tour was set to open at U.S. Cellular Arena, and no doubt all these glowing examples of America’s youth were ticketholders. Sure enough, about fifteen minutes before the show was set to start the place cleared out and the only people left were couples and groups of people who had filtered in after work.
While I just don’t get the whole phenomenon that is High School Musical, I do get why people have been packing the tables at The King & I for twenty years. The King & I serves up some of the best Thai food in town, and its downtown location makes it a prime place to grab lunch or dinner after work or before a show.
Their menu is filled with a mind-boggling number of authentic Thai appetizers, soups, noodle dishes, and entrees that fuse together the heat of curry and red chilies with cool coconut, lime, and lemongrass and are presented in an artful way that will tempt the palate of anyone enamored with color and spice. But in honor of their twenty years of business, they are offering a special set menu showcasing some of their best-loved entrees, including a seafood Pad Thai and the famous Volcano Chicken, a tangy but sweet chicken breast served on a bed of vegetables and topped with “lava” sauce. Entrees include your choice of a house wine, soup, and an appetizer. Naturally, dessert is also included. What better way to cap off a palate warming meal than with a plate of crunchy sliced bananas on top of coconut ice cream? Prices (and degree of heat and spice) vary for the fixed menu according to the selection of entrée.