Siam Rice (Food for Life) is Thai food at its finest and fanciest. The decor is sleek as heck with a personality that practically screams visual modernity, from the ever-so-high ceilings to the dangling blue lights (that barely do their job) to the polished, mahogany tables and chairs to the spick-and-span marble floors for your delicate feet to trot (be careful not to smudge). Even the outside and entryway, with the big, red and yellow "Siam Rice" sign overhead, beckons for you to come in through the door and experience what high-class Thai is all about. It's no use resisting, people; once Siam has you in its sights, you're bound to be sucked in, slowly but surely, like the Millenium Falcon in the Death Star tractor beam in "Star Wars: A New Hope." Don't act like you don't get the reference.
The Thai menu at Siam isn't particularly unusual, it's just unusually good. Appetizers include spring rolls, fried tofu, Siam rolls, sunshine beef and shrimps in a blanket ($4.25-$7). Rice dishes include basil chicken, cashew chicken, plik khing, pad plik, ginger chicken and BBQ pork 'n rice ($8 each). Siam specialties include clay pot mussels, pad Thai omelets, spinach noodles with roasted duck and salmon teriyaki ($8.95-$11.95). And don't forget the most important part of every meal: the dessert, with options like lychee on ice, green tea ice cream, fried banana with ice cream and mango and sticky cream ($3.50-$5.50).
Siam takes its name from the famous Koa Hom Mali, or Thai jasmine rice, which is known for its intense aroma, soft and delicate texture and incredible taste—which correlates perfectly with the intense aromas, delicate textures and incredible tastes the restaurant itself offers. The atmosphere is both laid-back and friendly, except during the business rush at lunchtime, when it's the busiest Thai restaurant in the Loop. Coincidentally, it's also one of the only Thai restaurants in the Loop.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Benjamin Andrew Moore