One of my favorite friends from New York recently came to visit me here in my new digs. Fortunately, her view on vacations is similar to mine – plan a few activities, but keep the rest of your schedule open for impromptu adventures and actual rest. The only things we put on the itinerary for the long weekend were a daytrip to Carmel-by-the-Sea, a class at my favorite yoga studio, and two dinner reservations in the city. One of them was at Kin Khao, which came highly recommended to me by my foodie friends.
Kin Khao was wonderful. My friend and I decided to go for the tasting menu, because how often is a Thai-inspired tasting menu an option? We weren’t disappointed. A parade of seven savory courses and a dessert course left us very full and very happy. The flavors were spicy and bright and each course was clearly linked to Thai cuisine but took a unique spin on it. For example, we had beef cheek coconut curry and chili jam clams. Our favorites were the mushroom hor mok terrine, which was a curry mousse in a jar, and nam tok beans tossed in Thai ingredients like cilantro, mint, lime, and chili. It was one of the most creative tasting menus I had ever experienced. As a bonus, it paired beatifully with my Thai beer (Hinano Tahiti Lager) and cost only $55.
The downsides? I found the decor to be lackluster. Perhaps I don’t understand the modern feel, but the restaurant is housed in an awkward space in the Parc 55 lobby and I got the impression that the space used to be a gift shop or something similar. It felt like not much was done to convert it into an eating area – it was somewhat plain. But even though I didn’t care for the decor itself, I still found the ambiance to be warm and friendly.