Best Thai Restaurant

May Thai

You can tell a lot about a Thai place from its pad thai—a dish too many of the city's restaurants have "dumbed down" for American palates. May Thai, however, executes authentic Thai cooking in a gorgeous space built out of a century-old teak house imported piece by piece from overseas. You won't find a trace of that overly sweet, oily, so-called Thai cuisine here. This pad thai is prepared tableside, as an upscale steakhouse would prepare a salad. Golden-brown noodles are served in a purple banana blossom, and then sugar and various spices are added according to your flavor preference. Most of the restaurant's offerings—including its lovely red curry (try it with the roasted duck breast) and swimming rama—are made from scratch in-house. May Thai costs a few dollars more per plate than its peers, but in this case you truly do get what you pay for. ERIKA HOBART 1612 N. 45th St., 675-0037,

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