4018 N Western Ave.
One of our favorite cuisines is Thai, and though we love our go-tos, sometimes we get a little suck in a rut and keep ordering the same thing. However, Sticky Rice is the perfect antidote. Most Thai restaurants in Chicago specialize in Southern Thai food, and the cuisine of Bangkok. However, Chicago is lucky enough to have Sticky Rice, a Northern Thai restaurant that has dishes that are uniquely local. Sticky Rice is cute, clean and open, and was pretty crowded (though the photo from this angle doesn’t show it) when we arrived on a Saturday night. The menu is prodigious, covering, curries, soups and noodle dishes; but on this night we made a beeline for the Thai Northern specialties.
For appetizers, we ordered Som Tum, papaya salad with lime ($5.95), chicken satay ($5.95- not adventurous, but delicious) and the sugarcane shrimp ($6.25). Our food arrived surprisingly quickly, and we dove right in. The papaya salad was light and refreshing, and the sugarcane shrimp was not exactly what we expected – shrimp patties on huge hunks of sugarcane, but it was still tasty.
M ordered the Gang Hung Lay ($7.50), pork garlic and ginger in a Northern Thai chili paste and L ordered Chicken Kow Soy ($7.50), a Northern coconut curry soup. We also were intrigued by the Gang Kae frogs legs, cooked in a spicy soup ($8.95). The Kow Soi was delicious and creamy, was richly spiced with turmeric and cardamom, and was reminiscent of Indian cuisine. turns out this dish is the result of Yunnanese traders who settled along the trade routes from India and China crossing in Thailand – delicious. M’s curry was spicy and hearty, and he slurped up the broth.
Sticky Rice is a great place to try to different flavors of Northern Thai cuisine, and we can’t wait to go back and work our way through some of the Northern Thai specialties. However, if you or your dining companions are feeling more in the mood for a classic curry or Pad Thai, you can find it here too.