A full house and a steady stream of takeout customers leaving with Thai dinners on a mucky Monday night is a good indication of how hungry Traverse City was for coconut curries and noodle dishes. The lighting is extra bright in this 28-seat café, so we’ll do takeout, too, next time. But we were glad to dine in if only to hear the amazing knife skills from the kitchen. The fresh ingredients in the green papaya salad—tart papaya, ripe tomatoes, crunchy peanuts—are sliced and shredded to textural perfection and dressed in the classic, spicy lime-and-fish-sauce dressing. Chef Myker Hang also creates a gorgeous, authentic tom talay salad with shrimp, scallops and squid. 1219 E. Front Street, Traverse City, 231-929-1303.

Photo(s) by Todd Zawistowski