1. Jeera Thai - Tom Yum Noodle Soup
Truth be told, this Thai lunch joint does not serve the best pad thai or drunken noodles. But if you sit near the counter and insist that you want your tom yum noodle soup made just like they do in Thailand, you’ll get a dose of what the owners might actually call home.
2. Kasbah Cafe - Falafel
(Photocred: Yelp, Joe C.)
This Middle Eastern restaurant isn’t simply a date-appropriate alternative to Mamoun’s. They also serve properly chunky, thoughtfully seasoned falafel that is so lacking from Mamoun’s regrettably chalky repertoire.
3. Ivy Noodle - Curry Beef Noodle Soup
Look past the unseasoned fried rice, leathery dumpling skin, and the haughty service and you will find the curry beef stew noodle soup. Get it with egg noodles and a scoop of the chill garlic sauce. This is what takes this Hong Kong native home. More late night drunken discoveries: Hock Kian Shrimp Noodle and Singapore Chow Fun. Ask for everything extra spicy.
4. Union League - Steak Frites
UL’s menu may be the best in the city, but a meal does cost you a pretty penny. That’s unless you sit at the bar and treat yourself to steak frites—the best medium rare $18 can get you in this town.
5. Zaroka - Lamb Pasanda
The cuisine of Zaroka has gone down hill since 2013, but this cream-based mild lamb curry, simmered with pears and almonds, has been a secret favourite of mine since the beginning of time.
EDITED BY SABINA LEE