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Thai One On

BY Julie Chernoff | January 4, 2017 | Feature Features National

Two Bangkok natives bring authentic, bright flavors to one of this year's best new restaurants.
The dining room at the newly opened Evanston restaurant

When you have a yearning for Thai food, what do you crave? Most people immediately think of mainstays pad thai or chicken satay with peanut sauce. But NaKorn, which recently opened in downtown Evanston, is not your standard Thai restaurant. It’s co-owned by friends and Bangkok natives Mina Sudsaard (now an Evanston resident) and Sam Rattanopas (a Chicago restaurant vet with Oysy and Gioco). Rattanopas tells us her intention was to fill a void. “It’s what I want to eat, and I simply can’t find it here,” she says of the highly flavorful Thai food served at NaKorn. It’s the food she grew up on; many of the recipes are based on her grandmother’s dishes, full of flavor and memory. This is elegant food with a pedigree; the kitchen is presided over by chef Bon, who studied culinary arts in Thailand and has since worked with Michelin-starred chefs Eneko Atxa and Joël Robuchon. He brings an artist’s eye and an expert’s palate to every dish.

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