Upon entering Baisi Thai through its model Japanese garden doors, the commotion of the 600 Shops mall melts into the background to reveal a weary shopper's paradise.
Divided into two sections, the restaurant features a lounge with a full bar, sports TV, half-circle booths and small tables with high-backed chairs—an ideal location for killing time over a drink while waiting for a friend. If food is what you seek, the hostess will lead you to the dining area, where floor-to-ceiling windows offer views of Michigan Avenue and Lake Michigan. Bright colors and tile mosaics spruce up the walls where seated sightseeing isn't quite possible.
The menu has a wide range of noodle and rice dishes and fresh sushi and sashimi combos. There's even a sushi station where you can sit and watch the chefs prepare your Philadelphia or Red Dragon maki rolls. Make a point to come by for the all-you-can-eat lunch buffet, offered 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Flanked with fresh fruit, the spread features dishes from Baisi Thai's large menu including appetizers—spring rolls, crab Rangoon and yum goong salad—and entrees—gaeng daeng (red curry sauteed with beef, bamboo shoots and Thai basil leaves in coconut milk) and bami pad lad nar (stir-fried egg noodles and chicken topped with vegetables and gravy). The buffet costs $9.95 and comes with a bowl of miso soup; individual menu items cost $3-$18.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Albrey Nuss