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Rainbow Cuisine Thai - A new contender

Rainbow Cuisine Thai - A new contender
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  • Post #211 - April 23rd, 2015, 10:26 am
    Post #211 - April 23rd, 2015, 10:26 am Post #211 - April 23rd, 2015, 10:26 am
    Bspar wrote:Any recommendations for someone looking to try Thai Food but is not a fan of spice?

    A lot of my favorites at rainbow tend to bring the heat (which I love)

    Crispy PSE is probably a must.


    Banana Blossom Salad
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #212 - April 23rd, 2015, 11:28 am
    Post #212 - April 23rd, 2015, 11:28 am Post #212 - April 23rd, 2015, 11:28 am
    The Red curry is delicious and I think can be requested as light spice. The shrimp paste fried rice is great and isn't spicy. Same for the catfish custard (unless that's too weird--it is kinda :)) The Chinese broccoli with crispy pork can be requested with no spice. I think most of the soups as well. The omelette (Kanom Buang Yuan) and the mussel pancake are both good and not spicy. They also do a nice crispy Pad Si Euw (wide rice noodles).
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #213 - April 23rd, 2015, 12:29 pm
    Post #213 - April 23rd, 2015, 12:29 pm Post #213 - April 23rd, 2015, 12:29 pm
    Rainbow's hor mok is non-spicy? I ask because I've not tried it yet but that dish is often among the hottest on Thai menus and also mostly made ahead. Not doubting, just confirming (and possibly not ordering, 'cause I'm a spicy hor mok guy).
  • Post #214 - April 23rd, 2015, 12:48 pm
    Post #214 - April 23rd, 2015, 12:48 pm Post #214 - April 23rd, 2015, 12:48 pm
    JeffB wrote:Rainbow's hor mok is non-spicy? I ask because I've not tried it yet but that dish is often among the hottest on Thai menus and also mostly made ahead. Not doubting, just confirming (and possibly not ordering, 'cause I'm a spicy hor mok guy).

    I would rate it as spicy, but not among the hottest things on the menu. In the past, I recall having mild versions a few times at Rainbow, but lately certainly there has been an assertive spice. Also, not coincidentally, the hor mok seems to be getting better and better, and definitely not to be missed if you're a "spicy hor mok guy." It's among my favorite dishes on the menu, and is often overlooked because it only appears on the "regular" menu and not the"authentic Thai" menu.

    I would recommend avoiding the hor mok if you have an aversion to spicy foods.
    The meal isn't over when I'm full; the meal is over when I hate myself. - Louis C.K.
  • Post #215 - August 2nd, 2015, 8:36 am
    Post #215 - August 2nd, 2015, 8:36 am Post #215 - August 2nd, 2015, 8:36 am
    Though Rainbow Thai keeps getting snazzier and snazzier whats on the plate is better than ever. Running contrary to Calvin Trillin's "inverse ambiance theory of Chinese* restaurants

    Rainbow Thai, 7.31.15

    Image

    *Yes, I realize Rainbow is Thai not Chinese.
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #216 - August 7th, 2015, 10:24 am
    Post #216 - August 7th, 2015, 10:24 am Post #216 - August 7th, 2015, 10:24 am
    Had a pre-OTSoFM* show dinner at Rainbow last night. At 6:15 the place was empty, but when we left around 7:30 it was moderately full, not bad for a Thursday night (and plenty of take-out traffic).

    We ordered favorites we'd had from the grand reopening party: Fried marinated beef, E-san Sausage, Spicy Straw Mushroom Salad, Naem Kow Tawt (sp?). Just a little more food than we should have eaten, hit all the Thai marks of salt, lime-sour, spice, sweet, fresh herb, and funk.

    The "Straw Mushroom" is definitely not what's sold as canned straw mushrooms: They're long and skinny like an enoki, but straw-colored. Anyone know what they are?


    * Watkins Family Hour at Old Town School of Folk Music
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #217 - October 18th, 2015, 11:09 pm
    Post #217 - October 18th, 2015, 11:09 pm Post #217 - October 18th, 2015, 11:09 pm
    A very dear friend is emigrating to Canada in two weeks so we have been taking her out for Chicago food.
    Last night was her first visit to Rainbow. We had a few things:
    Issan sausage was great, a tiny bit drier than Ive had before but still so tasty. Moo ping was just OK, no need to waste precious stomach real estate.
    kai thawt was freaking awesome, best Ive had there.
    Hor mok was an afterthought but oh dear god was that amazing. I am counting down the hours till I can order it again. Whats the veg in there? banana blossom?
    Pad thai was good but strangely orange flavored.
    Chinese broccoli with crispy pork was a home run, great balance of flavor.
    Nam khao tod was as good as always but a lot less spicy than Ive had it before. No great loss as my dining companions were able to enjoy it more that way.

    Between that and In On, we are so lucky here in Chicago.
  • Post #218 - October 18th, 2015, 11:30 pm
    Post #218 - October 18th, 2015, 11:30 pm Post #218 - October 18th, 2015, 11:30 pm
    Octarine wrote:kai thawt was freaking awesome, best Ive had there.

    Agreed, this is one of my fav. fried chicken dishes in town. I have had friends tell me about inconsistencies, but i have not yet experienced that. Always awesome for me.

    Octarine wrote:Hor mok was an afterthought but oh dear god was that amazing. I am counting down the hours till I can order it again. Whats the veg in there? banana blossom?

    I certainly order this dish more than any other at Rainbow. They line the bottom of the custard with cabbage. Maybe you're talking about something else? It works surprisingly well with all the other components.

    Octarine wrote:Pad thai was good but strangely orange flavored.

    I never order, nor would recommend the pad thai at Rainbow. I have never noticed an orange flavor, but I know it is one of the rare dishes at Rainbow that was, sadly, designed for the expectations of the american palate. I have had Wanpen make me an authentic version, and it was much better than the menu version. If you want a legit version, definitely go to In-On, where it has a nice char/wok hei, and it's not at all candy sweetened.

    Octarine wrote:Chinese broccoli with crispy pork was a home run, great balance of flavor.

    Agreed, one of my go-to dishes.

    Octarine wrote:Nam khao tod was as good as always but a lot less spicy than Ive had it before. No great loss as my dining companions were able to enjoy it more that way.

    If you shop/cook a lot of thai food, you may have noticed the variance in spiciness of the thai chili at the thai grocery stores. Unfortunately Rainbow does not adjust quantity of peppers based on spiciness of them. Same goes for any dish. Hor Mok is another one that can end up with drastically different spice levels depending on season. I have been trying to tell them to up the pepper quantity when the peppers vary in spice level. Maybe I'll have another go at that discussion!
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #219 - August 9th, 2016, 8:48 pm
    Post #219 - August 9th, 2016, 8:48 pm Post #219 - August 9th, 2016, 8:48 pm
    Just drove to RT with a huge craving for Nam khao tod.

    Closed on a Tuesday !?!

    Severely disappointed, maybe Marie's as a consolation prize.
  • Post #220 - August 27th, 2016, 8:15 pm
    Post #220 - August 27th, 2016, 8:15 pm Post #220 - August 27th, 2016, 8:15 pm
    Hi,

    Well my first visit to Rainbow Thai was quite interesting.

    I learned the hours on the door are advisory. Since I am not the princess of promptness, I am forgiving of lateness. It was decided to wait 20 minutes before looking for another lunch destination.

    Around 11:15, I saw a waiter walking in the restaurant. I called the phone number on the door. When it was answered, I advised I am on the street waiting to come in. The waiter opened door advising not all the cooks were present. The only cook prepares appetizers and curries. "No problem, we will order within his area and hope the others arrive." There was no certainty when the other cooks would arrive.

    From my experiences with Spoon Thai and from reading prior posts, I ordered:

    Catfish custard
    Isan sausage
    Tiny egg rolls
    Thai fried chicken

    The catfish custard was the first dish to arrive. Interestingly, it was the hottest dish ordered this day. I thoroughly enjoyed the catfish custard. I didn't recall the bok choy cabbage on the bottom of Spoon's catfish custard, but it has been a long time since I last ordered it.

    jlawrence has had Isan sausage in Las Vegas, but was not impressed by his experience. Apparently what he had before was overcooked to the extent it arrived desiccated. This Isan sausage was a new leaf, an opportunity to reset his impression. Thankfully, he now has an improved opinion. No chilis were eaten, though they were took home to share.

    The Thai fried chicken was a bit overcooked. We still enjoyed the flavor and ate it all.

    Meanwhile, the remaining kitchen staff had arrived. While we could have finished with the appetizers, I wanted to try a dish described enthusiastically early on: Kao Kluk Ka Pi “fried rice with shrimp paste topped with sweet pork, shredded egg and sliced apple.” I had learned people seemed to order a fried egg on top, which I asked for, too.

    This dish arrived presented in a way I did not expect from my quick read, though looking back on the pictures I should have expected. The rice was ringed by sliced onions, ribbons of cooked eggs, cilantro, slivers of green apple, two slices of cucumber and a lime slice. I moved the egg over to another plate, then began to mix all the ingredients together. It was a bit tight on this plate to pull it off, though I managed. I squeezed in the lime toward the end to lightly mix in. I then replaced the egg, cut it in several pieces and served.

    By the time we finished this dish, there was little interest in more food. However, when I proposed fried bananas, there was enough enthusiasm to overcome responsibility.

    A menu change saved us from further happy gluttony: the fried bananas have been removed as well as mango sticky rice and (I will insert later) . It was explained they did not have enough orders to justify keeping fruit that continues to ripen and spoil.

    I did inquire about the 11 am start time to learn it is common not everyone is present. Those who know the staff may want to suggest they adjust their hours. It can be it is commonly known about their hours, just not to me.

    Afterwards, I decided to stop by Thai Food Corporation on Broadway, just north of Lawrence. I was hoping to buy some savory tapioca balls, which I remember fondly when thaiobsessed brought them to the picnic. Alas I was out of luck, though they suggested I come back on Wednesdays for those.

    I looked through their fresh cooked food for something else to try. I saw they had a variation of catfish custard for $6. I bought it to compare to Rainbow's. This catfish custard was in a plastic cup and not encased in banana leaf. It did have the same bok choy on the bottom, too.

    Thai Food Corporation
    4821 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL 60640
    Phone:(773) 728-1199

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #221 - August 28th, 2016, 7:32 pm
    Post #221 - August 28th, 2016, 7:32 pm Post #221 - August 28th, 2016, 7:32 pm
    Seems to me that all Thai fried chicken is overcooked. @ least all that I've ever eaten.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #222 - August 28th, 2016, 7:48 pm
    Post #222 - August 28th, 2016, 7:48 pm Post #222 - August 28th, 2016, 7:48 pm
    Jazzfood wrote:Seems to me that all Thai fried chicken is overcooked. @ least all that I've ever eaten.

    I have had some where it wasn't quite this dry.

    Regards,
    CAthy
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #223 - August 31st, 2016, 9:06 pm
    Post #223 - August 31st, 2016, 9:06 pm Post #223 - August 31st, 2016, 9:06 pm
    Jazzfood wrote:Seems to me that all Thai fried chicken is overcooked. @ least all that I've ever eaten.

    Agreed! Every time I've read Thai fried chicken raves, the actual product has left me with an "emperor has no clothes" feeling.
  • Post #224 - August 31st, 2016, 10:43 pm
    Post #224 - August 31st, 2016, 10:43 pm Post #224 - August 31st, 2016, 10:43 pm
    Get the Thai Wings at Aroy (4654 N Damen). Never dry in my experience but maybe I'm just lucky?

    =R=
    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #225 - September 1st, 2016, 10:04 am
    Post #225 - September 1st, 2016, 10:04 am Post #225 - September 1st, 2016, 10:04 am
    I would agree with Cathy2's assessment of our lunch.

    The catfish custard was certainly one of the top two dishes we tried. It was a good presentation and had one of those "late kick-ins" of chile flavor. However, it is NOT a dish that I would want more than three or four bites of.

    I liked the Issan sausage. It was well prepared and was the high light of the meal. I really like the mix of sour with the fat in the sausage. The coarser texture of the meat really helps hold in the flavor.

    ===============
    The lack of Thai bananas was a MAJOR disappointment. Being that MOST of the Thai bananas in the US are grown on the west coast of ... Mexico, I score a case of those bananas occasionally as part of the 60# of produce for $10. They are very much unlike the cavendish bananas that we usually get. They skins on those bananas can be pitch black and moldy without affecting the banana inside. The banana inside is firm and very sweet and are ideal for cooking.
  • Post #226 - February 13th, 2017, 5:08 pm
    Post #226 - February 13th, 2017, 5:08 pm Post #226 - February 13th, 2017, 5:08 pm
    Oh, boy, do I need help here. My girlfriend's son (9-years-old) is doing a school report on Thailand and she wants me to take him out for a genuine Thai meal. Naturally, I thought of Rainbow. I'd like to steer clear of the standard-issue fare, but I also don't want to order dishes he'd find unpalatable (too spicy, weird texture). I've got my Rainbow favorites, but for those who've been more often than I, what are your recommended Rainbow gateway drugs for a potentially reluctant newbie? Much appreciated in advance.
  • Post #227 - February 13th, 2017, 5:57 pm
    Post #227 - February 13th, 2017, 5:57 pm Post #227 - February 13th, 2017, 5:57 pm
    Luckyguy wrote:Oh, boy, do I need help here. My girlfriend's son (9-years-old) is doing a school report on Thailand and she wants me to take him out for a genuine Thai meal. Naturally, I thought of Rainbow. I'd like to steer clear of the standard-issue fare, but I also don't want to order dishes he'd find unpalatable (too spicy, weird texture). I've got my Rainbow favorites, but for those who've been more often than I, what are your recommended Rainbow gateway drugs for a potentially reluctant newbie? Much appreciated in advance.


    One dish that I always forget about, but is a favorite of my funk-averse wife is the crispy pork and Chinese broccoli.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #228 - February 14th, 2017, 9:38 am
    Post #228 - February 14th, 2017, 9:38 am Post #228 - February 14th, 2017, 9:38 am
    Luckyguy wrote:Oh, boy, do I need help here. My girlfriend's son (9-years-old) is doing a school report on Thailand and she wants me to take him out for a genuine Thai meal. Naturally, I thought of Rainbow. I'd like to steer clear of the standard-issue fare, but I also don't want to order dishes he'd find unpalatable (too spicy, weird texture). I've got my Rainbow favorites, but for those who've been more often than I, what are your recommended Rainbow gateway drugs for a potentially reluctant newbie? Much appreciated in advance.

    The main thing is to have a variety in the kinds of dishes: a salad (cucumber is least challenging, banana blossom is exotic enough without being too weird), a soup (I'd lean toward tom kha), noodles, and the "with rice" dishes (curries and stir fries). I've never met anyone who didn't like the naem khao tawt (sp?) - fried crispy rice with ham and herbs.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #229 - February 14th, 2017, 10:15 am
    Post #229 - February 14th, 2017, 10:15 am Post #229 - February 14th, 2017, 10:15 am
    Luckyguy wrote:Oh, boy, do I need help here. My girlfriend's son (9-years-old) is doing a school report on Thailand and she wants me to take him out for a genuine Thai meal. Naturally, I thought of Rainbow. I'd like to steer clear of the standard-issue fare, but I also don't want to order dishes he'd find unpalatable (too spicy, weird texture). I've got my Rainbow favorites, but for those who've been more often than I, what are your recommended Rainbow gateway drugs for a potentially reluctant newbie? Much appreciated in advance.


    Rainbow can adjust the spice level of just about anything--but if he likes anything spicy--even pepperoni pizza--he can probably handle most things without too much issue. I agree that Naem Khao Tod is probably a no-brainer--if he doesn't like anything hot, you can ask them to dial down the heat level which is easy to do with that dish. The Red Curry with Duck is another dish that I think he'd enjoy--very flavorful, a touch on the sweeter side but not too much and not spicy unless you request it to be. If he can handle a little heat, the Issan sausage is really fun--and something I think a more adventuresome kid-eater would like. If not, then maybe the beef jerky would be a good option. And even my food-phobic stepson loved the fried chicken wings.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #230 - February 20th, 2017, 8:18 am
    Post #230 - February 20th, 2017, 8:18 am Post #230 - February 20th, 2017, 8:18 am
    Many thanks to everyone who responded to my query. We went to Rainbow yesterday for a late lunch and it was a big success. Our order included: Naem khao tod, Issan sausage, fish curry (the custard-like dish in the banana leaf), banana blossom salad, mussel pancake (can't remember the name) and Ka Nar Moo Krob (chinese broccoli and crispy pork). Plus, some banana-infused sticky rice for dessert. The 9-year-old devoured everything - spice, funk and all - and loved it. His fave was the mussels. I told the waitress he was doing a school project on Thailand so she took time to explain the dishes and where they were from. Personally, it was the best lunch I've had this year, by a mile. But watching a young man bite into an Issan sausage and say, "I want to save a couple of these for my brothers," that's pretty terrific.
  • Post #231 - June 2nd, 2017, 10:35 am
    Post #231 - June 2nd, 2017, 10:35 am Post #231 - June 2nd, 2017, 10:35 am
    Redundancy aside, I am compelled to resurface my beloved Rainbow Cuisine's thread based on the superlative fish dishes I have had in the last few weeks.

    It's been my favorite Thai place for a full 3 years now, but it's been the last 3 months of flawless fish entrees - Pad Ped Pla (stir-fried sole), Kaeng Som Pla (sour fish curry), and Pla Prik Khing (Prik Khing w/ sole, *on special) have been a total joy. I still place an order of the Pad Kra Prow (ground chicken basil Thai style) and Bamboo Blossom Salad at least once every two visits, but these fish entrees have the most unbelievable perfectly textured chunks of sole.

    With Opart fully ensconced in red-tape, I would love to see Rainbow capture some market share, because with the product they're putting out, one visit is all it will take to convert Thai food lovers. (as always - avoid Moo Ping, get Gai Tod)
  • Post #232 - February 6th, 2018, 2:45 pm
    Post #232 - February 6th, 2018, 2:45 pm Post #232 - February 6th, 2018, 2:45 pm
    Per a notice posted to the door:
    Will be closed Feb 19 through Mar 23, as the owner-chefs will be in Thailand.

    Glad I saw this when I did. Still enough time for 2 orders before their vacation.

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