Photo by Cristina Fletes-Boutté, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Pearl Cafe

Scroll through Pearl Cafe’s Facebook page, and you’ll see photo after photo of diners who have attempted the Thai restaurant’s infamous Spice Challenge. Unsurprisingly, both those who have passed and those who have failed look equally miserable. Fortunately, you don’t need to try this challenge to enjoy Pearl Cafe — I’ve never done it — but it’s one of the cool ways brothers Scott and Tommy Truong have set their restaurant apart since it opened in 2009. Where else can you pair very good renditions of your favorite Thai curries and noodle dishes with one of some 200 craft beers or more than 100 single-malt scotches?