Fork & Stix and Kiin Essentially Thai
Fork & Stix added a sleek downtown satellite named Kiin Essentially Thai last year, and though my heart remains loyal to the cozy original location, tucked away on the east side of the Delmar Loop, I support anything that spreads the gospel of the restaurant’s signature khao soi. That curry-noodle soup is a specialty of owner Phatcharin Wanna’s native northern Thailand, and since 2012, Fork & Stix has played a seminal role in introducing St. Louis to regional Thai cuisine. One other reason I favor the Delmar Loop location: Unlike Kiin, Fork & Stix’s menu offers my second-favorite of Wanna’s northern Thai meals, sai oua (sausage) paired with sticky rice and an order of naam prik nuum (roasted-chile sauce).
Hours: Fork & Stix: Lunch and dinner Tuesday-Sunday (closed Monday); Kiin Essentially Thai: Lunch and dinner Monday-Saturday (closed Sunday)
Last year's ranking: Rest of the Best
Opened: Fork & Stix: 2012; Kiin Essentially Thai: 2018