This Bangkok restaurant, which just opened in August 2010, is getting tons of buzz, and unlike many of the city's trendy restaurants, all the hype is truly deserved. The dishes, mostly simple Thai classics such as som tam, khao soi and curry, aren't tinkered with and modernized so much as just... perfected. Essential ingredients, for the most part, remain the same, and dishes look a lot like what you'll find in any mom and pop shop house, but flavors are brighter and more intense and presentation is thoughtful. The restaurant is quite small, with seating for only a couple dozen on the main floor (make a reservation), and the atmosphere is casual but sophisticated.
56/10 Sukhumvit Soi 55, Bangkok, +66 2714 7708 www.soulfoodmahanakorn.com
Around 1,000 Baht ($30) for two people