Mouthful - Thai cuisine
?A staff favorite, not just for the lower than average prices but for the novel dishes and daily list of specials. Pad prik king and the duck curry are standouts. This place can be packed at night, so bring a reserve of patience or consider carryout. 225 Cheshire Bridge Road. 404-315-1530.
?Its new big sister, Nan Thai Fine Dining, exudes a richer aura of glamour, but Tamarind still sets the standard for the city's Thai offerings - particularly with its silky curries and stellar, sprightly salads. Service remains polished and knowledgeable. Beware the tricky parking scenario. 80 14th St. 404-873-4888.
Panita Thai Kitchen
?Among the plethora of Thai choices in Virginia-Highland, Panita ranks as a hidden treasure. The food has the same quality of rustic authenticity as the decor. Check out nam tok - an aromatic saute of beef, onion, Thai chilies and basil - and the free-form egg roll appetizer called Bags of Gold. 1043 Greenwood Ave. 404-888-9228.
?Located in a suburban area filled with chains and top-notch Persian restaurants, Erawan is a modest Thai effort that does the basics right. Stick to the well-rendered classics like Penang and masaman curries and pad Thai. 7855 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs. 770-399-3033.
?This strip mall showplace holds its own with simple, elegant trappings and a reassuring air of formality. The menu has a fusion slant that, surprisingly, works more often than not. Starters (chicken satay, shrimp dumplings, duck breast salad) are worth particular attention. 3939 LaVista Road, Tucker. 770-938-2223. www.northlakethai.com.