Subway: Brown to Kedzie(773) 539-1909 arunsthai.com41.957442 -87.708462 4156 N Kedzie Ave (at Berteau Ave) Albany Park, Chicago
Dinner (closed Mon)Average degustation: $85
In 1985, Arun Sampanthavivat handed Chicago its first real taste of Thai food; in return, the accolades poured in. Today, the dining landscape insists that we hold Arun’s to one of two standards: stacking its $85 prix fixe up against other upscale experiences or comparing the parade of Thai standards to those found at the brigade of solid storefronts in town. In both cases, Arun’s, unfortunately, does not emerge the victor. The flavors here are flat, the proteins overcooked, the food obscured by dated attempts to mask it all with random piles of carved vegetables. Arun’s was no doubt deserving of praise when it opened, but now it's on autopilot, and each night that its kitchen continues this way will further dismantle their once-stellar reputation.