UPTOWN — Second Fridays on Argyle returns this week with a trip to a relative newcomer in the area Immm Rice & Beyond.
The restaurant at 4949 N. Broadway, which opened in December, serves up Thai street food in a Panda Express-like buffet, but will offer a traditional Lanna Khantoke dinner from 6-9 p.m. Friday.
Second Fridays on Argyle is monthly event hosted by the 48th Ward meant not only to showcase food at a local business, but also bring the community together.
Lanna refers to Northern Thai customs, cuisine or traditions. Khantoke is a low-to-the-ground dining tray showcasing a variety of main and side dishes, according to a press release from Axis Lab, which "aims to sustain and build upon the legacy of the Southeast Asian community on Argyle street" through food, design and the arts.
"This method of eating transcends social strata, and is seen in everyday family dinners to special occasions such as weddings or house-warming parties," the release said, adding meals are traditionally eaten while sitting on the floor.
The restaurant's owner, Dew Suriyawan, and his business partner, Noon Tosakulwong, opened with the focus of offering street food not typically offered in Thai restaurants around the city.
“Several Thai restaurants throughout Chicago do offer a 'secret menu' that only Thai people know about; our goal at Immm is to introduce these real Thai dishes to a greater audience," Tosakulwong said.
For the event, Suriyawan will be showcasing a dinner from his hometown of Chiang Mai. The selection includes an appetizer of prawn crackers with chili jam, eight main dishes, three sides and a dessert of longan rice pudding.
Main dishes include mee grob (vermicelli noodles and tofu with sweet and sour), tum kanoon (jackfruit, tomatoes, pork cracklings and shallots), pakkard jore (Chinese spinach and pork ribs in a tamarind soup), nam prik ong (ground pork in tomato sauce), nam prik noom (peppers, tomatoes, garlic and shallots), gaeng hung lay (pork belly in ginger-red curry), gai todd (Thai style fried chicken) and sai oua sausage (lemongrass pork sausage).
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