Nari is now serving fresh and fiery Thai dishes at Japantown’s Hotel Kabuki. It’s a spinoff from the Michelin-starred Kin Khao, but in a much larger space with clean design and jungle leaves: Check out photos of the interiors.
Per usual, chef-owner Pim Techamuanvivit is not holding back on funky and spicy flavors. Well beyond the usual noodles and curries, she’s leaning into bold and modern Thai dishes. But unlike its its older sister, Kin Khao, Nari has room for a more extensive menu.
“Kin Khao is a smaller kitchen, and there are some super popular dishes, that can never come off the menu — the green curry with rabbit, for instance,” says Techamuanvivit. “But at Nari, we literally have more room to play, and start fresh with new dishes.”
Of that bunch, the miang is likely to be an Instagram star. It’s a sweet snack of stone fruit, trout roe, and coconut piled on heart-shaped betel leaves. Other starters include squid and pork jowl, a marriage of two favorite dishes from Kin Khao tossed with chiles and crushed peanuts.
Larger platters are meant to be shared, moving into curries, rice, and relish. The gaeng rawaeng is a centerpiece, a whole game hen sunk into a golden curry, served with buttery roti. Other large format dishes include a gaeng bumbai aubergine, a hot eggplant curry topped with crispy shallots and lemon basil. Servers kindly warn that this, along with a few other items, is so spicy that diners might cry “tears of joy.”
“It’s not Thai food unless you hurt a little,” laughs Techamuanvivit.
Cooling desserts include a pandan parfait with pebbled ice cream, and cocktails from bar director Megan Daniel-Hoang (Whitechapel), like a Kaki (cognac, banana liqueur, amber vermouth, amaro, saffron), are all named after female characters from Thai literature.
Nari is now open daily from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Reservations are available on Resy. Check back for lunch, which will begin soon.