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Top Picks - Arkansas Daily Deal

Selected restaurants

This article was published August 20, 2015 at 1:44 a.m.

Weekly theme listings reflect a range of dining possibilities in central Arkansas, across a spectrum of settings and price ranges. Restaurant reviewers' visits are anonymous and all expenses are paid by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. To read recent restaurant reviews in their entirety, visit arkansasonline.com/restaurants.

Asian

CHANG THAI & ASIAN CUISINE

9830 Arkansas 107, Sherwood, (501) 835-4488

This 4-year-old mom-and-pop operation has expanded into a third storefront in a north-of-North Hills strip center and there's no longer a buffet. It's worth the drive if you're interested in genuine, decently priced Thai food (the menu also has a few pan-Asian options) made with fresh ingredients. They'll make it mild or as hot as you want it with, as a bonus, nice plate presentation.

Lunch, dinner Mon-Fri, dinner Sat, lunch Sun. No alcohol. Bargain-Moderate.

UPDATE! kBIRD

600 N. Tyler St., Little Rock, (501) 352-3549

A food-truck-to-brick-and-mortar conversion, this two-man operation serves top-flight Thai dishes (they grind curries and blend sauces by hand) in a little yellow Hillcrest house with limited seating, serving a limited menu that's scrawled on a white board in front of the counter.

Lunch, dinner (until 6:30 p.m.) Monday-Friday. No alcohol. Bargain.

UPDATE! KEMURI SUSHI SEAFOOD ROBATA

2601 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock, (501) 660-4100

Jerry Barakat's Asian fusion restaurant in Little Rock's Hillcrest neighborhood offers an elaborate sushi list, a predominantly Japanese and Thai-fusion menu of tasty hot- and cold-plate appetizers and entrees, robata (Japanese cooking style that involves grilling small, simple dishes over a charcoal flame) and now an Asian-fusion Sunday brunch.

Dinner daily; brunch Sun. Full bar. Reservations. Moderate-expensive.

LILLY'S DIM SUM THEN SOME

11121 N. Rodney Parham Road, Little Rock, (501) 716-2700

Owner Nancy Tesmer's menu continues to widen local dining horizons with commendable Pan-Asian food ranging from Pad Thai to Korean Bibim Bop with grilled steak to sukiyaki-style Japanese noodles.

Lunch, dinner daily. Beer, wine. Reservations (six or more people). Moderate.

OISHI HIBACHI & THAI CUISINE

5501 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock, (501) 603-0080

From Lulu Chi and Sushi Cafe protege Robert Tju comes this Heights hybrid, half upscale hibachi tables, half Asian fusion menu (with a recent shift to more of a Chinese accent than it initially offered), with a sushi bar in between.

Lunch, dinner daily. Full bar. Reservations: big parties. Moderate-expensive.

THAI TASTE

1516 W. Main St., Jacksonville, (501) 985-1854

Pass up the low-common-denominator buffet and stick to the menu (including top-notch versions of Pad Thai and curry selections) at this authentic Thai restaurant, which offers delicious dishes deftly seasoned to the customer's taste in a homey storefront.

Lunch Mon-Fri, dinner Mon-Sat. No alcohol. Reservations. Bargain-Moderate.

TOKYO HOUSE

11 Shackleford Drive, Little Rock, (501) 219-4286

Tokyo House has a menu, but there's no reason to use it when the abundant, continually replenished buffet offers everything from impressive sushi (continuously made by skilled chefs) to Chinese dishes like saucy teriyaki beef, garlicky pork gyoza and tempura shrimp, to upscale indulgences (including lamb chops at dinner and Friday-Sunday crab legs).

Lunch, dinner daily. Beer, wine. Moderate.

VANLANG

3600 S. University Ave., Little Rock, (501) 570-7700

The menu at what used to be a Vietnamese eatery is now about half Vietnamese and half Korean, and it draws a good many Asian customers, perhaps a testament to the authentic nature of its seafood dishes and other items.

Lunch, dinner daily. Beer, wine. Reservations. Bargain-moderate.

Weekend on 08/20/2015

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