With their new 38-seat BYO spot in the West Loop, the people behind Saigon Sisters want to rewrite the gospel of fast-casual Thai, one dish at a time. Oyster-sauce-glossed chicken morsels, bell peppers, and Thai basil leaves are emboldened by Thai chilies and capped with a fried egg in Bang Chop’s holy basil chicken ($9.50, with rice), while kaffir lime, fish sauce, and basil spice up the housemade green curry with bamboo shoots and Thai eggplant ($9, with rice).
Once you’ve conquered the basics, expand your palate a bit—through, say, the waterfall beef salad with seared flank steak, marinated onions, and mint, spiked with zingy lime and chilies ($11), or a rotating regional special, such as a northern Thai curry (khao soi) or fermented bamboo shoot salad. And if sometimes you just want chicken wings—the crispy kind served with chili-speckled, sticky-sweet dipping sauce ($9 for six)—that’s a great way to go, too. “People keep asking us to bottle that sauce,” says co-owner Mary Nguyen Aregoni. 605 W. Lake St., 312-285-2800