Restaurant rule No. 577: If you’re going to serve Egyptian cashew dukkah on the same menu as a Kashmiri rogan josh, you damn well better know what you’re doing. And Proxi’s chef-partner, Andrew Zimmerman (who earned a Michelin star around the corner at Sepia), does. His wildly ambitious small-plate menu trots the globe with an absurd confidence; the fact that it succeeds is something of a miracle. Of course, the gimmicky stuff like lime-kissed tempura elotes and Indonesian pork jerky get all the glory. But Zimmerman’s understanding of pure Thai flavors, as in a fleshy cobia in a turmeric-tinged coconut sauce littered with curry leaves, is what elevates the food beyond scattershot street snacks into an exciting distillation of the world’s most appealing flavors. The gorgeous space’s towering, barrel-vaulted ceiling and abundance of marble and wood tend to amp up the racket to ridiculous levels. A throbbing bar scene adds to the chaos, sometimes leaving servers (and diners) in the weeds. But if you’re going to be lost, Proxi isn’t a bad place to find yourself.
Don’t miss:Clever cocktails like the El-Otay ($14), with roasted-corn-infused mezcal and tequila, make the bar scene a destination in and of itself.