It goes without saying that to make it 20 years in the ruthless restaurant business is a special sort of achievement. You get there by excelling at the big stuff, the little stuff, and all the stuff in between, which is precisely what Chef Kwan does day in and day out at her popular Lakewood establishment. Kwan's Thai dishes are vibrant, multi-dimensional and perfectly balanced from top to bottom. They are simultaneously comforting and exciting, which is why we love dishes like tom yum soup, green papaya salad, duck in green curry, and blazingly spicy beef in "jungle curry" in the first place. A recent expansion has tripled the size of the dining room and doubled the size of the kitchen, making it more comfortable than ever to enjoy Cleveland's best Thai food.
12210 Madison Ave., Lakewood, 216-226-4450, thaikitchenlakewood.com.