Latitude 8 Thai Grill

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11 W. Boston Street, Suite #5, Chandler

Housed in the former Arrow Pharmacy space in historic downtown Chandler, this streamlined, upscale restaurant offers some of the best Thai food in the state. David Fliger owns the place with his mother Nicha Jithchamnonk, who grew up in southern Thailand (along Latitude 8), an area rich in seafood. Naturally, their menu reflects her background. Fliger knew from the get-go that he wanted to do things differently, staying rooted in tradition but placing Thai food in a modern context. Although many Thai classics can be found on the menu, they're prepared with top-notch ingredients and so artfully presented that everything seems to be a cut above similar dishes found elsewhere. Fried fish cakes, made fresh to order, are plump and juicy here, not pre-prepared and nuked to a fare-thee-well in the microwave. The stuffed chicken wing is also likely to be the best you've ever had. Ditto for pad Thai (which is neither too wet nor too sticky) and wonderful fried rice, made with grilled pineapple, sweet sausage, raisins and cashews. At dinner, you'll find fancier, pricier selections, but jump right in. They're well worth the extra bucks you'll spend. Just be sure to save room for warm, coconut-crusted plantains and the best mango and sticky rice in town. Trust me, you'll leave Latitude with a good attitude. Lunch M-F; Dinner M-Sa (open at 2 pm Sa). $-$$$