Our passport to the world of Thai cuisine thus far has been a tasty, yet safe journey of pad thai and massaman curry. But 7-month-old Larb in Brunswick has unlocked culinary adventures into the country's rich heritage of appetizers, soups, salads, noodles and entrees. With its cozy wood interior and intricate punched-tin wall art, the intimate spot along Pearl Road is a welcome respite for hungry guests looking to explore Thailand's many enticing flavors. Start with the traditional dumplings ($6.95), an expertly crafted combo of shrimp, chicken, crab and pork stuffed in wonton wrappers. The bite-sized pieces are steamed and then served with a house-made spicy soy sauce that amps up the entire dish. Next, try a bowl of the thom kha soup ($3.95), a lemongrass broth flavored with coconut milk, mushrooms, cilantro, lime juice, Thai peppers and galanga (a herb similar to ginger). Guests can add protein such as chicken, tofu or shrimp for an additional cost — one you should indulge in. When it comes time to order a main dish, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the various curry, noodle and entree options. But you can't go wrong with the crying tiger ($16.95). Pair the tender grilled slices of herb-marinated beef with the accompanying spicy dipping sauce (a mix of rice powder, hot pepper, red onion and a squeeze of lime). Just make sure you pack a big appetite for this trip's bold, intense flavors.
WHEN YOU GO: Larb 452 Pearl Road, Brunswick, 330-460-6213, larbohio.com