I’m not sure why food tastes better from a bento box, but it just does. That said, a sad Styrofoam clamshell couldn’t dull Thai Namtip’s vivid flavors. Even old standbys—broccoli stir-fry, pepper and onion, et al.—are prime versions of those Thai menu basics. And more complicated dishes, like basil stir-fry with myriad veggies (carrots, mushrooms, sweet bell peppers, onions) and a hit of fresh Thai basil leaves are unrivaled in the city, especially this side of I-74.
Thai Namtip looks modest from a distance and is parked slightly off the central beaten path in a North Bend Road strip mall, but it’s worth the drive from pretty much any neighborhood. The interior is cozy, the staff is warm, and at $7.95 for four sushi roll pieces and a choice of stir-fry, that dine-in bento box is your new favorite lunch deal.
An extra buck gets you rice or steamed noodles (go for it). If you aren’t looking for a mini-Thai buffet, then go all in on one of the classic curry selections. All of them ring in at under $8: We love the panang, creamy and bright with carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and kaffir lime leaves, or the massaman, with a punchy mix of potatoes, carrots, onions, and a handful of crunchy roasted peanuts. It’s so good that you’ll float back to work vowing to add roasted peanuts to every dish forever.
Thai Namtip, 5461 North Bend Rd., Monfort Heights, (513) 481-3360, thainamtip.com. Lunch and dinner seven days.