Owner Nikki Phinyawatana was planning a return to Bangkok when the opportunity arose to open her first restaurant, Asian Mint. Although she’s a native of Thailand, Phinyawatana has been living in Dallas since high school. Her initial exposure to the restaurant business came when she helped her dad run his delivery company. “We dealt with 30 different restaurants, so I got to see all the ins and outs,” she says. While it may seem unassuming from the outside, Asian Mint has all the flair of a hip, urban eatery. “No one really expects us to be here,” Phinyawatana says. But once diners stumble onto this little secret, they keep coming back for more. Perhaps it’s because of menu staples such as the classic pad Thai or the grilled Thai beef salad with lime vinaigrette. Other crowd pleasers include the steamed sea bass, served in a lime lemongrass sauce, and the pad Thai no sen, a take on the traditional dish without all the carbs. Because Phinyawatana originally wanted to open a bakery (she has a pastry degree), the dessert bar, with choices such as Green Tea ice cream cake, definitely shouldn’t be skipped.

ASIAN MINT

11617 N. CENTRAL EXPY.

(AT FOREST)

214-363-6655

Mon-Thurs 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Fri

11 a.m.-midnight; Sat noon-

midnight; Sun noon-10 p.m.

$$, FB