Located in Bucktown, Silom12 has all the ingredients for a great restaurant: spectacular food, excellent and superbly friendly service, and swanky décor (although dimming the lights would set the mood even more). So what’s the problem? Why wasn’t this place packed on a recent Friday night? Maybe, I said to my husband, once they get their liquor license (the owner hopes this month or next), things will liven up a bit. My husband shook his head. That wasn’t it. It’s the price, my husband responded. This place would be much more crowded if Silom12 increased its prices. Unfortunately, I think he was right. As it stands, then, Silom12 is currently a bit of a rare gem. A well priced, delicious, BYOB that you can walk right into on a weekend night. I just hope it can maintain at this pace.
Dinner began with shrimp chips and a very inoffensive fishy dipping sauce. Note that these are most definitely fried, so at least attempt to eat sparingly. Because we were so hungry and prices were so low, we each ordered an appetizer. I had the por pia sod, a kind of fresh spring roll with tofu, egg, and bean sprouts and served with a plum sauce. I would suggest the restaurant serve the plum sauce on the side because, while very good, it overwhelmed those pieces served directly in it. My husband ordered the tom yum goong, a healthy hot and sour shrimp soup with a bright orange broth, plump mushrooms, and hints of lemon grass and kefir lime. This was definitely an order-again.
For dinner I ordered the mixed vegetables with beef. This could have been a ho hum dinner, but at Silom12 it was an exceptional dance of just the right amount of sweet brown garlic oyster sauce, vegetables – broccoli, carrots, baby corn, and peppers, and a generous portion of tender, lean beef. I ordered brown rice instead of white to make my meal even healthier. That said, generally speaking, ordering healthy at a Thai restaurant is relatively simple. The cuisine tends to be light on fats and sauces and relies heavily on vegetables, noodles, and rice. To make sure there are not hidden fats, consider requesting that your dish be cooked in vegetable oil rather than coconut oil or lard.
Try Silom12 at 1646 N. Milwaukee Ave., and, at least for the time being, don’t forget to bring your own booze.