SILKY MOSQUITO-NETTING SHEERS and walls the reputed color of the sky—we Seattleites tend to forget by April—blow a tropical breeze through this romantic and sophisticated brick room along the Columbia City strip. So does the menu, a giddy romp through Thailand, with its velvety curries and sweet tamarind pad Thai, along with fragrant stops across India, China, and Southeast Asia. Standouts include a spicy shrimp tom yum goong soup, deep-fried whole tilapia in garlic sauce, and elegant wok-fried drunken rice noodles destined to become a classic—all for prices too criminally low for food and a setting so lush. But what makes Spice Room memorable is its worldly grasp of what urbanites want most in an exotic restaurant—brown rice for health, stiff cocktails for fun, a few fusion dishes (great Thai steak) for a dash of urban panache, and servers so well-informed and gently authoritative you can entrust yourself and your family to their capable hands.

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