Chef Maria Hines of Tilth, Golden Beetle, and Agrodolce likes Mai Thaiku “‘cause it’s not overly sweet Thai food made for the American palate. The spicy is hella spicy, and the sour will make your face pucker.” The former Ballard favorite reopened (finally!) in a sweet Phinney Ridge bungalow at the beginning of the year, adding “mai” to its name (“mai” means “new” in Thai). And it’s true: Mai Thaiku makes fresher, more interesting, and way more delicious Thai food than you might be used to—along the lines of the great stuff you’ll find at Little Uncle. You’ll wish you lived closer to it. (Mai Thaiku, 6705 Greenwood Ave N, thaiku.com, 4–11 pm)