Papaya Restaurant has always been a favorite of mine. The decor is ultra modern and very romantic for a date. Because Papaya is an Asian fusion restaurant, it’s a great litmus test for how daring your date is in terms of food. The Asian flavors are unique, but they’re gentle enough for a less daring eater.
Typically, Asian fusion is just an excuse for not making something
right. Papaya, however, is the good kind of fusion in that it combines
fun ideas with traditional flavors. The curry flavors are distinctive
but light in comparison to a Thai restaurant. The main Asian influences
are Thai and Vietnamese. I’ve never had the sushi here but a friend
told me that it was pretty good. The menu is nice and manageable.
There are nightly specials and the menu changes slightly to reflect
the offering of the current season. I actually came here during
restaurant week but I was told that the restaurant was fully booked
until the end of Local Restaurant Week, so I didn’t want to tease y’all.
My friend Jen and I both had the special $20.10 menu, but I’ve seen
both of these dishes on the regular menu many times before.
I had the Pork Chop special. It’s a bone-in chop served with fried
plantains, bok choy, and a pineapple red curry. The pork was cooked
perfectly. It was tender and juicy, and it had a nice sear on the
outside. The bok choy was a great balance for the fried plantains and
the curry. That is normally what I order when I eat at Papaya. In fact,
I’ll call ahead and make sure it’s on the list of specials that night.
friend Jen had the Mojito Chicken. The chicken was also cooked
perfectly with a tangy, pepper crust. It was served with coconut rice,
bok choy and a lightly sweetened sauce with herbs. The coconut rice is
a really fun flavor for the dish. It’s sticky rice cooked with coconut
milk. It’s sweet but not heavy and it balanced out the chicken and the