The notion of an Asian-Mex fusion taqueria isn't so crazy in a city where Korean tacos (Giwa) and Thai-flavored burritos (Cucina Zapata, Foo Truck) have been around for years.
But some extra crunch is anticipated when it involves nachos and Alex Boonphaya, whose Circles restaurants are among the better Thai kitchens in town.
At his four-month-old Tuk Tuk Real on South Street, Boonphaya melds culinary minds and chile-centric traditions with his Mexican chef de cuisine Silvestre Rincón Tellez.
Among their most convincing mash-ups is a heaping steel crock of nachos topped with lamb massaman, itself a sort of fusion dish. Massaman is a mild southern Thai curry of Muslim origin that weaves cardamom, clove, and star anise into its coconut-milk gravy.
After a six-hour braise, the superbly tender meat is piled high over chips, laced with rivers of molten jack, black beans, and the spark of pickled red onions.
- Craig LaBan
Lamb massaman nachos, $9, Tuk Tuk Real, 429 South St., 267-639-2396.