Archira <www.achirathaisushi.com> is a new Thai/Japanese restaurant in the East 54 complex in Chapel Hill (same side of ellipse as Saffron). Wife and I went for a look at their menu around 7:30PM the other day, and then to bring home some Thai takeout (wife had been there the previous week for lunch.
The setting is lovely -- inside very sleek, with warm woods in contrast to pottery (nice collection) and modern tables, chairs, cutlery, etc. The menu is extensive as the website suggests. What I was not prepared for was the quality for the price charged. We ordered very conservatively, as we do at any new place, to check out how "standards" are treated. The "pot stickers" were served in a thick red curry broth. It was not dumbed down for US palates, but had quite a lovely bite to it. Tastes were clean not muddy at all. The roast duck salad was impressive, lots of good trimmed duck over a pepper, cucumber melange and dressed calmly. Again, tastes were clean and very distinct. The pad thai was lovely. Not the kind of gelatinous mess that too many local places are now serving. Everything was perfectly cooked, and the tastes again were fresh. And someone in the kitchen had fun making the carrot rosettes.
The sushi bar is long and impressive. Looking it over, the fish looked good (I know, who can tell that way?) and the two sushi chefs were at attention waiting at that time on exactly no customers.
Lots of folk were sitting outside on the sidewalk patio, drinking all manner of things and seeming to enjoy the food as well. It was a nice mix of retired Meadowmont people, young attractive professionals, students, and dog owners!
It's certainly now in our rotation. And the sushi awaits sampling. Thai Palace, 200 yards away, is in for a competitive run. Archira has a head start.