I'll be in Madison in a few days for a week, and am interested in learning about international/"ethic" markets and restaurants.
I grew up in Madison but left many years ago. I now live in the SF area. I get plenty of Asian/Indian/African options where I live, but I am nonetheless curious as to how that aspect of the food scene in Madison has changed in the last 10+ years. Madison has always had great ethnic diversity of food, but none was particularly great quality/authenticity.
For example, I have been to Sa-Bai Thong (years ago), and it wasn't bad, as long as you do not think of it as actually being Thai --it seemed more like Chinese that wanted to pretend to be Thai (use of a lot of corn starch in sauces, for example). And I have been in the market at the corner of Park Street and West Wash, which was ok, but many empty shelves and near-rotting produce.
I'm aware that there are lots of new/semi-new restaurants (Sardine, Fresco both of which I've been to; Pig in a Fur Coat; etc) which are putting Madison on the food map. Yet, many/most of these seem to be Italian/European menus combined with farm-to-table inspiration of California-cuisine.
Seaches on CH do not come up with much in this area except for the following link from several years ago (maybe there is more, but I have little patience for CH's "search" capabilities):
So, any ideas of places I should check out, links to reviews I might look at? (Sadly, March is not the ideal time of year for farmers' markets).
Thanks so much!