On our annual ironic Xmas theater family outing (well not always ironic, some years we go for straight sentimentality, but the teens prefer the irony), the important question arose - where to eat? Fortunately we had spoken with the Ultimo and already prepared to make the trek north from the Loop to Spoon Thai.
I did receive a bit of flak about having to drive so far (add whiny tones), from the oh-so-crowded pre-xmas Loop, which caused me to ponder when we arrived at Spoon Thai why only 4 tables were occupied when I am sure people were waiting in line at Italian Village, but on to the Chow.
Meal was excellent, service delightful. No new ground was broken - Isaan Sausage, One-Bite Salad (a major hit), Papaya Salad (too hot for all but me), Tom Yum, Red Curry, Fried Chicken, and for the not adventurous members, Spring Rolls and Rice with Beef. The Family resists mopst seafood and many meats, so we worked the basics. Desserts were excellent, particularly the Peach Ice Cream. The banana stuffed sticky rice was not too great in comparison.
A 2000 Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc (Special Reserve for Xmas, I think, tho I tend to be very happy with their regular) was a fine companion.
The family was well fed, and well pleased in the end, and the value is extraordinary.
Thanks to all posters for great info and a great meal.