I was at Spoon Thai on Saturday evening. They gave us the standard menu and a special menu of items highlighted by the Chicago Tribune. I then asked for the translated Thai menu. The waitress said I had all the menus. I said please go and ask for the Thai translated menu. After a few minutes, we received several photocopied pages presumably the effort of Erik and Food First.
I ordered what I liked and remembered from the Westernathon: One bite salad and exploded catfish. From their daily special a crab paste and shrimp stuffed into a crab shell and fried with a sweet chili sauce. Instead of dessert, we had the banana flower salad.
My friend is a travel agent who has been to Thailand at least 8 times ... often on state sponsored cultural tours to acquaint her with the region. She was stunned at the texture and explosion of flavors she witnessed in these dishes at Spoon Thai. Though she felt she knew Thai food from eating in "authentic" restaurants as well as street food in Thailand, she never had such fantastic, complex Thai as on our humble Lincoln Avenue.
So you can go to the holy grail and still miss the boat.