Did you know that you can travel the globe without ever leaving Oakland Park? Wilton Manors’ northern neighbor brings the world to your doorstep with its international cuisine. Savor the flavors of Mexico at Tacos and Tatts, El Guanaco offers Spanish and Salvadoran fare, Great Greek Mediterranean Grill is self-explanatory, and Bulegreen has its roots in Brazilian culture. Two of the newest places in Oakland Park add a couple more stops on your global tour.
Step inside Nour Thai Kitchen and you are instantly transported to the streets of Isaan, Thailand by the staff’s smiling faces and cheery greetings to the décor inspired by the region's vivid color schemes and murals. From the moment you enter, you'll be immersed in a sensory feast - the aroma of fresh herbs and spices, the sound of sizzling woks, and the sight of the vibrant murals (painted by the restaurant’s owner), all evoking the essence of Thailand. The menu is rooted in the Isaan cooking style, known for its unique blend of sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and spicy flavors. Each dish is a symphony of these tastes.
The menu is divided into small plates, soups and salads, noodle, and rice dishes, entrees, chef’s specials, and desserts. While you’ll find the classic Thai dishes, you’ll be richly rewarded if you try some of the Isaan-centric and other more exotic fare. Don’t worry, the chef will adjust spice levels to your specifications, and unless you really like spicy food, I suggest mild for everything.
Instead of standard tom yum soup try it Isaan style; with baby pork ribs, lemongrass, tomato, galanga, cilantro & culantro, and scallions. Or go all in, and order the gaeng om, an herbal curry soup made with red curry paste and chicken stock, Thai eggplant, roasted rice powder, culantro, holy basil, mushrooms, dill, cabbage, and Thai chili, served with a choice of protein (chicken, shrimp, or seafood mix with mussels, squid, and shrimp).
For entrees, you may choose from the usual noodle and rice dishes, but for a real treat, check out the chef’s specials. The dishes vary from fragrant yet mild, to spicy. Among some of the most intriguing are lobster pad thai. Other offerings include dishes featuring the chef’s special volcano sauce (options include jumbo shrimp, and steamed or fried soft-shell crab, with steamed veggies), boneless duck (served crispy with red wine and berry reduction, stir-fried with veggies and fresh basil, or in a red curry sauce), or a Thai version of pork osso buco. Thai donuts make for a sweet ending to a memorable meal, and there is a surprisingly expansive wine list.
Nour Thai Kitchen
3554 NE 12th Ave., Oakland Park
Our next stop on our journey around the globe is Paisa Bites for a chance to savor the cuisine of Colombia. Paisa is what the people of Medellín, Colombia call each other. Owner Matteo Villa was born in Medellín and grew up in Bogota, Colombia’s biggest city, so he brings an authentic flair to his Colombian fast-food restaurant. I just returned from a trip to Colombia (see my article in the next issue of OUTSFL Magazine), and I was yearning for a taste of my travels. We stopped in on a late Saturday afternoon and had the place to ourselves, a shame because someplace this good and reasonably priced should be packed all the time.
We shared the Fritos Colombianos, a basket overflowing with fried goodies. It featured a pair each of beef, chicken, and cheese empanadas, cheese-filled and guava-filled tequeňos (fritters), yuca stuffed with beef and cheese, and two fried arépas. All of this was accompanied by sides of guacamole, salsa, and limes. A glass of traditional apple-flavored soda was a great accompaniment. For those who prefer beer, there is a nice variety of domestic and Colombian brews.
If you’re looking for something more substantial, entrée options include Badeja Paisas, (a traditional platter with chorizo, pork belly, or blood sausage, served with mini arepas, rice, beans, and sliced avocado, topped with a fried egg,) or carnes ala plancha (grilled diced steak, served with fries or tostones, and a salad.) Other options for the less adventurous include chicken soup, and a good old-fashioned hamburger. Because sometimes when traveling the world, you just want a taste of home.
3499 N. Dixie Hwy., Oakland Park
Rick Karlin is OutSFL's food editor. Have a culinary tip to share? Email Rick at