The pure, primal delight of Thai food lies in the balance of flavors, that perfect harmony of sweet-spicy-sour-salty-bitter lighting up the pleasure center of your brain like a pinball machine. May Kitchen + Bar on Vashon Island takes that magic to another level with a beautiful bit of dinner theater—a tableside pad thai preparation where a server dresses your rice noodles before your eyes, asks you how you like yours, deftly flicks the corresponding amount of cane sugar, chili flakes, and crushed peanuts right onto your plate, and blends it all with lime juice and banana flowers (slender white tubular blossoms that create a puckeringly astringent sensation in your mouth). The whole thing is served wrapped in a banana leaf and with the fixings on the side, so you can adjust your own plate accordingly as you eat. The trip to Vashon is well worth it for this and various other pleasures on the menu. JULIANNE BELL
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