68. Banana Leaf Malaysian Kitchen
This pretty, bamboo-clad restaurant in Bellaire Boulevard’s Chinatown may not be consistent across the board, but it offers an exuberant short course in Malaysian cookery. Pick apart the strands of Thai, Chinese, Indian and Indonesian cuisine as you tear into the coiled, flaky pancakes called roti — a must here with the red chile and coconut dipping sauce. Stir-fried water spinach (Kang Kung) get a kick of red chile on the finish. Sauteed calamari practically frolic in their sambal sauce. Flounder daubed in chile and shrimp paste gets steamed in a banana leaf and an electric fish-based noodle soup, Penang Assam Laksa, is worth braving the perpetual lines.
Entree price range: $$
Where: 9889 Bellaire Blvd.