For just a dollar more you can net seafood and duck versions of any of the 17 basic preparations to which you add your chosen protein. (You can also stick with vegetables and/or tofu.) Eggplant Delight is listed on both lunch and dinner menus, and I tried it with pork, again at level six. Must have been a different cook, as the dish could have used a lot more heat to punch up what was otherwise a fairly bland dish, the Thai basil sauce not doing enough to elevate the slightly undercooked eggplant.
But another lunch special, the tantalizingly titled Queen of Duck, exceeds expectations. If you select the curry sauce, as I did at the waiter’s recommendation (he apparently read my mind when he warned that the tamarind sauce option was sweet), you may be surprised to find that the curry is more like a broth. This is not to be construed as a problem; the broth almost pulls the raw green beans into the fold in this case, and it adequately tempers cubes of pineapple. There’s a crisp leg, augmented by several slices of what is likely thigh meat. The result is both bright and earthy. If this is what the kitchen is really all about, then unleash the queens. •