Phoenix’s Chilte & Lom Wong are Two of Esquire’s Best New Restaurants for 2023


Esquire has released its list of the 50 best new restaurants in America for 2023. These establishments stand out for their authenticity in addition to their delicious menus, giving diners a genuine and innovative culinary experience that leaves them feeling a part of a story.

In Phoenix, two establishments made Esquire’s top 50 list of restaurants that are bringing realness and unforgettable menus to the industry: Chilte, a Mexican restaurant known for its bold, authentic plates, and Lom Wong, a Thai restaurant serving regional dishes through traditional cooking methods. Both offer exquisite menus and dining experiences that stay true to the people, community and cultures they come from.

Located at the Egyptian Motor Hotel in Phoenix, Chilte is a celebration of Mexican cuisine with a focus on serving locally sourced items through authentic and experimental styles and flavors. Chilte is a passion project of chef Lawrence “LT” Smith and his wife, Aseret Arroyo, who were once selling tacos at a local farmers market and have now created an award-winning menu and dining experience inspired by their childhoods and shared cultures. 

Esquire highlights Chilte’s warm ambiance, and of course, its traditional dishes, which include the hojasanta quesadilla that bursts with drippings of roasted meat and Oaxacan flavors, the Argentinian prawns served over a pool of chocolate aguachile with a side of beef-tallow aioli and the birria tacos dressed in squid-ink. Chilte is open daily from 7 a.m.–3 p.m. for coffee, pastries and chef’s daily quiche, and is open for dinner Tuesday–Thursday from 5 p.m.–10 p.m. and Friday–Saturday from 5.p.m.–11 p.m.

Lom Wong

With a name meaning “to get together in a circle,” Lom Wong on E. Portland Street in downtown Phoenix is the place to gather with friends and family over a warm meal on any given day. The celebrated Thai restaurant transports guests to the villages and small towns of Thailand through a “revelatory” menu that honors the people and cooking styles of the country. Most of the dishes are passed down through recipes from past generations, while others, like the kanom jin sao nam—a clown knife fish formed into soft balls in coconut milk with pineapple, fish sauce and palm sugar—and the guest-favorite Moklen dishes, are inspired from specific areas and indigenous people of Thailand. 

Alex Martin, co-owner of Lom Wong, lived in Thailand for fourteen years, where he met his life and restaurant partner Yokata “Sunny” Martin. They prepare each dish with care, including the restaurant’s famous Moklen sea-bass curry, a recipe that was given to Martin as a sign of affection by a village elder in southern Thailand. The restaurant also pounds all of its curry pastes by hand and hand-squeezes its coconut milk. Lom Wong is open Wednesday–Thursday 5 p.m.–10 p.m., Friday–Saturday 5 p.m.–11 p.m. and Sunday 5 p.m.–9:30 p.m.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts