The challenge for children of immigrants is to balance cherished traditions with American stuff that is so undeniably awesome, no one can resist it -- like Bruce Springsteen, and Marlboros. Honoring Thai roots and American fatness, Atchana's, in the Mutiny Hotel.
Housed in the gardeny first floor and blessed with a poolside patio, Atchana's is run by a woman who grew up in her family's old-school resto (South Miami's Siam Lotus Room), but also fell in love with diabetes-inducing American fare, which has pleasantly muscled its way onto her mostly-Thai menu. Thai action (spiced with homegrown herbs from family friends in Homestead) includes spicy sliced sirloin salad; crispy chili snapper (whole snapper fried & topped w/ kickin' garlic chili sauce); and curries like yellow (chicken w/ pumpkin and coconut milk) and the beef/coconut milk/potatoes/peanuts Massaman (no, you the 'man). The West is repped by a 12-oz NY strip with seasonal veggies, and mashed potatoes; a grilled tortilla mahi wrap w/ Jamaican jerk spices; and a 1/2-pound sirloin burger flame-grilled and served with fries, just like good old Ngam-Chit used to make.
Meanwhile, breakfast loses the Thai altogether, with omelets, eggs Benedict, and a tortilla wrap with scrambled eggs, peppers, cilantro, bacon, cheddar cheese, salsa, and sour cream -- and there's nothing more American than stealing stuff from Mexico.