Kirsten Henri finds Aqua, the new Malaysian and Thai restaurant on the 700 block of Walnut Street to be hospitable from top to bottom, and full of good food.
On a visit to the three-month-old spot, I watch him [co-owner Jim Tran] work the room in a fashion that could be described only as Clintonian. He provides a glorious display of feverish hand-pumping for an older couple, who seem delighted to be recognized as regulars. For the younger couple dining next to us, he clucks approval over their small, boring order as if it’s the first time he’s ever heard anyone order chicken satay. For us, a heartfelt inquiry on our thoughts over the various dishes and a mini monologue on his strategy for keeping the restaurant running smoothly leaves us glowing like the star quarterback just asked our geeky selves to the prom. Oh, and the food is good too.