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Best Thai 

Char's Thai

5039 E. Fifth St.

READERS' PICK: Tucsonans' love for Char's is a case-study in our collective need for healthy comfort food. Char's widely varied clientele is always coming back for more of a good thing -- tangy, creamy Tom Ka Gai (a coconut milk-based soup) and the consistently fresh, not-too-sweet vegetarian Pad Thai make frequent appearances on Char's tables. The pineapple shell, stuffed with its own chunks, shrimp and cashew fried-rice seems to attract the repeat attention of kids, in particular. Curries of various colors coddle chicken, beef, duck or vegetables. And a zillion appetizers and entrées of intriguing proportions beckon, as exotic and colorful as Thailand itself. The beer is cold, the tea sweet, the staff friendly and efficient. Even the prices are eminently reasonable. We even like the fried bananas.

READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: Thai China Palace, 2744 N. Campbell Ave.; and 4853 E. Speedway Blvd.

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