Penny’s Noodles used to be a go-to spot for me but about a year ago the location closest to me closed. The good news is that there are still two locations in Chicago – one near Diversey and Sheffield in Lakeview and one in Wicker Park by Milwaukee/Damen/North.
Technically, Penny’s serves food from various Asian countries, but I look at it as a Thai restaurant. I used to get curry all the time until my cousin introduced me to the Hot Pepper Noodle (similar to Pad Kee Mao). It is delicious and I usually ask them to add jalapeños to spice it up a bit. Also, the Japanese Gyoza and Beef Salad are nice appetizers to share.
Penny’s serves alcohol but they also allow BYOB, which is very common in Chicago. Just bring your own bottle of wine or six pack of beer. They have local artwork hanging on the walls and large windows for a good view of what’s going on outside. When it’s warm they have an outdoor patio area (Wicker Park location).