A perennial winner of the “Nashville Scene” best Thai category, Smiling Elephant is for serious diners as eating here has some inconveniences: no reservations, limited parking, and no booze. In the small, crowded dining room you’ll find a traditional noodle cart, manufactured by the owner’s father and used as a serving station. Vegetarian-friendly, the Elephant serves tofu dishes that are baked for a denser texture than the spongy or pre-fried stuff that's usually served. Tofu, veggies, and meats are used in an array of both spicy and savory dishes. Tip: The curry is always perfection. They only make one curry each day—Karee, green, Masaman, etc.—so you know you’re getting the absolute freshest version possible.