From the outside, May Kitchen & Bar is unprepossessing in the extreme. It's a drab, curtained storefront along the brief stretch of the Vashon Highway that constitutes the island's main street. Except for the sign—which is quite small, above the doorway, unlit, and in Thai—you might mistake it for one of those dusty thrift shops you find in island towns that never seem to be open.

Inside, May Kitchen & Bar is absolutely lovely. The walls glow with carved teak and mahogany panels, which, the endearing host will tell you, were imported from a 150-year-old house in Thailand. Who is the gentleman in the photo—the one with the bowler, watch chain, gloves, and cane, his knee propped up on a tasseled chair, his face kind and maybe a little worried? Thailand's King Rama V, champion of democracy, hero of the people, she will tell you...

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Thats the king on the left.
  • May Kitchen & Bar
  • That's the king on the left.