I’m all for small, strip-mall Asian restaurants—in fact, that’s where I find some of my favorite meals. But the four-month-old Phat Thai in Cherry Creek is the polar opposite—and it’s worth a visit. Go expecting a modern space with eats that only sometimes adhere to tradition. Chef-owner Mark Fischer encourages tinkering (cue the tableside condiments). The spicy duck, however, needs no fine-tuning. The stir-fry tosses duck with Chinese broccoli, red peppers, and a sweet-hot hoisin-Sriracha sauce for a dish that’s as vibrant as the space. 2900 E. Second Ave., 303-388-7428, phatthai.com/denver