Best Aquarium (2000)

Sawadee Thai Restaurant

Fish are usually the featured performers in any aquarium, but at Sawadee, they take a backseat. Sure, there are a few exotic species swimming in the jumbo 500-gallon tank that greets customers near the door. But the real attractions are the stunning varieties of coral: spectacular tentacled colonies waving in the artificial current that simulates waves breaking overhead; brilliant green and blue neon clusters jutting like antlers from their rock bases; soft-bellied creatures that appear 90 percent mouth waiting for food fragments to drift by. Customers linger well after the bill is paid to gawk at the spectacle. Sawadee owner Yut Heckler has a thriving side business designing coral habitats. He learned the hard way it's much more difficult to maintain a coral habitat than your average fish tank. Coral are about the most sensitive creatures on the planet, and simply moving them from one end of the tank to the other can be fatal. But he has mastered the complexities enough to propagate his samples, and he uses coral from his showcase Sawadee tank as breeding stock for his new creations.


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