"We want to have something for everyone, and that includes people that have been dragged to a Thai restaurant," Brillhart says.
For those unsure about what to order, Sweet Siam offers Thai BBQ chicken served with shrimp fried rice. Lovers of Thai food are more likely to be drawn in by the curries, pad Thai, pad prik or stir-fry dishes.
"When I was a kid, 119th Street was just farmland. It's good to be home. I missed it," Brillhart says.
He left the University of Kansas to move south and help his uncle with the family restaurant business. He enrolled at the University of Alabama-Birmingham to finish pursuing a career as a certified public accountant, but the service industry was a better fit. He found his niche as a kitchen manager for Surin West and Harry & Sons (his uncle is the Harry), two Thai chains in Georgia and Alabama that are known on the Eastern Seaboard.
Brillhart signed a lease for the Mezzaluna space last August, and his brother-in-law, Dave Shukai, an architect with BRR Architecture, redesigned the space for him. His kitchen staff came to Lenexa with him from Alabama, and he estimates that his three chefs together have 50 years of cooking Thai cuisine between them.
"The sauce is delicious and it's low-fat. It's what I've been eating all week," Brillhart says.
Sweet Siam also has a full bar, but the draw may be the bar itself. Brillhart knocked out the wall that separated the bar from the rest of the space in Mezzaluna and had a showpiece bar top with color-changing LED lights installed.
"I'm hoping people come in here to have a good time and taste good food," Brillhart says.
He hopes to open additional locations, as well as potentially add a sushi bar to the restaurant on Quivira. Sweet Siam will be open seven days a week. The lunch hours are from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner is from 4:30 to 9 p.m. (10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays). The phone number is 913-322-7285.