Thai


Next to LIMA, I have walked by this place on numerous occassions thinking, “I wonder how it is…”  Well wonder no more.  I went to Bangkok One.

  • Food: Seriously, do you even have to ask?  I ordered pad thai with tofu and medium spice.  When I opened my container to dig in, the TOFU pad thai smelled like seafood which I thought was weird.  Then when I started to dig in, I realized there were three shrimps included.   Thankfully, I’m not allergic to seafood, but heads up in case you are.  Once I started eating, I noticed there was a great balance between sweetness because the instant I thought, “Oh, that was really sweet” I’d get hit with the spice.  But what was the most disappointing was that I ordered pad thai with TOFU and there was no tofu.  You can see in the photo.  Seriously, do you see any tofu in there?  The restaurant wasn’t very busy so I have to admit that I am surprised at the bad order.  It was a bit greasy, but not too bad at all.  There was only 2-3 bean sprouts (no lie) and a couple of green onions.  If I had to guess, they had an order for pad thai with shrimp and when I put my order in, they decided to double up in the wok.  So to the person who ordered the pad thai with shrimp, I think your order got the good stuff.  Mine stinks.  It was basically noodles.  Where was the tofu?  Bean sprouts?  Green onions? 

Bangkok One Pad Thai

  • Service: They were very nice when I ordered to go.  If you’re ordering to go, walk straight back to the bar. 
  • Atmosphere: Inside there’s 30-40 tables.  The walls are painted sea blue and while the decorations aren’t the greatest, it’s not bad.
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: Well, considering I ordered pad thai with tofu and there was no tofu, this was a disappointment. There were no bean sprouts or green onions either.  And the to-go container only had a fork and no chopsticks.  Bummer.

Details:

  • Hours: Mon – Fri: 11:30 am – 10:30 pm; Sat: 12:00 pm – 10:30 pm
  • Address: 1411 K St NW; Washington, DC 20005
  • Ph: 202-393-6277

I continue with my quest for finding great Thai in DC.  To be honest, so far, it’s been a bleak with a few bright beacons.  Anyway, I finally tried Thai Kingdom (menu is on their Web site).

  • Food: Surprise, I ordered Pad Thai (no peanuts and medium spice).  I also ordered the squid salad.  I think I’m going to stop ordering squid salad at Thai places because it seems that all squid salads use cardamon.  While their salad was totally different from Pasara, I think I liked Pasara’s better.  The Pad Thai had a lot more veggies included than I’m used to and I liked it.  There was a good amount of heat and flavor.  There was more grease than I like to see in my Pad Thai, but I did like it. 

Thai Kingdom Squid Yum  Thai Kingdom Pad Thai  Thai Kingdom Pad Thai

  • Service: I ordered to go, but I do applaud them for including chopsticks! 
  • Atmosphere: Inside there’s a lot of decoration.  When you walk in, on your right is an elevated (only by a foot or so) platform with a wall that’s all window so it makes the restaurant seem much bigger.  There’s about 10-15 tables.  Then on the main floor, there’s another 20-25 tables so it is a big restaurant.
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: If you’re looking for a casual and comfortable dining atmosphere, I’d check it out.  It’s decent Thai at a good price. 

Details:

  • Reservations are unnecessary
  • Address: 2021 K Street NW; Washington, DC 20006
  • Hours: Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30 PM; Dinner Mon-Thur 5-10:30 PM; Dinner Fri 5-11 PM; Sat 12 noon-11 PM; Sun 12 noon-10 PM;  
  • Ph: 202-835-1700

I had been to Thai Chili/Sushi Go Round once before a few years ago and recently stopped by again for a quick bite. 

  • Food: The sushi conveyor belt has 4 different color plates — blue, yellow, green, and red.  They clearly label the prices each plate color cost (but I can’t remember their prices).  I think the most expensive is around $5 and the cheapest is $2-3.  I’ve tried a lot of their sushi and it’s good.  They offer a good selection, but as with all sushi conveyor belts, you do have to know your sushi/nigiri!  Otherwise, you may end up paying for something you don’t like. 
  • Service: I’ve only eaten at the Sushi Go Round, but they are quick to clear any garbage you have and the covers to the sushi plates.
  • Atmosphere: It’s like there are two different restaurants.  Neither one has a lot of seats, but the Thai side has 10-12 tables and chairs while the Sushi Go Round has 20-25 stools around the conveyor belt.
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: If you’re in the Penn Quarter/Chinatown area and are looking for something quick and healthy without going to a chain, I recommend trying this place out.  It’s decent sushi and let’s be honest, the conveyor belt is fun.  Ha ha.   

Details:

  • Hours: Mon-Thurs 11 AM-10:30 PM; Fri 11 AM-11 PM; Sat 12 noon – 11 PM; Sun 12 noon – 10:30 PM; Delivery Hours: Mon-Fri 11 AM-3 PM, 5-10 PM; Sat & Sun 5-10 PM (min $20)
  • Address: 701 7th Street NW; Washington, DC 20001
  • Ph: (202) 393-2905, (202) 393-2906

I was excited to see the Golden Triangle was getting a new Thai restaurant, Pasara.  Pasara has a restaurant in Alexandria, but as we all know, I rarely get out to NoVA (or Maryland).

  • Food: I ordered their grilled calamari salad and pad thai with tofu (and no peanuts).  First, the calamari salad had some great heat.  It was a bit heavy on the seasoning and I think there was some cardamom in there too.  So I wasn’t completely in love with the salad.  Now to the pad thai.  It was good because of the hot (temperature) but not spicy at all (my fault, forgot to ask for the heat!).  However, it was a bit greasy — you could tell see the grease on the plastic fork they gave me (no chopsticks – boo). 

Pasara Grilled Calamari Salad  Pasara Grilled Calamari Salad  Pasara Pad Thai Tofu

  •  Service: I ordered to go.
  • Atmosphere: When you walk in, their entrance isn’t big (shockingly small actually) which is forgiveable since they offer so much seating.  There are two stories with the 2nd floor overlooking the 1st floor.  While there’s a lot of seating, it’s not too squished.  On the right hand side, you’ll see 12-16 stool bars on the right hand side.  The interior is beautifully arranged and designed.  It’s a medium dark wood interior with great accent pieces throughout the restaurant.
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: Overall, I am glad Pasara moved into the Golden Triangle.  It’s another good dining option in the area.  At the same time, there’s too much grease for me on their Pad Thai.  Now that I know how to make it, I don’t understand the grease.  Also, here’s the menu

Pasara Menu  Pasara Menu  Pasara Menu  Pasara Menu

Details:

  • Hours: Sat & Sun 12 noon-10 PM; Mon-Fri 11 AM-10 PM
  • Address:1219 Connecticut Ave NW; Washington, DC 20036
  • Ph: (202) 223-3777

My friend got discounted tickets through Goldstar for Hairspray and so we decided to do dinner beforehand at Haad Thai

  • Food:We ordered the spring rolls which were really good.  They were lightly fried and flaky.  The sweet and sour sauce were definitely canned, but it worked.  The vegetarian Pad Thai we ordered was different.  While we ordered ours with medium heat, it had no spice.  In addition, the tofu was a bit hard and not spongy like it was supposed to be.   
  • Service: Our server was polite, but very confused when we asked for more chilies for our Pad Thai.  In the end, she brought out a simple 3 jar rack with 3 different kinds of chilies — perfect!
  • Atmosphere: The walls have a tropical theme and if you visit their Web site, you can see the photos.  From the photos, it seems like you’re sitting outside, but in reality at the restaurant, you know you’re not.  However, they do have pretty big windows (perhaps floor-to-ceiling — can’t remember) so it was very light inside.
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: I’d go back for their spring rolls and to try their calamari.  But I didn’t think their Pad Thai was great.  On the upside, beer is around $4 at all times so it’s almost as if they had a happy hour.  I can see why people who work in this area would like to go there for a quick lunch though.

Details:

  • Reservations not required.
  • Hours: Monday-Friday 11:30 AM-2:30 PM, 5-10:30 PM; Saturday 12 PM-10:30 PM; Sunday 5 PM-10:30 PM
  • Address: 1100 New York Ave; Washington DC 20005 (entrance is on 11th Street)
  • Ph: 202-682-1111

I went to Thai X-ing with a friend who had a car because otherwise, I don’t think I would have ever had a chance to try it.  Their menu can be found here.

  • Food: We ordered spring rolls which I didn’t love because I thought they were a bit bland.  But everything else we ordered was so good!  We also ordered Veggie Pad Thai which was sweeter than the normal pad thai you’d get at other restaurants, but then had a slight heat kick at the end.  It was fantastic!  Then we ordered Chicken Vigsittaboot with watercress and spicy peanut sauce which was also amazing. 

Thai X-ing Spring Rolls  Thai X-ing Veggie Pad Thai  Thai X-ing Chicken Vigsittaboot

  • Service: There’s one guy who cooks everything so his overhead has to be pretty low.  But it also means that you’re frequently waiting — even if you call in advance.  I called and placed our order and was told it’d take 40 minutes yet when we arrived about an hour later, he hadn’t even cooked it yet.  So if you have plans that require you to be somewhere at a certain time, this is not the restaurant for you.  I’d only go when you have no plans except dinner…just in case!
  • Atmosphere: While he has a table and chairs, it’s definitely a grab-and-go place.  There are lots of chairs and items on the wall to entertain you while you’re waiting for your food.
  • Attire: It’s to-go so it doesn’t matter.
  • Price: $
  • Overall: The Chicken Vigsittaboot was really good.  The pad thai was unique.  I’m looking forward to the next time I get to go back and try some of his curry dishes that I’ve heard so much about.  Definitely a hidden gem in DC! 

Details:

  • Hours: Tues-Sun 4-10 PM (delivery only happens on Friday and Saturday nights)
  • Address: 515 Florida Ave, Washington DC 20001
  • Ph: 202-332-4322

After hearing so much about Mai Thai from a friend (who goes to their Alexandria location), it was about time I tried it out for myself. 

  • Food:Since I went with a huge group, we ordered a lot of food.  I tried a little bit of everything — but of course, ordered my fried tofu and Pad Thai.  Both were good, but the standouts on the menu were their crab rolls (Crispy-fried king crab claw rolls stuffed with shrimp, chicken, shitake mushroom, bean thread and cilantro, served with a sweet and sour sauce) and fried calamari (Fresh squid, lightly battered, and deep-fried served with a sweet and sour sauce). 
  • Service: I went with a huge group so our server was a bit scattered and frazzled.  But I’m sure if it was just an “average” table of 2-4, it’d be great.
  • Atmosphere: The decorations on the wall and the feel of the restaurant is authentic with a twist meaning it’s slightly funky. 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: This is going on my list of places to grab appetizers with a few friends.  Between their yummy appetizers and drink specials, it’d be a fun (and tasty) place to go! 

Happy Hour: Daily 3:30 PM-7 PM for top shelf cocktails $4.50; beer ($3.50); and various appetizers for $3-5.   

Details:

  • Reservations accepted.
  • Hours: Mon-Thu 11:15 am-10:30 pm, Fri-Sat 11:15 am-11 pm, Sun 11:30 am-10:30 pm
  • Address: 1200 19th St. NW, Washington, DC 20036
  • Ph: 202-452-6870

When you’re looking for quick and decent Thai food in the Golden Triangle area, you go to Nooshi (formerly known as Oodles Noodles).

  • Food:Surprise!  I usually order Pad Thai with tofu or chicken, but one day I thought I should try something different.  So I got the Mee Goreng which is described as spicy marriage of Malaysian & Indian-style stir fry egg noodles with chicken.  I thought the Mee Goreng was OK, but it definitely wasn’t spicy.  One of my lunch partners in crime always gets the Tom Yum Noodle Soup with spicy chicken in lemongrass broth served with rice vermicelli.  When I actually sit at the restaurant, I’ll usually order either the fried tofu or fried calamari — both tasty.

Nooshi Mee Goreng

  • Service: I was recently talking about this with some colleagues, but they claim that when they eat in here, they feel rushed throughout their meal.  I’ve got to admit that when I eat in, I don’t. 
  • Atmosphere: With a dark interior, the restaurant is comfortable.  There’s a small sushi bar (or was it an actual bar?  Can’t remember) on the right hand-side. 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $
  • Overall: This is a good place to go with some friends for a casual bite to eat.  They also deliver (orders must be over $25)  and have a separate “restaurant” (and menu) for carry out.  It’s next door to their sit-down restaurant and is incredibly tiny.   If you’re in a hurry, call in your food and then walk past the line to pick up your food and pay. 

Happy Hour: Monday-Saturday 5-7 PM 1/2 off drinks.

Details:

  • Reservations accepted.
  • Hours: Mon-Sat 11:30am- 11pm Sun 5pm-10pm; Delivery Hours: Mon – Fri 11:30 am – 2:30 pm, 5:00 pm – 10:30 pm; Sat 5:00 pm – 10:30 pm; Sun 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
  • Address: 1120 19th Street NW; Washington, DC 20036
  • Ph: 202-293-3138

 Until recently, I had only been to Regent Thai for drinks.  I always thought the menu looked good and kept thinking I wanted to check out.  Thankfully, I was able to convince a friend to try it out with me recently.

  • Food:My friend ordered spring rolls which were really good.  They were hot and crispy served with a pineapple dipping sauce.  I think she ordered the Pad See Ew with vegetables.  Both were really good (I preferred the spring rolls over her entree).  The Pad See Ew was a little sweet for my taste — even though we had both ordered hot spice.  So I’m predictable.  I ordered their fried tofu and vegetable Pad Thai.  The fried tofu was like eating air — it was very light.  I even questioned if there was any tofu in there.  The Pad Thai had a bunch of great vegetables and the spice was perfect.  Plus, it wasn’t greasy. 
  • Service: To say it was horrible is putting it nicely.  After being left alone for about 15 minutes before we even got a glass of water, by the time we did see our waitress, we were ready to order and starving.  After another 15 minutes with just water, we finally got our wine — albeit the wrong one.  While I do sometimes mumble when I talk, when I order food or wine, I’m pretty clear.  She brought us the most expensive bottle of wine, even though we didn’t want it — and thankfully, I caught it before she opened it.  When I asked my friend if I mumbled, she said no and then reminded me I said the kind of wine we did want twice. 
  • Atmosphere: The interior is dark with beautiful wood carvings.  The tables are pretty close together so it can be difficult to hear your conversation when it’s busy. 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: I really enjoyed the food, but the servers left something to be desired.  I’d go back, but will order for pick-up so I don’t have to deal with the service.

Details:

  • Reservations accepted.
  • Hours: Lunch Mon-Sat 11:30 AM-3 PM; Dinner Sun-Thurs 5 PM-10 PM and Fri-Sat 5 PM-11 PM
  • Address: 1910 18th Street NW; Washington, DC 20009
  • Ph: 202-232-1791

Thanks to my blogger friend VeggieLove for recommending Thai Chef because I finally went!  In addition to VeggieLove’s recommendation, I was excited about trying Thai Chef because I have walked by there a million times!  It’s usually pretty busy, which means popular, but not always good.  In this case, it’s good!  Also, here is their menu:

      

August 2008 Update: Thai Chef now offers free delivery from 5 PM-10 PM and a minimum $20 order. 

  • Food: I stopped by to pick up an order to go.  For lunch, I thought I’d get an order of fried tofu and tuna and salmon nigiri.  Then I ordered Pad Thai (last photo on the right) with tofu and medium spice for dinner.  The tofu was crispy fried goodness and was nicely complimented by the plum-peanut dipping sauce.  I wasn’t expecting too much from the nigiri, but I got to tell you — it was really good.  Finally, I took a couple of bites of the Pad Thai.  It wasn’t spicy at all, but there was a strong hint of peanuts (even though I didn’t want any — so a heads up to those of you who have peanut allergies!).  Am sure they used peanut oil in the cooking process.  The tofu was fried and there was a lot of it.  Oh — and in my to-go bag, they put a packet of soy sauce for the nigiri.  Nice!

Thai Chef Fried Tofu  Thai Chef Tuna & Salmon Nigiri  Thai Chef Pad Thai with Tofu

  • Service: Since I went for pick-up, my interaction with the servers was pretty minimal.  But it seemed like people were getting what they needed, when they needed it.
  • Atmosphere:With a little sushi station immediately in front of you when you walk in, there’s not as much room as you’d think in this 2-story restaurant.  At the sushi station, they have these cute backless wooden stools which are surprisingly comfortable.  In the summer, the floor-to-ceiling windows open.  It’s a comfortable, casual restaurant.
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: I’m planning on going back for the fried tofu and sushi.  It’s good, reasonably priced, and convenient to home!  The Pad Thai was OK, but nothing special.

Happy Hour:  Sun-Thurs 4-7 PM with $3 beer and wine.  They have their “Drinks that Make You Brave” mixed drinks menu for $3.50; wine by the glass is $3; Sake small is $2.95 and large is $5; beer is $2.  Sushi is half-priced (meaning about $3-$5). 

Details:

  • Reservations accepted.
  • Hours: Mon-Thurs 11:30 AM-10:30 PM; Fri 11:30 AM-11 PM; Sat 12 PM-11 PM; Sun 12 PM-10:30 PM
  • Address: 1712 Connecticut Ave NW; Washington, DC 20009
  • Ph: (202) 234-5698

One of my weaknesses is Thai food.  I love it.  Going to a new Thai restaurant is always exciting for me.  I always order Pad Thai as my first entrée because if they make good Pad Thai, then everything else will be good.  If their Pad Thai is bad, forget it.  I’ll never go again.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve hit a couple of new Thai restaurants.  One was bad and the other was good.  A new restaurant opened up in Dupont Circle, across from the Rite Aid on Florida Ave NW, called Banana Leaves.  I had a lot of hope because not only is it close, but they deliver.  Unfortunately, I will never order from them again.  It was bad because:

  • It was bland.  There was absolutely no flavor (despite asking for medium spice).
  • It was oily.  Forget it. 

I threw away the menu.  And I recommend you don’t order from this place.  Sorry, you have no idea how much I wanted to like you! 

The good one was called Bua Thai.  It’s on P St NW and 16th (Dupont Circle) which is great because I can easily walk there after work (and I have) to pick up dinner.  And guess what friends, THEY DELIVER!  Oh, they have a small wine list, but you can find something that will work for your meal. 

  • Food: Again, I ordered the Pad Thai and golden triangles (fried tofu, another favorite of mine) when I went out with a couple of friends. We were all very pleased and it was pretty darn cheap  I told the guy I wanted to spicy and it was perfect. As I like to say, I want to be “reminded I’m alive” and this definitely did that. The golden triangles were good (but not the best, I’ll tell you where the best ones are later). It was a bit oily and it was hot (as in temperature, not only spice). It was good and have I mentioned it was cheap?
  • Service: Very courteous but not annoying. They left us alone to talk, but always filled our water glasses. The only thing I thought was “weird/funny” was that when the food came out, they gave you forks.  So we had to request chopsticks.
  • Atmosphere: We sat alfresco on a beautiful fall evening — it was perfect. It’s not loud and annoying when you sit outside, but it’s not a super quiet place either. When we went (on a weekday), we were able to easily have (and hear) a conversation. Inside it seems fine, but not a place that I’d love to hang out for hours.
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $
  • Overall: Bua Thai is a place that I’d keep on speed dial because it’s quick, decent, and cheap. Oh, and unless you’re cheap, don’t take your first date here.  Perfectly fine to go after you’ve been dating a little bit. 

Details:

  • Reservations are accepted, but I have never had to make one yet.
  • Hours: Sun: 5-10:30 pm; Mon-Thu 5-10:30 pm; Fri-Sat 5-11 pm
  • Delivery Hours: Mon-Fri: 11:30 am-3 pm & 5 pm-10 pm; Sat-Sun: Noon-4 pm; 5-10 pm
  • Address: 1635 P Street, N.W.; Washington, DC 20036
  • Ph: 202- 265-0828