Well it appears I’ll be on an Asian-food kick for a while. Before I went on vacation, I had to be in Washington, DC for work for a few days and I managed to sneak in some pretty serious eats along with work. I went down a night early to spend some time with an old friend and she asked if I would be interested in checking out a Thai restaurant that is basically someone’s home – where you must make a reservation, every night is chef’s choice (aka there’s no menus), and Sunday nights are vegetarian/vegan nights. Oh, and did I mention BYOB? Obviously intrigued, I immediately accepted the invitation.
I have a huge love for Thai food, the spices, the sauces, everything about it I love. And Thai X-ing is no joke. But first I want to give you a feel for the ambiance of the place, because that made the experience all the more memorable. When I say it’s like someone’s house – it really is. The restaurant takes up an entire row house, with seating downstairs, in the living room area, and upstairs (where the bedrooms would be?) We sat in the living room area, and it was just so darn cute I couldn’t help but snap a few shots despite the close quarters (and stares from other diners).
Part of what I love about a chef’s choice is that it completely takes the choice away from me and everything is a surprise. I often have a hard time making decisions when I’m staring at a menu of a lot of options (which doesn’t happen all that often I must admit), but I do really like being surprised. I knew we had about 4-5 courses but nothing could have prepared me for the epic dinner that awaited us. First we started with opening a bottle of rosé we brought along. One note – we also brought a wine opener and I suggest you do the same. They may have one around, but our server just told us to go ahead and open the bottle. No fuss. My kinda place!
The first course was a lemongrass and coconut milk soup with mushrooms. The soup was terrific – the flavors were amazing. The sweet coconut mixed with the tangy lemongrass and some sort of spice that hit you in the back of the throat all went together so so well. It was heaven.
Next they brought out a papaya salad, which is one of my favorite Thai appetizers. This also had a great heat to do, as most papaya salads do, but this one was spot on. Not too hot, not too mild. And I always love the combo of spice, lime, and peanut. Papaya salad is always a win and this one didn’t disappoint.
After that, we were super surprised when three dishes came out at once. This course was my absolute favorite. All of the dishes were insanely delicious, but my favorite by far was a pumpkin curry. I could have eaten my weight in it – and I practically did. I don’t know what was in it exactly, but it was out-of-this-world delicious.
Also in that course we had a sweet and sour tofu that was delicious as well, and a pineapple tofu. Both dishes were super tasty, but overshadowed by the pumpkin curry. Don’t get me wrong, on their own they’re so so good, but that pumpkin just stole my heart. And my belly. Seriously – I ate the leftover pumpkin cold in the morning right out of the container.
And then, as if we weren’t already getting full – the waiter came back with a pad thai, which was – like everything else – delicious. There was an insane amount of food and the noodles on top of everything really pushed us to the edge. And we weren’t done yet!
Even though we were so full we could barely move, when the waiter brought over dessert of mango and sticky rice (just sticky rice for me – as I’m allergic to mango) and I couldn’t help but to eat that too. Seriously, after this meal I thought I was going to have to be rolled down the stairs because I’d be too huge to walk. The sticky rice was also amazing and was a perfectly sweet – but not too sweet – way to top off the meal.
Have I raved enough about this place yet? Probably. But honestly, I’m not joking. I was a bit worried that I left this post until after we returned from Thailand – I thought maybe after having Thai food there I would be bias and have a different opinion on the food here. That was completely not the case. Not only was everything amazing, but the meal was only $35 a person! All these courses, enough food for four people really, and the deliciousness of it all – it was worth every penny. And I loved the waiter – he taught me how to say “mango” in Thai so I could explain my allergy, or at least identify a mango, while traveling. If you’re ever in DC you must must MUST go here. I can’t recommend it more.