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Friday Question of the Day – Let’s Talk Thai – Where’s Your Favorite?

by Prince Of Petworth January 5, 2017 at 10:22 pm 110 Comments

best-thai
4481 Connecticut Ave, NW

I’m not gonna do a poll this week, I’m just curious where your favorite spots are because lately I’ve been loving Thai Pad (pictured above.) Where are your favorite spots and equally as important do they deliver? Or have the delivery apps made that part of the question moot? Anyway, where’s your favorite spot and how are the prices?

  • Caligirl

    Anywhere in San Francisco. =)

  • ctk

    Baan Thai

    • SE Asian

      +1
      Or Beau Thai

    • Mike

      Agreed

    • oh2dc

      +1

    • Mug of Glop

      +1 Agreement.

  • tj

    Zabver in Mt. Pleasant for take out. Great food, good prices, very friendly owners. I should get some this weekend…

    • annnnonymous

      Zabver is awesome! I plan to stop by for takeout the next time I visit the Mt. Pleasant Library…

  • jeezpf

    I can never get enough of Thai X-ing’s pumpkin curry. Seriously, I could eat it for days!

    • anon50

      this ^^ .

    • cachito

      Concur!

    • jonah

      +1. I would put their pumpkin curry in the running for top meal in the District.

  • Ruan Thai in Wheaton, if I feel like traveling. Baan Thai if I feel like staying in the neighborhood and melting my face off. Thank goodness they offer kanom krok for dessert to help cool off…and if that’s not enough, Dolcezza is a little over a block away.

    • elbeech

      +1 for Ruan Thai!

  • E

    Bangkok 54 in Arlington, hands down. Where actual Thai people eat. Or in the city, Regent Thai in Dupont is pretty good.

    • eggs

      I do love Bangkok 54. Anytime I’m seeing something at the Cinema and Drafthouse next door, I usually eat there first (or Lost Dog across the street, but that’s another topic!)

    • TX2DC

      I loooooooove Bangkok 54.

  • Brookland neighbor

    Paragon Thai in Cleveland Park! Their pineapple fried rice is amazing. They have very speedy delivery too. I wish I could still get their delivery across town.

    • more delivery options in petworth please

      I also love Paragon Thai in Cleveland Park. They Grubhub deliver to Petworth!

      If I’m going out though, Thai Xing is obviously my fave, then Beau Thai.

    • maxwell smart

      Um… why would you not go across the street to Saim House, which is FAR better than Paragon.

      • PJ25

        +1

      • MtP

        +500. Some of my friends prefer Paragon, but I think Siam House in way better.

  • S

    House of Siam in Cleveland Park!!

    • Khris

      They’ve been my go-to for years.

  • Hill Denizen

    What about Thai delivery? It’s my go-to comfort food, but the delivery options in my hood (Capitol Hill) are pretty meh.

    • jim_ed

      Have you gotten delivery from Thai Orchid? It’s been a few years, but they used to deliver to us on the Hill, and were better than the thai joints actually in capitol hill.

      • MadMax

        +1, they’re the only Thai place that delivers to Capitol Hill that will add a remote bit of spice to their food.

      • K

        Thai Orchid is our go to Thai spot. Bonus points because they are one of only like 6 (probably less) sit down restaurants in all of Ward 7.

      • Anonacostia

        LOVE Thai Orchid. One of the only places that deliver to Anacostia

    • Anon

      I think Imm Thai on H St. is pretty good, and they deliver. That’s our go-to (in NE Cap Hill)

    • Rich

      Delivery is usually a sign of a place that can’t draw customers on the basis of the food. Good Thai food is complex–delivery means crappy tourist Thai.

  • bje22201

    The best Thai is in Jackson WY at Teton Thai. How that happens, I don’t fully understand, but it’s amazing. I miss the skiing, fly-fishing, biking, and a few other things from when I lived out there, but it’s really the Thai food that I think I miss the most. 1-5 spice level to pick from. 4, or 5 is “Mf’er this is hot!”. Done right, all of the flavors go together in the right way that it’s not just hot for the sake of being hot.

    Around the area, the only other place I’ve found that they’ll make it spicier than American hot is Bangkok Golden in Falls Church. It’s half Thai, and half Lao (Laotian?). . .either way, it’s pretty good and worth the wait.

    Bangkok 54, it’s okay. . . but they won’t make things spicier. “We can give you the tray with peppers to add yourself”. . . It’s not the same thing at all.

    Duangrats, also okay. Sometimes it’s good, and others it’s just okay.

    In DC, SOI 38 was okay. “Bangkok inspired street-food” is what drew me in, and then was disappointed that it was just “okay”.

    Charm Thai. Haven’t been in a while, and it may have been something totally different in the past. There was a time it was good. . . and there was a time it wasn’t. Not sure where they’re at now.

    I don’t know, but mostly I’m just disappointed with my Thai food choices around.

    • dcd

      “The best Thai is in Jackson WY at Teton Thai. How that happens, I don’t fully understand, but it’s amazing.”
      .
      This doesn’t surprise me at all. It’s not that difficult to make most Thai food – the quality starts to deteriorate when you start cranking out significant volumes, or rushing, or just not giving a flip because your customers are used to eating garbage. I can easily imagine small restaurants in lower cost of living, lower volume areas caring about the quality of their product, taking an extra minute or two on every dish and making fantastic food. I’m sure there are little gems all over the country.

      • bje22201

        It’s definitely the opposite of “Lower cost of living” in Jackson. It’s more expensive than here except there aren’t as many high paying jobs to afford it. It’s one of the richest counties in the country.

        But they keep things small to the point that it may have 10 tables max, and they get good ingredients. One of the owners drives 200+ miles twice a week to pick up the best stuff. When they first opened, the only had 5 seats, and was mostly carryout.

        Definitely agree on just turning out whatever because that’s what people are used to instead of going for quality.

        • dcd

          It’s more expensive to live there, but I suspect the rent the owners rent is substantially less than a similar sized property in a good location in DC. But, what the heck do I know about commercial real estate in Jackson Hole – nothing, that’s what, just idle speculation. But the numbers have to work somehow, and this seems the most likely way.

        • MadMax

          It’s not more expensive than DC, but you are right that there are significantly fewer good paying jobs. It’s a place you go to spend money, not make it. Interesting note about Teton Thai though, I’ll keep it in mind when we go back…we went to Thai Me Up when we were there, and although the attached brewery (Melvin) was pretty good the food was forgettable. Although, a place in Bozeman (Saffron Table) had easily some of the best Indian food I’ve ever had.

    • obo

      Charm Thai was my go to for a long while. Then it gave me the poops. I went back because it was so tasty, and it gave me the poops again! I am on a hiatus from Charm Thai.

      Perhaps I will give them another shot one day because their food is indeed yummy.

    • jonah

      Any idea how Bangkok Garden compares to Elephant Jumps out there as well?

      • MadMax

        If you mean Bangkok Golden I think it’s highly superior to Elephant Jumps. The (formerly secret) Laotian menu is definitely worth a try as well.

  • A

    Little Serow and Thip Khalil are the best hands down, but both lean more Northern Thai/Laotian. For that reason, I’m going Ruan Thai in Wheaton. The best D.C. Options are Beau Thai or Baan Thai, but aren’t perfect

  • Otis Gal

    Thai Xing Florida Ave location

    • Bloomy

      +1

      • MD Dog Lady

        Yes! $$$ but so good!

    • Anonymous

      Which one (both on Florida)?

  • dcd

    The best Thai food in DC is Little Serow. When you take into account the quality of ingredients, presentation, creativity, and care in preparation, there really can’t be any dispute over this.
    .
    Now, I realize that doesn’t answer what this question is really getting at – best easily accessible southern Thai food, akin to getting Chinese takeout. As to that point, I have no idea, and will anxiously review these responses for something acceptable (or, if I can dare to hope, something GOOD) near the food wasteland that is Bethesda. (Please, anything!) The Tara Thai in Spring Valley is dreadful. When I lived in Columbia Heights, I liked Zabver very much (and agree that the owners are incredibly friendly). How do people in the VA burbs feel about Duangrat’s?
    .
    I will say that after a trip to Thailand and a 3 hour cooking class earlier this year, plus the purchase of a good wok and becoming acquainted with the Asian markets in the area, my pad thai is easily superior to any that comes from a restaurant kitchen (at least that I’ve had). I’ve just started to experiment with panang and other curries, but I have been very pleased so far with them as well.

    • Khris

      Dung Rat’s is a great place for the dine-in experience.

    • TB

      Thai food that is not labelled as Northern or North East isn’t southern by default.
      In Bethesda, Bangkok Garden is great. They have a full Thai menu you can request.

    • TenleyRez

      Tanad Thai in Tenleytown is my go to. Tasty and very speedy delivery!

  • n

    Imm (H Street and Annandale) is pretty solid. I’d also put Thai Xing pretty high up there as well.

  • MRB

    Rice on 14th! Their pumpkin empanadas are fantastic and their green curry is my go to mai dish.

    • Manamana

      those pumpkin empanadas are to die for. with a cocktail.

  • John Bosley

    Bua Thai in Dupont. Nua Pad Pik, drunken noodles wth chicken, Thai stick. Love that place.

  • Anon

    Beau Thai in Shaw & Mt. Vernon. Beau Thai Chicken, Pad Thai, Drunken Noodles, and and of their curry dishes are outstanding.

    I’ve also lived within 3 blocks of their location in Shaw for the last 5 years so might be a little biased…

    • topscallop

      +1000
      Love Beau Thai’s drunken noodles!

  • Jessica

    definitely Beau Thai!

  • PetworthGuy

    DC Thai on Vermont Ave NW downtown – above Ton Ton (also amazing fried chicken and asian fusion chicken)

  • Ben

    I would say the Pad See Ew at Thai-Xing is some of the best I’ve had. Speaking of which, where else is great Pad See Ew?

    • Sally

      Regent

  • ColHig

    Beau Thai! Their pumpkin curry is amazing. Fast delivery too!

  • FreddyH

    In the District, definitely Baan Thai on 14th. If I feel like driving or if I find myself in the ‘burbs running errands, then Thai Square on Columbia Pike. Both places serve dishes closer to what one would actually get in the larger cities in Thailand.

    I live near Beau Thai in Shaw, but I don’t understand all the love that it gets. I find their curries are way too sweet and their noodle dishes are meh.

    • Fuggles

      Agree with Beau Thai being extremely overrated

      • Sally

        Yup

    • Agreed on Beau Thai.

    • Anon

      Beau Thai used to be MUCH better when it was at the old NJ Ave location, but even that went quickly downhill when they announced their plans to move to 7th. Food just became overly greasy and largely tasteless (aside from the distinct taste of overused grease).
      .
      FL location of Thai Xing gets my vote.

    • Anon

      Absolutely agree on Thai Square. I don’t know anywhere else that I can get the Floating Market soup that I fell in love with in Thailand. The rest of the food is wonderful, and the restaurant is always full of Thai customers.

    • Felony I

      +1 Despite living on the same block, I would rather do takeout from Aroi Thai (which is barely passable) several blocks away.

  • N

    Beau Thai (Mt. P) and Siam Thai (Cleveland Park)

  • Eric Luntz

    Beau Thai in Mt. Pleasant. Their OMG! chicken on the weekends is the best chicken I’ve ever eaten.

  • Nava Thai in Wheaton. Dusit used to be the jam, but it closed :(

    • Anon Silver Spring

      Nava Thai is still open! And they deliver in Wheaton. They moved, then combined with the space next to that for an even larger dining room. They’re tofu penang is my go-to.

      • Anon Silver Spring

        Disregard. Am just noticing you said Dusit closed. The challenges of trying to skim 80+ comments for recommendations.

  • Sally

    Baan Thai for eating out. Regent Thai for delivery. Hands down to both.

  • ustreetmayor

    I want to open a Thai-themed bar./restaurant I will name it Thai Won On.

    • Tom

      I will help you in this endeavor because that is brilliant

  • MadMax

    Little Serow is the easy answer to “best”, although it’s certainly an outlier experience. If Thip Khao were Thai instead of Laotion they would easily be at the top as well. Thai X-ing has dropped off in quality dramatically over the years, but it’s still overall pleasing compared to the rest of what you get in DC. Baan is my new favorite for what most people think of when it comes to Thai, but I have no idea if they deliver, and even if they did they probably wouldn’t deliver to my neighborhood. I don’t use those food delivery apps, I’ve had nothing but bad experiences from all of them. I’ve been to most of the other mentioned well known places and came away unimpressed. I’ve yet to have consistently good Thai food from any of the places in NE or SE, but Kruba Thai used to occasionally hit the mark, although they miss it just as often. Outside of the high end options Thai is honestly one of the weakest cuisines for DC (which is unfortunate since it’s probably my favorite).

    • Sally

      Couldn’t agree more with all of this.

    • Ben

      Yea it’s a shame about Thai-Xing. Back when Taw Vigsittaboot was in the kitchen all the time the food was out of this world. I still need to pony up and wait in line for Little Serow

    • INWDC

      The 2-3 times I’ve gone to Baan Thai the food was good but not better than the average DC Thai place. Am I missing something or doing it wrong?

      • Manamana

        The more variety I sample on their menu, the more I appreciate Baan Thai

    • MtP

      I agree with all of this 100%, particularly about the food delivery apps – I have had truly bad experiences with the several I have tried. For standard take-out/delivery, I recommend Siam House in Cleveland Park if you’re close – I find them to be the best of the standard Thai places in the city

  • Welshi

    Siam House. I live around the corner from Beau Thai MtP and yet I always get Siam House in Cleveland Park. It’s so good!

  • Will

    That Lao place out in Seven Corners next to Hong Kong Express, which has good Chinese food.

    • anon

      Yes, that’s a great spot, worth the drive. Owned by Thip Khao people I think. Has a great mix of Thai and Lao dishes.

    • Taylor

      Bangkok Golden!

  • maxwell smart

    So happy Thai Pad got a mention (and a photo!) – I’m so stoked to have them in my neighborhood. The food is great, the staff are so friendly. I really hope now that Park Van Ness opened, they have a steady stream of customers (including me!)

    • LP

      +1 I live across the street and this is now my go-to Thai restaurant! Love their soups and lunch specials when I am teleworking!

  • mtpresident

    Beau Thai. A little pricier than other places, but just delicious.

  • ED

    Beau Thai, specifically the Mt. Pleasant location for their noodle bowls. I live off of the hot and spicy noodle bowl in winter (and they deliver within a certain area). For some reason they don’t have noodle bowls on the menu in the Shaw location.

    • Truxton Thomas

      Their old Shaw location, which is now BKK, has some pretty good ones, including the hot and spicy noodle.

      • Anon

        Yup! I get that just about every time I go there.

    • INWDC

      The first time I had that hot & spicy noodle bowl I was in love. They have a beef cinnamon soup bowl (I think that’s the combo?) that’s really tasty, but not spicy. Also the beau thai chicken (which is probably very unhealthy) is delicious – only complaint is smallish portions for the price.

  • ST21

    Banana Leaves delivery is solid. Always gets to you in 45 minutes or less and they have yet to botch an order. Food is pretty good- Beef Drunken Noodle is the go-to with veggie spring rolls.

  • Truxton Thomas

    We do a lot of BKK and Beau Thai due to proximity, but I don’t think either one is exceptional. I’ll have to try Baan Thai and get back to Thai X-ing for additional research.

  • anon

    DC (for easy carryout): Paragon Thai in Cleveland Park can’t be beat. Baily’s Crossroads: Rabieng (bonus: next to a Thai market); Wheaton: Thai Taste by Kob for all kinds of unusual items (also next to Thai market), Ruan Thai, and Nava Thai;

    • formerwoodley

      the worst part about leaving woodley park was not having Paragon delivery anymore! So fast and always good. Admittedly, my bar for ‘good’ is probably low, but hey it’s takeout.

    • sarracenia

      Thai Taste by Kob is great, especially if you like things spicy. Mmmm, devil fish and “mouth on fire” pork belly.

  • B’Dale Res

    Bangkok 54 in Arlington for DMV, but Aroi Thai for just DC. Beau Thai was always good, but usually gave me the beau ssssshhhhhhhhh…..it’s still good though despite side effects….

  • shnnnb

    Kao Thai in silver spring!

  • Blithe

    My favorite dish is goong pad woon sen. I would now like to go to each and every one of the restaurants y’all mention until I find a version that’s as good as the one made by Ban Thai in Baltimore on special request. Life goals! Or I could learn to make it properly instead of just a kinda close version.

  • Scott

    Baan Thai!!

  • CapitalDame

    This is going to sound insane, but the best pad thai I have ever had was at Thai Chili in Verizon Center. I’m not alone either, my former coworker from San Francisco moved back so the bay area and when she comes to visit its the first place she goes.

    • PetlessInPetworth

      Heh – I never think to go there! Because…well…inside the Verizon Center. Maybe next time I go to a Caps game I’ll stop by.

    • LGformerlyofMt.P

      The only time I’ve ever had severe food poisoning it was from this place. (and as a vegetarian it is hard for me to get severe food poisoning…)

  • Tom

    Thank you for this list because I just realized it has been waaay too long since I had Thai within the D.C. line. Like, years. Does that make me a bad millennial?
    .
    To that end, when I lived in Alexandria, a place called Shakthi was right around the corner from me and I used to go there all the time.

    • millennial neighbor

      Yes! Bad millennial! I eat thai at least once a week.

  • d

    No love for Regent Thai? Consistently better than Beau Thai and others mentioned here in my opinion and I eat a ton of Thai. Also, agree with others who say Little Serow is the best. Just went for the 5th time and while they’ve turned down the spice a notch, everything else was perfectly on point. Probably the best Thai restaurant on the east coast.

    • anonymous

      Regent’s our go-to. Granted, it’s 3 blocks from home and they deliver super fast (no judging getting delivery for a 5-minute walk…), but I’ve always really liked their food. Wanted to try Beau Thai, but when I called they couldn’t get us food for a couple of hours so we haven’t gotten there yet.

  • TumYum

    I’m really surprised no one has mentioned SOI 38 on 21 near GWU. Amazing Street food in a upscale location but won’t break the bank. The bar is super hip and has a bunch of unique Thai Drinks. The owner is from Thailand and is a local college graduate. I never hear them mentioned but they are in the same circle as Thip Kho and Bangkok Golden. The interior is amazing with Thai street art and dragons.

    • MadMax

      I’ve been and thought it was good but nothing rave-worthy. The space is indeed quite cool though.

  • maxwell smart

    I’m glad no one has mentioned Tara Thai, which should be renamed Terrible Thai. Honestly some of the worst food I’ve ever had. I’m pretty sure my Pad Thai had pickles.

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