April 28, 2013

Thai X-ing (DC)

My shortest restaurant review ever:
  1. Are you in DC?
  2. Do you like Thai Food?
  3. If yes to both (1) and (2), go to Thai X-ing.

For those who would like a more detailed review:

Behind this salmon pink door is a rowhouse converted to a restaurant.  
That's right.  Chef Taw Vigsittaboot welcomes us to a teeny, speak-easy-esque space where he and his crew serve stellar Thai food at a fixed price, 6 days a week (closed Mondays). 

There are several things you should know before you visit:
  • They're only open for dinner (5:30 - 10:00 PM).
  • You must make a reservation either online or by phone. If you call, you'll likely have to leave a message. You might call again and leave another message, and another. But don't worry; someone will call you back... eventually.
  • You'll be eating the chef's selections. 
  • In other words, there is no menu other than some hints here.
  • Sunday is vegetarian night. This doesn't mean you have to be vegetarian. Just be aware no whole fish or braised chicken drumsticks will be served. Vegan options may be made if asked in advance.
  • If you want to drink alcohol, you must bring your own. Good news: no corkage fee.
  • The dishes are pretty spicy, so if you can't handle heat, I'd suggest BYOM(ilk).
  • If you have any food allergies to typical Thai food ingredients (i.e. - peanuts, coconut), this place is not for you.
I went on a Sunday night, which meant that the meal was strictly vegetarian.  Although I'm a super non-vegetarian, the food was so good that I didn't even notice the absence of meat or fish! (true story).  Every plate that steadily appeared at our table was not only impressive in presentation (banana leaves do a solid job), but also in taste, with flavors that really packed a punch.  $30/ person for a 9-course meal.  5/5 stars.

Now, onto the food:

Green Papaya Salad -- includes shredded unripe papaya, tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, chili, lime -- SPICY!

Tom Yum Soup -- includes mushrooms, cilantro, silken tofu, celery, coconut milk, lemongrass -- LEMONGRASSY

Veggie Spring Rolls

Brown Rice w/ Beans

Pineapple & Tofu Curry -- includes pineapple, tofu, green beans, sour peppers, basil.


Stir-fried Veggies -- includes carrots, peppers, snap peas, cauliflower, green onion, squash.

Pad See Ew -- includes tofu, bean sprouts, peppers, chili, lime, and lots of peanuts.

Mango Sticky Rice -- includes ripe mango slices, perfectly-cooked sticky rice, topped with berries -- SWEET.

Kind of kitschy, kind of awesome.

Because the restaurant is in a house, the space is cozy and not great for claustrophobes.  But despite the limited space, there's something oddly comforting about dining in a stranger's living room or basement. The ambience may be all over the place, but there's nothing confusing about most diners' final sighs of sheer contentment.

Your taste buds will be having a field day with all the sour, sweet, spicy, and salty combos during this culinary journey.  And if your taste buds are like mine, you'll enjoy every second of it.  If I had to pick my favorite dishes, I'd probably lead you to the hearty and comforting pumpkin curry and the perfectly-paired mango sticky rice.  Just know that by the time your meal ends, you'll be rolling out of the house, stuffed but satisfied. Maybe you'll even have some leftovers for the following day -- just maybe.

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Thai X-Ing on Urbanspoon

dined on: 3/17/13, 7 PM
cuisine: Thai
location: DC [LeDroit Park]
nearest metro stop: Shaw
hours: Dinner only; 5:30 PM - 10:00 PM
websites: { TX | yelp | facebook }
attire: Casual
notes: Make reservations well in advance.  BYOB with no corkage fee!

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