Dinner in a Thai Man’s Basement

2 May

By Green Gourmet L

The best way I can describe this place is a portal into Narnia. If you aren’t looking for it, you could easily miss the sign hidden behind the vines for Thai X-ing.

But if you know what you seek, once you walk inside you are transferred to a far-away place where the food is amazing and the servers treat you like family. This restaurant is literally located in a basement (the owners live and even have extra tables in the apartment above).

A few tips in advance before you go:

  1. Wear socks or get a pedicure. If you end up sitting upstairs, you must take your shoes off.
  2. Make a reservation. I called a week in advance, and the earliest they had was 8:15 on Tuesday night. Here are the website and phone number: 202-332-4322.
  3. Bring your own ____. Beer, wine, soda. Whatever you like. They put a pitcher of water on your table, but beyond that you’re one your own.
  4. They serve a chef’s tasting menu which is $30 Tuesday-Thursday, $40 on Friday/Saturday, and a Vegetarian/Vegan menu on Sundays for $30.
  5. You don’t have to stuff yourself silly. We asked for to-go boxes and had a wonderful dinner at home the next night.
  6. There is a metro stop not far away and I saw many buses going by. We elected to take a cab home. This is not in the best part of town and I would not recommend walking home alone after dark.

Now for the food. If you go for the Chef’s Tasting, this is the best way to experience all that Thai X-ing has to offer. They will bring out between 5-7 courses depending on how many people are in your party. And the ingredients are so fresh, the dishes are very well balanced, it is by far some of the best Thai food I’ve ever had.

Course 1

Tom Yum soup. This soup is hot and sour and filled with delicious fresh seafood and herbs. This was my favorite course since I have never had soup that tasted this fresh- stalks of lemon grass, sprigs of cilantro, and a hint of fish sauce. They must simmer the broth all day long to get this depth of flavor.

Course 2

Papaya salad. Spicy but refreshing. My friend who loves spice thought this was quite authentic. I was glad it was a smaller portion, because a little goes a long way.

Course 3

Red curry with salmon and pumpkin. This was the most unique dish we had all evening. I have never had pumpkin cooked in this way, but it had such amazing flavor and texture. I am definitely going to attempt to make this at home at some point. The red curry was spicy but well balanced with just the right amount of sweetness from the coconut milk. Yum!

Course 4

Pad See-Ew. Chicken, egg, veggies, noodles, and sauce. Sounds simple, but I heard rumors that they make their noodles in house, oh yeah. We were pretty full by the time we got to this course, but this was even better for leftovers the next day. Don’t be afraid to take some home!

Course 5

Sticky rice with mango and coconut milk. A perfect way to end this dinner. This sticky rice is not too sweet, filled with fresh mango, and had an interesting starchy component (which the server said was green pumpkin). We all cleaned our bowls and even though I was full to the brim, I was wishing there was more!

After dinner, chef Taw Vigsittaboot came out and greeted our table. He was even kind enough to let us take a picture of him in his modest kitchen.

This was definitely an experience to remember and if you like Thai food, this is a MUST when you’re in DC. Enjoy your Thai adventure and don’t forget you read about it on Green Gourmets!

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One Response to “Dinner in a Thai Man’s Basement”

  1. Jen @ keepitsimplefoods May 16, 2011 at 1:13 PM #

    Wow, you’ve already hit up all the DC hot spots! Been meaning to check this one out. Sounds amazing!

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