Surreptitiously operating undercover as an old LeDroit Park rowhouse, Thai X-ing is not only a change of pace to the typical DC restaurant scene, but adds a whole lot of much-needed character.
An unbelievably authentic Thai restaurant that serves guests in some guy’s living room while a cat skulks around? Count me in.
After spending three hours at the Thai eatery, I came away one fat, tipsy, and happy camper. If you still haven’t been, here’s why I encourage you to give this diamond-in-the-rough a chance:
- No menu: If you’re indecisive like me, having faith in a chef who’s confident that you’ll devour whatever he or she cooks is an exciting break from panic ordering. That’s exactly the case here, where Chef Taw Vigsittaboot can’t go wrong with his mother’s and grandmother’s traditional Thai recipes and alternates them every night.
- Bang for your buck: Six to eight family-style courses are presented on gorgeous banana leaves for only $30-$50 per person, depending on the day and size of your group.
- Zero corkage fee: White wine goes best with the spicy food and quirky ambiance of the restaurant. Our six bottles barely fit on the small, off-kilter table. Don’t judge.
- Pumpkin Curry: A friend once told me he would sell his firstborn for this course, and I now understand why. The wonderfully soft pumpkin (pictured) dressed with a creamy red curry sauce is more sweet than savory and melts in your mouth with every bite.
- Pad See Ew: A million times better than any pad see ew you’ve ever had in this area, the large stalks of real Chinese broccoli and red bell peppers give depth to the one-dimensional flavor of salty soy sauce that usually pervades this noodle dish.
- Every other course: Even though I received a very vague answer as to what each course was (like the “whole fish”, and “beef salad”), my curiosity was surpassed by my enjoyment of every flavor all 8 dishes provided to the overall meal, from the refreshingly spicy papaya salad to the falling-off-the-bone short ribs in a mild green curry.
While some call dining here an “unusual” culinary experience, Thai X-ing is simply about damn good food, which isn’t so unusual after all. A few last tips for a successful outing at Thai X-ing: call and leave your detailed reservation request on the answering machine as soon as possible, pray they respond in a timely manner, and don’t argue if they offer you the 8:30 pm time slot (trust me, it’s better). Oh, and bring lots of booze.
Photo: Lisha Yates
515 Florida Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001