100 Best Restaurants 2011: Sabai Sabai Simply Thai
Comments () | Published January 20, 2011
Cheap Eats 2011 100 Best Restaurants (2011) Cheap Eats 2010

Sabai Sabai Simply Thai
Address: 19847-M Century Blvd., Germantown, MD 20874
Phone: 301-528-1400
Neighborhood: Germantown
Cuisines: Vegetarian/Vegan, Thai
Opening Hours: Open for lunch Monday through Thursday 11 to 3. Open for dinner Monday through Thursday 4:30 to 10. Open for lunch and dinner Friday 11 to 10:30, Saturday 11:30 to 10:30, Sunday noon to 9:30.
Price Range: Inexpensive
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: N/A
Reservations: Not Needed
Best Dishes Larb, a spicy mix of ground chicken, lime juice, and peppers; chive dumplings; fried corn cakes with a cucumber condiment; peppercorn shrimp; pork skewers with a sweet/spicy dipping sauce.
Price Details: Starters $4.95 to $8.95, entrées $9.95 to $18.95.

Only the top 40 restaurants were ranked in 2011's Best Restaurants list.

Vivid Thai flavors come from this tidy cafe, whose stone walls and earth tones lend a Zen-like calm. Owners Fred and CiCi Hart, the opening team behind Rockville’s Benjarong, eschew MSG and embrace freshness. Peppercorns are still on the vine, bean sprouts are always snappy, and dumpling wrappers have an al dente bite.

In dishes both familiar (Panang curry, drunken noodles) and uncommon (street fare such as Crying Tiger—slices of beef with a fiery sauce), most everything is made in-house. Extra care elevates even details such as the sweet dipping sauce, made with house-seasoned soy sauce, that accompanies plump chive dumplings. Vegetarians won’t feel overlooked—some of the menu’s best dishes are meat-free.

Also good: One of the area’s best renditions of larb, the ground-chicken salad with lime juice and chili flakes; Yum Duck Salad with lemongrass, scallions, and house-made chili paste; peppercorn shrimp; fried corn cakes with spicy cucumber dipping sauce; Floating Market Noodle Soup, lemongrass-scented broth with meatballs and rice noodles; kao kha moo, long-simmered pork leg with pickled lettuce.

Open daily for lunch and dinner. Inexpensive.

>> See all of 2011's Best Restaurants

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 01/20/2011 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews