September 2004 Best of Silver SpringThai Derm isn't one of those glitzy Thai restaurants. Homey and family-run, this welcoming address has other things going for it--fresh daisies on the tables, Thai art, and a kitchen that turns out bright renditions of traditional fare. Open-face dumplings of crab and pork get a gloss of sweet winey sauce. Thai salads, such as the jumble of ground pork, peanuts, red onion, and chiles, are authentically spiced. Two delicate soups--shrimp with lemongrass, and chicken with coconut milk--offer solace.
Classic noodle dishes like pad Thai and drunken noodles are deftly done, as are stir fries of basil and hot chili or ginger root and onion, each with a choice of beef, pork, seafood, or poultry. It's hard not to love garlicky black-pepper shrimp or spicy panang curry. Look for more elaborate specials like deep-fried whole fish with three sauces and spicy duck. But leave room for dessert. House-made coconut ice cream and Thai custard satisfy the sweet tooth and then some.