Thai X-ing
Comments () | Published October 18, 2006
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Thai X-ing
Address: 515 Florida Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202.332.4322
Neighborhood: U Street/Shaw
Cuisines: Thai
Nearby Metro Stops: Shaw-Howard University
Price Range: Inexpensive
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: Intimate
Reservations: Not Needed
Best Dishes Salmon in red curry; spring rolls; larb gai (ground chicken and onions in lime juice); pork ribs in green curry; pad Thai; Pad King Tofu.

March 2006 Best Bites: Hidden Eats

Lofty Curries From a Basement Kitchen

Some of the city's best Thai cooking isn't being done in a restaurant. It's coming from the English basement of a townhouse around the corner from Howard University Hospital--a takeout operation with a cult following called Thai X-ing.

Owner Taw Vigsittaboot has the work ethic of a short-order cook, but his cooking is as attuned to details as his mixed-media sculptures, on view in the tiny sitting room lined with art books and Buddhist texts. His larb gai is sharper and hotter than most renditions of this tangy ground-chicken dish. Spring rolls are rolled as tightly as Cohibas, producing a crunch even after they've been sitting in the takeout bag.

Curries are his specialty. A salmon in red curry proves the benefits of slow-cooking sauce and protein together, a method that high-volume Thai kitchens dispense with. The oils from the fish enrich the fiery coconut-milk broth while the broth infuses the poaching fish.

Prices won't try your budget, but the waits--expect to sit a half hour or more, even after calling ahead--may try your patience. As the sitting room's copy of The Dhamapadda urges, one must learn to perceive the world with tranquil serenity.
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Posted at 07:15 PM/ET, 10/18/2006 RSS | Print | Permalink | Restaurant Reviews