Cheap Eats 2007: Ruan Thai
Comments () | Published July 11, 2007
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Ruan Thai
Address: 11407 Amherst Ave., Wheaton, MD
Phone: 301-942-0075
Neighborhood: Wheaton
Cuisines: Thai
Opening Hours: Open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday 11:30 to 10. Open for dinner Sunday 4 to 10.
Price Range: Inexpensive
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: N/A
Reservations: Not Needed
Best Dishes Scallion dumplings; yum watercress; pad Thai; deep-fried whole fish (often sea bass); duck in red curry; sticky rice with mango.
The area’s best Thai cooking outside of Virginia is to be found in a dimly lit slip of a restaurant whose food is as uncompromising as it is delicious. Krisana Sucsopinunt, who does the cooking and runs the place with her sister and brother-in-law, doesn’t let her dishes give in to the sweetness that creeps into so much Thai cooking. Even better, she has an obvious love for the funky and tangy. The result is a roster of some 100 dishes that scarcely resembles what you usually find.

A plate of grilled beef is full of smoke from the grill, a grainy crunch from the rice flour tossed on top, and a sourness from liberal shots of lime and fermented fish sauce. The crispy duck with basil and chilies doesn’t deviate much from standard preparations, except that those are often dull while this one is fabulous, with strong hits of garlic and basil perfuming the crisp-skinned meat. And don’t miss a whole crispy fish, scored and bearing a creamy red-curry sauce.

For dessert, a superb rendition of sticky rice is topped with a luscious custard.

Open daily for lunch and dinner

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Posted at 02:36 PM/ET, 07/11/2007 RSS | Print | Permalink | Restaurant Reviews