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Cheap Eats 2007: Thai Basil
Comments () | Published July 11, 2007
Thai Basil
Address: 14511-P Lee Jackson Memorial Highway, Chantilly, VA 20151
Phone: 703-631-8277
Neighborhood: Chantilly/Centreville/Clifton
Cuisines: Thai
Opening Hours: Open daily from 11 to 9.
Price Range: Inexpensive
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: N/A
Reservations: Not Needed
Price Details: Main courses $6.95 to $10.95 at lunch, $8.95 to $13.95 at dinner (whole flounder higher). Dinner for two: about $40.
Owner and chef Nongkran Daks’s cookbooks are for sale on a sideboard at this charmingly cluttered cafe. Favorable reviews are tucked under glass at each table. Daks isn’t shy about trumpeting her successes. And why not? Her cooking is bright yet delicate, allowing flavors and textures to unfold and build to full effect.

Her crispy duck and basil, a frequent special, is the best in the area, crunchy yet chewy, sweet but not cloying. A pastelike pork, shrimp, and peanut dip is elevated by crisp house-made rice cakes that are good enough to eat alone. Salads have an appealing snap—nothing soggy here.

Ga Xao Phai with shredded chicken, cabbage, and mint is especially good. Gang Dang, the familiar Thai curry with basil and green beans (and a choice of pork, beef, or chicken), is enlivened with fresh bamboo shoots and red chili. For dessert, sticky rice can be had two ways—with custard or mango. Both are terrific.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

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Posted at 11:05 AM/ET, 07/11/2007 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews