Cheap Eats 2008: Ruan Thai
Comments () | Published June 1, 2008
100 Best Restaurants 2014 100 Best Restaurants 2013 Cheap Eats 2012 100 Best Restaurants 2012 Cheap Eats 2010 Cheap Eats 2011

Ruan Thai
Address: 11407 Amherst Ave., Wheaton, MD
Phone: 301-942-0075
Neighborhood: Wheaton
Cuisines: Thai
Opening Hours: Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner, Sunday for dinner.
Price Range: Inexpensive
Dress: Informal
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.

Why go: The cooking is as electric as the dull-colored walls and gray storefront aren’t, with a brightness and pungency often absent in more hiply decorated Thai spots.

What to get: Warm, pillowy scallion dumplings; a starter known as “yum watercress,” a giant fritter of shrimp and fried watercress; pad Thai; whole fish (often sea bass) deep-fried to a golden turn; duck in red curry, the crisp-skinned meat redolent of star anise; lightly salty sticky rice with ripe mango—the best in the area.

Best for: Anyone in need of a palate wake-up.

Insider tip: For group dining, it’s best to limit yourself to just a few of the big, sharable entrées, such as the crispy fish or duck, and load up on appetizers—the strength of the menu—while saving room for dessert.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

See all Cheap Eats 2008 restaurants 

Subscribe to Washingtonian
Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 06/01/2008 RSS | Print | Permalink | Restaurant Reviews