Thai Derm

September 2004 Best of Silver Spring

Thai 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.

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