Cheap Eats 2011: Sabai Sabai Simply Thai

When it’s on, we’re convinced this is the area’s best Thai food. When it’s not–which happens occasionally–it’s still a notch or two better than the competition.

Many Thai restaurants invest heavily in their settings, and the space here is colorful and cheery. But this restaurant devotes as much attention to the food, from the quality of produce, fish, and herbs to the saucing–the perfectly cooked Tiger Peppercorn shrimp come with an unexpectedly delicate pepper sauce.

The most rewarding meals cover the range of the kitchen’s expertise, which includes stellar vegetarian dishes (on a separate menu) and authentic renditions of Thai street food in addition to the usual curries, salads, and noodle bowls. If ever there were a place to leave behind the tried and true and explore, it’s this one.

Also good: Roast-duck salad; chive dumplings; sweet corn cakes; drunken noodles; crispy duck with basil; kao kha moo (pork leg with pickled lettuce and spicy vinegar sauce.)

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.