Cheap Eats 2016: Thai Taste by Kob

Cheap Eats 2016: Thai Taste by Kob
Pad Ped Pla Dook–spicy catfish–at Thai Taste. Photograph by Scott Suchman.
Good for Groups Vegetarian-Friendly

It tells you something that, before your noodles arrive, the server brings a spice tray—four little bowls of chili sauces and chili-stoked vinegars. Well, two somethings: One, this tiny operation adjacent to a Vietnamese grocery values the particularity of the individual palate. And two, its clientele appreciates ping and heat. This is among the most uncompromising Thai cooking in the area. That doesn’t just mean hot dishes are hot. It means chef Phak Duangchandr—Kob to friends and family—doesn’t shy away from the spiky edges that other Thai places are intent on softening: pungency, funky flavors, tanginess. You see it in small touches (the sharp, stinging dipping sauce that accompanies skewers of grilled pork) but also simply in the range of dishes, which include many things you won’t find anywhere else, such as Thai street snacks that aren’t generally thought to be restaurant-ready. Kudos to Kob for recognizing that there are non-Thais out there who are thrilled to dig into the tastes that she and her family have been eating for years.

Also good: Lucky Bag (chicken-and-potato curry purses); crispy whole fish; chicken Himmapan.

See what other restaurants made our 2016 Cheap Eats list. This article appears in our May 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

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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.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.