Thai Place

$$$$ ($14 and under)
This cozy restaurant serves up Thai favorites, both spicy and mild.
Mon-Thurs 11 a.m. - 10:30 p.m. Fri-Sat 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. Sun noon - 10:30 p.m.
(Foggy Bottom)
Foggy Bottom-GWU (Blue and Orange lines)

Editorial Review

Despite its nondescript name, Thai Place is a charming venue for drinks and Thai cuisine favorites. Tucked away in a narrow space on Pennsylvania Avenue, the restaurant is a perfect place for pad Thai or spicy green curry.

Most entrees here are under $12, and you'll find typical Thai fare: tom yum soup, krapow, chicken satay, and various types of curry. Appetizers are small, but the dumplings and salads with a specialty lime dressing are worth the $6-$7 you'll shell out for them.

Entrees range from $8-$15, and the most expensive is the soft shell crab served with either curry or basil garlic sauce. The pad Thai is a popular choice among the suits from the World Bank who come across the street for their lunch break, or the student population of the area. Various stir-frys are an excellent choice as well, and there are many varieties: tofu and ginger, spicy basil, or the delectable himmapan stir-fry, a combination of chicken of shrimp with cashews and vegetables in a mild, somewhat sweet sauce. Spicy dishes pack a punch here, especially the curries and the drunken fried rice.

The restaurant may be cheap, but its decor is still chic. Tables are turquoise and shimmering, decorated with exotic orchids in bright bud vases. The whole restaurant is adorned in bold blues and turquoise, contrasting with burgundy walls with gold sculptures. The bar has a TV tuned in to CNN, which serves as a slight distraction, but the tall, colorful drinks that are offered are well-suited for the ambiance of the place.

The perfect end to a spicy meal is a sweet dessert. Coconut and lemon sorbets are served in a hollowed-out piece of fruit. Sticky rice with mango, sweetened by coconut milk, can be filling, so order only if you have room to spare after your meal. Finally, the sweetest treat is the crispy bananas in ice cream ($4.99), which are deep fried and served with a healthy topping of honey.

-- Maura Judkis (December 2005)