I have recently discovered this place. I am very happy to finally find a place that delivers to me in Ballston that is good. I have always wanted to enjoy Thai food, but I have not eaten it that often due to the fact that I have never found it made well. I have tried dozens of places where they pre-boil the meat and toss it in a sauce that the restaurant is not capable of spicing correctly or tom yum soup that tastes the same in every Thai place because they don't make the stock, but buy the same paste that I can buy.
I tried Thai Square and enjoyed a couple dishes (crispy squid, market soup, pig feet stew), but they have horrible parking and do not deliver, so I had given up until I saw someone mention Bangkok 54 here. So here it is from three visits over the last couple weeks:
Green papaya salad, thai hot was excellent. It had all my favorite things in it and was spicy. The owner said it was too spicy for her, but I could have had more spice.
Larb. Thai hot. Not as spicy when it hit the table, but delicious and simple and flavorful. I would have liked it spicier and I would have prefered that there was a pile of manageable lettuce/cabbage to wrap the chicken in, the way they served it was on a bed of lettuce which made it messy and difficult to manage. I am not 100% on what is traditional.
Tom yum. Homemade. Delicious. Sour. Spicy. Lots of mushrooms. Lots of lemongrass. Best that I have tasted.
Green curry. Thai hot. A little spicy, but delicious. I think the eggplant were a bit undercooked, but that was better than them being mushy.
PORKY BELLY WITH GREEN BEANS!!!!!! OMG. I have had this twice now. It comes in a sweet and slightly sour chili paste. They have told me that they can't make it spicier which would take this dish from a 9 to a 10+.
Deep fried tofu with chili sauce. I am not a fan of tofu (or vegetarianism in general ;P) but a veg friend ordered this and I couldn't believe how good it was. Delicious chili and vinegar sauce which is slightly sweet. Crispy and good.
Lastly, (and you aren't gonna believe this one) excellent homemade cheesecake in mango sauce. Next time I will skip the mango sauce. The cheesecake may be the best I have had in the DC area.
Additionally, there is a Thai grocery store attached. A lot of similar things in general, but the delightful frisson was the deli. They make a lot more Thai-centric foods in there that I have never seen in restaurants. I bought a sour soup with bamboo and shrimp and a sour shrimp curry. They also have about four chili pastes that are made in house (the really dark red one is the hottest). They have hot foods and cold foods (papaya salad!). And sweets too!
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