About two weeks ago, Absolute Thai opened its second branch in McLean. We've been twice since it opened and we're likely to make this a regular destination. The food does not equal with the best Thai food we've had in the DC-area, but the food is quite good. Above all, the people who staff the restaurant are charming and responsive to customer preference for heat levels.
We have enjoyed the Absoute Thai chicken wrap, Spicy Roasted Duck, Pad Thai, Drunken Noodles, Tom Yung Goong soup, and Kanom Jeep Dumplings. Lovers of extreme Thai heat will have to ask for their food to be prepared extra hot. My husband and I cannot eat true Thai-hot levels of food, but we enjoyed the heat of the two chili dishes-- definite bursts of chili heat but not so overwhelming we couldn't taste the other flavors. I liked the larb gai, but the recipe is not what I'm used to. The chef uses tamarind sauce in addition to the lime. (I think Busara sets the standard for larb gai.)
Jarringly, you'll see a pastry display cabinet filled with exquisitely crafted French pastries. These are made in-house by a Thai patry chef who is a partial owner of the restaurant. Saturday night, we ate at Absolute Thai with friends and each couple split a pastry. Not the typical ending to a Thai meal, but so delicious we didn't care about authenticity.
Sietsema's fall restaurant review was all about becoming a regular. A follow-up article included all the reasons why people become regulars at restaurants. Repeatedly, the notion of welcome came up. People were happy to eat good-but-not-transcendent food as long as they were made to feel welcome. This restaurant definitely creates that atmosphere and we wish them well.