I was searching Yelp one day for restaurants that deliver in my area -- sadly, completely unreliable -- and ran across Rose Garden Thai Cuisine, which doesn't deliver. But I'm overexpposed to the sweetishstyle at the very good Kao Sarn, and don't often trek down to Ruen Pair for more Laotian goodies. (BTW, I am not at all expert in recognizing regional styles of Thai cooking, but I do know delicious food when it comes my way.)
Well...Rose Garden is excellent! We ordered take out -- four selections, and every one was just superb. Unfortunately, this was three weeks ago, when I should have written this review with things fresh in my mind. But the papaya salad was the best I've ever had anywhere -- wonderful, succulent, ecstatic! Hot though -- they are serious about their spicing here, it seems very little toned-down for American palates. Other selections included a fabulous pork/eggplant concoction and a delicious fish soup. As I said, we asked for "spicy" and we got it. After 3 minutes I was sweating with each exquisite mouthful.
I was stunned by how good this chow is -- inexpensive and I would guess totally authentic. Maybe someone who really knows this cuisine can stop by Rose Garden and let me know if I'm mistaken?
It's in the 1600 block of 23rd Street, in a miserable little mini-mall that also has a Laotian/Thai market. I don't know about formal dining, though -- totally bares bones with no decor to mention. But for take out....sheer heaven! Oddly, they don't even have complimentary menus you can take home with you -- a bit annoying. I think this is a very recent immigrant family. I hope they wise up, as it will greatly increase their take out business.