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Steve | Aug 29, 200506:16 PM     23

As a continuation of our Thai Smackdown, a group of us recently went to Ruan Thai in Silver Spring to see how this small storefront stacked up against some of the best in the area.
Wow! I loved it. We had a lot of dishes, but the following eight were very special:

12*** yum ma keau, spicy grilled eggplant with pork and shrimp (smokey flavor)
***special, watercress with squid, dried shrimp and cashews (yowza, a unique dish)
47*** mhoo korb pad prik khing, crispy pork with string bean and hot chili sauce (like a jerky, soft and chewy)
57*** whole fish with chili sauce and basil (served super crispy. One of my favorite whole fish ever)
64*** ped pad kha prao, stir fried boneless duck (one of the only fiery dishes of the night. Too good.)
81*** pad kha na, chinese broccoli with oyster sauce (perfect)
82 ***pad watercress, stir-fried with black bean sauce (in case the special watercress in unavailable, this is a fine substitute)
87*** tu-fu pad kha prao, stir-fried tofu with hot chili green pepper and basil (hot pillows busting with flavor)

Others, such as larb, sliced grilled beef salad, papaya salad, fried crispy duck were very good renditions; hard to find better.

A few dishes provided some thorns:
77 guay teow kee mao, shrimp with rice noodles and hot chili sauce (too ketchup-y)
96 hoy mang poo ob mor din, steamed mussels (plump, but boring)
yellow curry chicken special – I would order this again IF I could convince them to turn on the heat.

This gets my vote as the most delicious and interesting Thai around. If anyone out there thinks there is better, then please tell me!

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