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Thai Square Preliminary Report

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Thai Square Preliminary Report

bacchante | Feb 3, 2005 08:28 PM

Eight gathered for the first Thai lunch today. I will begin a report thread and ask the others to add as they see fit.

Here is a rundown of the dishes ordered:

Larb Kai (chicken)
Yum Pla Dook Foo, crisp, shredded catfish with a tart dipping sauce
Yum Pla Krob, dried tile fish tossed with lime juice, onion, scallions, and cilantro
Sun-dried pork, marinated meat, deep fried and served with a chili dipping sauce (from the specials menu)
Mussels with herbs in clay pot
Floating Market Noodle Soup, beef, meat balls, bean sprouts in dark beef broth with noodles
Pad Thai
Green Curry with chicken
Crispy Squid with Basil
Crispy Honey Duck with basil
Kai Padprick Kraprao, chicken sauteed with fresh chili peppers and basil
Crispy Pork with Chinese Broccoli
Sauteed squid

I think the consensus was that there was nothing that was not good. Kai Padprick Kraprao, which can be mundane, was very good here, as was the sauteed squid.

In particular, the restaurant excels in frying. The Crispy Squid and Crispy Duck were outstanding, and the fried basil adds the perfect touch.

Another real hit was the soup. This is a noodle soup that you would get for a meal. The flavor of the broth was very deep, with what PollyG thought was cinnamon. If you should order it, ask for the dark broth rather than the clear broth. I've had the latter before on occasion and didn't even realize they had the dark broth until the waitress asked. The clear broth is nice and light, but the dark is much more tasty and satisfying. The clear broth I think also has some toasted garlic tossed on top, or perhaps that's the pork noodle soup.

Another dish that I liked a lot (thanks Marty for ordering it) was the crispy pork with chinese broccoli. I want to compare it with the same dish at Bangkok 54. Yum pla dook fu is another of my favorites here. The catfish is very light and fluffy, and the accompanying vegetable and cilantro garnish sets it off. The sun dried pork and yum pla krob also are very good.

On the other hand, a few things are par for Thai restaurants, and a few may be better elsewhere. Although the larb had a nice flavor of ground pepper, I like it with some more brightness from the lime juice. Mussels were very good but reported to be better elsewhere. While less sweet than some places, the pad thai was still too sweet for me, even with some squirts of the lime that came with it.

It's only now in retrospect that I realize that we didn't make it clear that we wanted things prepared as they would be in Thailand. Several of the dishes were not as spicy as I have had them in the same restaurant, such as the crispy squid, larb, and padprick krapao.

Some dishes still on my list to try here are: pig knuckle stew (sorry Roe), som tum (green papaya salad, country style curry (without coconut milk), and one of the salted fish dishes.

So many dishes, so little time...

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