If you ever want to escape reality for the night, and enter an authentic dining experience – go the Thai X-Ing. As you walk into the almost hidden doorway located on 9th st. NW, you instantly feel as you have walked into someones home. But you can’t turn around because you are intrigued and want to taste what your nose is smelling. You then are greeted by the nicest people who check your reservation and show you to your table. (Note: yes, you typically need a reservation.)
One of the best parts about the dining experience is that you don’t have to worry about a thing. You can BYOB – which of course I recommend you do. There is only a $5 corkage fee in addition to a pre-fixed menu price. As soon as you sit down your waiter will come shortly over and probably ask “do you know the drill?”. If you haven’t been before – this is how it goes, they bring you a parade of many dishes served as a classic five course meal. You just eat slowly and enjoy.
Nights have different themes, such as, Tuesdays and Sundays are Vegetarian nights but on all other nights this is how it goes.
Here’s what I got to dine on:
The meal started with a cucumber soup. It looked like a beautiful giant celery stick wrapped around juicy pork. It was light and refreshing even on a hot DC summer June night. After the soup came a classic traditional Papaya salad. If you have ever been to Thailand you have had a true Papaya salad, and this tasted just like it. Sweet and salty, cold and crunchy – the salad that combines the best flavors and textures into one. And of course a light protein starter of chicken skewers.
The appetizer course was everything you are looking for in an appetizer course.
Then came the entree dishes – a meat, a fish and a veggie. The meat was thinly sliced beef served cold like a beef salad. The fish was Salmon in a delicious green sauce. And the veggie was the famous spiced soft pumpkin in curry sauce. I couldn’t decide if I should eat one dish the whole way through, or keep switching bites between all the dishes.
All dishes are served over beautiful green leaves.
And then the classic pad thai that tasted nothing like an american classic pad thai. It was bursting of flavor. You can tell a real pad thai by the natural coloring and texture – and it was perfect. It wasn’t all stuck together and clumpy (like some can be). It was perfectly cooked, seasoned and presented.
There is something fun about being able to mix all of the ingredients together yourself.
There is always room for dessert – especially when it is mango sticky rice. The sticky rice is a fun dark purple and the mango is a vibrant bright yellow. Served with strawberries and blueberries and sitting on top of green leaves, it is probably one of the most colorful and still naturally delicious desserts you’ll ever have.
Let me tell you, this is not just a one time experience. Once you go, you will keep going. It is fun, authentic, unique, exciting and delicious! Enjoy!