The Washington Post Magazine – 09/17/95
Sunday, September 17, 1995
50 Good Reasons to Let Someone Else Do The Dishes
Fall Dining Guide: Haad Thai
Thai restaurants are no longer considered exotic. They've become our everyday restaurants, much as Chinese restaurants used to be. And the Washington area has so many terrific Thai restaurants that I could probably include a couple dozen among my 50 favorites. So why single out Haad Thai? Many Thai restaurants have food this good. And if there is one in your neighborhood, by all means substitute it for this.
What Haad Thai has going for it is a downtown location-most Thai restaurants are in the suburbs, and few restaurants this good are within a short walk of the D.C. Convention Center. But that's not enough to make it an official favorite. It also has an imaginatively decorated dining room, circled by a pink and black mural of the Thai coast. The service is solicitous, too.
None of which would be important if the food weren't good. It is fairly simple-no lavish ingredients, just standard shrimp, scallops, beef, pork, chicken breast that's a little dry and vegetables that don't go much beyond carrots and snow peas. Yet it is seasoned with care, in light-textured sauces with plenty of fragrance and flavor. It shows refinement and delicacy. The hot dishes are boldly peppered but not macho-searing. The sweet sauces are a little too much so, but still compelling. This isn't cooking that teaches you about the breadth and heights of Thai cooking; it merely reminds you how delicious standard Thai food can be.
1100 New York Ave. NW. 202-682-1111.
Open: for lunch Monday through Friday 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; for dinner Monday through Friday 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday noon to 10:30 p.m. AE, DC, MC, V Reservations required. Separate smoking section.
Prices: lunch appetizers $3.95 to $6.95, entrees $5.95 to $7.95; dinn er appetizers $3.95 to $6.95, entrees $6.95 to $13.95.