The restaurant opened earlier this year, about six months ago. They have a large menu. Tyler offered that I play dictator and order for the group, or at least make an initial proposal. But not knowing what they’re especially good at we decided to challenge the restaurant to simply bring us their best.
This can be more challenging than you’d think. If you ask for the best dishes, remember that the restaurant staff do not know you at all and will thus assume you’re like the median customer who comes in. Asking for their suggestion is just as likely to get you “what most people order” as it is to get you what the restaurant really does best (most authentic, what the staff themselves prefer, what they would offer to their own family who came in).
At first they were a bit reluctant, and started asking questions “do you like.. would you want..” But we finally overcame that hump, and Tyler offered that he and I have been to Thailand (and I’ve been many many times), we do enjoy Thai food as they like it themselves, and that they should just bring us what they think are their very best dishes. “We’ll trust you. So please just trust us.”
Here’s what I learned. The soup is fantastic. They have perhaps the best mussumun curry I’ve tried outside of Southeast Asia. And the catfish was very good as well.
They push the ‘Pattaya Seafood’ but I found that dish to be the most disappointing (good fish, but unsurprisingly very average shellfish).
Overall I was happy with the whole meal across the board.
They aren’t cooking at the level of Elephant Jumps. If you know how to order at Elephant Jumps (which if you read this blog you do) then you’ll do better there. Tyler suggested that the average quality (if you factor in the standard fare a Thai restaurant is almost legally obliged to offer in the states) might be higher at Thai Taste.
For a Northern Virginia boy, heading there at dinner, traffic at the intersection of 495 North and 270 makes the trip a commitment. I won’t go often, but it’s worth going.
The menu here is huge and I don’t pretend to know it very well, but this is one of the five best Thai places around and on that list it is not the fifth. Definitely recommended for anyone wishing to explore authentic and quality Thai food at extremely reasonable prices.