Thursday, May 26, 2011

Royal Thai

As the weather heats up, the idea of standing next to a stove or oven to cook dinner seems less and less appealing. It has become a perfect opportunity for me to seek out new takeout places on my walk home from work. Taking tips from comments on a Penn Quarter Living post about the best local thai food, I called Royal Thai and placed an order. Ten minutes later I headed off to 6th and H streets NW and, much to my pleasant surprise, discovered Royal Thai nestled in a cute little rowhouse. I expected a sketchy atmosphere but was very impressed with the gleaming dark wood interior. It would definitely be a nice place to sit a spell.

I headed home with bags heavy with Thai possibility, fingers crossed that I didn't just schlep home with a sack of blah food. Things started off on the right foot with a firey red curry with shrimp. Not inventive, but a very good rendition of one of my favorite Thai dishes. They also get 50 skillion bonus points for offering brown rice. Call me a California hippie if you want, but I love brown rice.

I ordered the eggplant with chili, basil, and black bean sauce hoping to re-create the magic of an eggplant dish we had at Full Key in Wheaton (no, not Full Kee). Full Key's eggplant was doused in a bowl-lickable sauce that hovered somewhere between hoisin sauce and magic sauce. Suffice it to say that Royal Thai's wasn't as good, but I was setting it up for a letdown.

Because I do this awkward nervous phone ordering thing where I throw in one extra item at the last minute (cue B's eye roll here), we ended up with the crispy duck roll. Luckily this was one of those times where my awkward ordering paid off. The duck was wrapped in soft roti (see our roti obsession here) and had a nice bbq flavor paired with a cool cucumber crunch. A fun alternative to greasy spring rolls.

And because I absolutely can't order Thai food without ordering a fat noodle dish, we tried the Kee Mow noodles which were gloriously fat rice noodles stir fried with garlic in a chili-basil sauce. It was pleasantly reminiscent of my favorite basil noodles at Asia Nine and a couple bucks cheaper. w00t!

While sometimes my "let's see what I can find on my way home from work" takeout adventures aren't huge wins, I can see Royal Thai entering our regular rotation. The staff was so friendly during my short visit (bringing me water while I waited for my food), I'm eager to mosey over for a sit-down meal.

Second Thoughts from B

My mom always warned me about going to the grocery store on an empty stomach because everything looks good and you end up buying too much. Unfortunately she never warned me about blogging right before lunchtime. Let's just say that my salivary glands should put in for overtime.

Oh what I would do for some Royal Thai right about now. Unfortunately all I have to look forward to is Queen, the grumpy sandwich lady in the cafeteria downstairs. But I digress...

As picky as I am about Chinese food, Thai food seems to do no wrong. I apologize to all of you who grew up eating this glorious cuisine and are now shaking your head at my ignorance. Still, coming from our recent trip to SE Asia, I feel that we're not blindly endorsing the Panda Expresses of the Thai food world.

So let's recap: I'm blinded by hunger and ignorance. Great. Why would anyone believe a thing I say? I'll give you one reason. Give Royal Thai a try and you might just get to meet J because I'm sure we'll be enjoying this regal cuisine again soon.
Royal Thai Cuisine & Bar on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Angela said...

California hippie.


I always wondered about this place. Food looks great! Also, I too do that thing where I throw something in last minute. But Mark heartily supports it.