Mai Thai is the Shiznit

I had lunch yesterday at Mai Thai at 6 King Street in Alexandria, right by the Torpedo Factory. Honestly, I was a little hesitant at first, knowing that it was nestled in a high-rent area and figuring that I could only get the priciest of meals there. How wrong I was!

For $21 my lunch companion and I each got delicious entrees and shared a dessert. Now, this may not seem like a complete bargain and more like a regular bill for such a meal, but the price was more than right. When you figure in cost per unit deliciousness (the ultimate restaurant bargain determining factor), Mai Thai offered one of the best deals around.

My drunken noodles with tofu was delightful, having a wonderfully intertwined mélange of basil, garlic and some sort of incredible brown sauce I don’t entirely know how to describe but have gotten better at reproducing. All I know is that I was belching up Thai goodness all afternoon and enjoying every minute of it. Although it was not as spicy as I prefer, it did have a little bite and was completely digestible, which was a great trade-off.

The other dish ordered was fried rice with chicken and shrimp, which was reportedly very good. I cannot comment firsthand on this one, as I do not eat meat, even in Thai restaurants. I am sure the shrimpy goodness was a blast of subtle exuberance and the chicken was as delicious as the day it was born. Or something like that. I don’t know how to describe chicken and shrimp anymore.

Our dessert was mango with sticky rice. This simple dessert really takes a deft hand to complete and it’s all in the sauce. Usually the sticky rice is cooked with coconut milk and sugar but at Mai Thai they do something a little different – they pour a coconut milk sauce over the sticky rice, which makes the dish even more interesting to behold. A very slight salt flavour in the sauce helped bring out the sweetness in the mango, making this most delicious of all fruits (with the possible exception of the durian) seem all that much more delicious.

In short, I highly recommend Mai Thai. On top of the incredible food, the servers were all friendly and helpful and made our visit enjoyable. It’s hard to pick a favorite Thai restaurant but Mai Thai is certainly up there.

What’s your favorite Thai place? I want to go try it!

6 Comments so far

  1. Paulo (unregistered) on March 27th, 2007 @ 2:41 pm

    My two personal favorites are Bua at 17th and P, and Sawatdee at Courthouse Plaza in Arlington. Having eaten the real stuff in Bangkok and Phuket, I can tell you that of all the Thai places I’ve been to in DC, those two come the closest to replicating the straight-from-Thailand taste. For me, anyway.


  2. Kate (unregistered) on March 27th, 2007 @ 3:13 pm

    Thaiphoon (locations in Dupont Circle and Pentagon Row) has amazing food and is fairly cheap. It’s actually owned by the same people who own Mai Thai, but from what I can tell the menus vary a little bit.


  3. kat (unregistered) on March 27th, 2007 @ 3:16 pm

    I’ve been to Mai Thai in Alexandria and agree they are very good. They have a Mai Thai in Dupont as well, though I haven’t checked it out yet.


  4. ajw93 (unregistered) on March 27th, 2007 @ 3:46 pm

    Thai Square on Columbia Pike is quite tasty! I agree that Sawatdee is great as well.


  5. darpino (unregistered) on March 27th, 2007 @ 3:49 pm

    Sala Thai’s Arlington Location is my favorite. Great seasoning and nice atmosphere for a week night date.


  6. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on March 27th, 2007 @ 5:00 pm

    I’ve liked the Thai place over on the Waterfront when I’ve been there, as well as Haad Thai downtown.



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