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Feb 28, 2003 05:26 PM

Cajun Bangkok--RIP!

  • j

I was devastated today to drive along King St in Alexandria and see that Cajun Bangkok is no more! I used to love that place and go there regularly when I lived in Old Town, and still would make forays there from near Centreville on occasion. Does anyone know any other place that serves what was my most regular appetizer dish--Meang Kham (sic)? It was a plate of small diced pieces of dried shrimp, ginger, chile, shallot, peanuts, and sauce, which you would mix together in a small round of collard green and pop in your mouth. In Thailand it's street food, but here they have not quite supplanted hotdogs and pretzels and I need my fix!

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  1. Sorry to hear about Cajun Bangkok's demise. I ate there a couple times on business trips in 93 and 94, and was happy to see it was still in business when I passed through the neighborhood last summer. I thought their sua rong hai (the menu called in "crying tiger," which is a loose English translation) was good and the sauce was authentic. Really warm and friendly service, too.

    The following link is from the L.A. board, but it concerns Thai restaurants in the DC area, which this poster thought were some of the best Thai restaurants in the U.S. (if they're as good as he claims, you're very lucky to live where you do). One of these places should do the trick.


    1. The chef, Lek, closed it after he opened his Lex Cajun Grill in Woodley Park. The link below is from a Washingtonian review.


      1. Actually, it's not *gone* ... the name is changed to "Lex Cajun Grill" just like the one elsewhere that was recently given a very negative review on this board. I drove past it this morning, and noticed the sign. I can't promise that the menu is the same.


        1. I went by again today and stopped to read the menu in the window. There is a note there that advises Cajun Bangkok's patrons that they have merely changed their trade name and that the menu remains the same. Indeed the menu is pretty much the same as before, though I did not see meang kham on the menu. Perhaps they will still make it if you ask.

          1. Don't worry. Lex - the owner and chef (he is of thai descent) - simply changed the name of Cajun Bankok to match his other restaurant on CT Ave (by the Wardman Park Marriott). I have been several times since the name change - staff is the same, menu is mostly the same. (they took away some of the more thai dishes and added some cajun dishes). Don't hesitate to go back - it's still great.

            13 Replies
            1. re: Bridget

              Yep the food is the same. the only thing that has changed is the name. Same great food!! I love their thai jerk chicken, want to make it at home, but dont know where to start. Any suggestions?

              1. re: rg

                Cajun Bangkok is now in Lorton, VA, but has been renamed ThaiBox. Their website is

                Lek is still the chef and the food is as amazing as it has always been.

                1. re: brucestorey

                  Wow, thanks for posting this! Cajun Bangkok was a favorite of ours while we were living in Richmond (the name never changed; it just closed in 2010 or so).

                  Lots of good dishes, but I find myself craving the pasta jambalaya at the moment. I loved that they had a couple different kinds of Abita, too, but this place doesn't look like it has a liquor license. I'll still make the trek, of course.

                  1. re: VaPaula

                    I've eaten at Thaibox and it is very good. The cajun mayo served with the crawfish popcorn bites is awesome! Very generous servings with the po-boys and really good sausage in the gumbo with a little kick.

                    1. re: scottmr2

                      Another big fan of Thaibox. Love the popcorn crawfish and drunken noodles. Also, nextdoor is an excellent Korean place called Hunan Deli. In addition to the usual bulgogi/bulgalbi/japchae, there's a broad selection of spicy seafood soups and the blackbean noodles are awesome. Similar to what you'd find in Annadale but at a fraction of the price.


                      1. re: monkeyrotica

                        How many tables do you think the place holds?

                        1. re: Steve

                          Hunan Deli? As I recall there are about 6 two-person booths and another two or three four person tables.

                          1. re: monkeyrotica

                            Try Su Pollo up Route 1 for Peruvian chicken cooked over charcoal.


                            Ricos Tacos Moya does pretty decent tacos. Not as good as Tacos El Costallila or La Mexicana, but a lot closer.


                            The closest decent pho is 5-10 Food Mart. 


                            1. re: monkeyrotica

                              Thanks, but I was wondering about Thaibox....

                              1. re: Steve

                                I recall Thaibox having 5-6 two person tables and a couple four person tables.

                                1. re: monkeyrotica

                                  Thanks. Since the website is, then I figured it was mostly a carryout with one or two tables at most.

                          2. re: monkeyrotica

                            Thank YOU for that information. I now work about a mile from there and will be visiting Hunan Deli for lunch next week.

                            1. re: tcamp

                              Last time I checked, it was pretty much a mother/daughter operation, with mom handling the cooking. So if the place gets swamped, just relax with a nice barley tea. Seems to get quite a few Belvoir vets who've been stationed in Korea and are looking for homecooked Korean comfort food.