Tantalizing Thai X-ing
I had one of those rare moments tonight when I just felt so privileged - amazed really to be eating food this good that transported me thousands of miles away to Thailand. Not that I've ever been, but now I really feel like I understand something I didn't before.
I ordered the one dish that Todd Kliman harped on in his old City Paper article, confirmed by a couple of other Chowhounds (notably John B): the salmon in red curry. One taste and I knew I had been missing something all this time. It was very, very rich yet the intricate spicing came through. The fish was a very thick filet. A little went a long way, just as I would expect under conditions in which food has to be stretched to feed a number of people.
I called ahead and was prepared to wait, but I didn't have to. I let 30 minutes go by and he was just finishing as I came. I can see that multiple orders could create a major jam. There is one small table (4 in a tight squeeze) inside, and there is a similar setup outside. It was mild enough to sit outside, and I did.
It's not for all circumstances, but if you ever find yourself with the opportunity to try Thai X-ing, by all means don't let it pass you by.
As I stepped out onto the sidewalk, I caught a glimpse of the "Open" sign at Pyramids, and I also thought about Ooohs and Aahs a couple of blocks down.
Yeah, I can dig it.
The pad thai here kicks a**. No, really. The vegetables get overcooked from sweating in their packaging on the way home (bean sprouts excepted), but you just fish them out and add a pile of slivered green onion at home. This is the first version I have found that doesn't taste as though it's been doused with peanut butter. Awesome sauce with layers of flavor. I LOVED it. Bf's penang curry was super, too. Tofu soup was even marvelous. Iced tea was this bizarre neon orange (my first experience with this stuff), but so good!
The wait was 45 minutes, which does sort of stink, but just call before you're starving. I thought it was totally worth the wait. And they deliver on Fridays.
This is going to be my takeout for standby, and for Thai until I find something better.
What a place, huh? It's not even a restaurant; it's a guy making food in his basement! LOL. I have to admit, for a while there, Kliman had me thinking of his April Fool's column. I thought, this has got to be made up, for sure.
Well, the review had me craving Thai food so bad, I made a beeline for the nearest place to me, which turned out to be Tara Thai. Eh. But it was close and I couldn't stand the thought of the long waits he described.
Anyway, we should be all over this. No, we *should* have been all over this. I can't believe one of us didn't scope this out already.
Oh yes, I've had more than enough experiences with Thai Xing...
The ubiquitous "25 minutes" on the phone. The endless (up to 45 minute) wait inside the place once you arrive and learn that (a) he hasn't even started your order; (b) there are two other people still in front of you; and (c) "Sorry, I didn't write down your order... what did you want?" Then he takes out a mushroom and starts slicing it. And then a bell pepper and starts slicing it, and then...
There is also a pretty good chance your order will be mixed up with someone elses and/or he will overcharge you.
Is the cooking good? Yeah, mostly. Its certainly an idiosyncratic version of Thai - maybe more authentic, or maybe just more "homestyle". But its not *that* good, and nothing excuses the owner from having no idea how to manage his business.
And Kliman's column definitely whetted my appetite. (And FWIW, tickled my funny bone.) The curries sound wonderful.
The wait sounds like a very real problem, indeed, but I can't really see criticizing a take-out joint with only one person on the job for not knowing how to run a business.
Chowlunch anyone? Oops -- they're not open for lunch, are they? In any case, I agree with the OP; this definitely is worth an investigation. Kudos to Kliman for bringing this place to light!