Thai Towne in Herndon
We've dined at the new Thai Towne at 328 Elden Street in Herndon and it appears to be another winner. This restaurant is in the same location previously occupied by two other Thai restaurants, both of them mediocre at best. Thai Towne is a big step up.
The menu is fairly small and has a few items with silly names like "Shrimp Bikini." However, don't allow this to scare you off. Look carefully at the cold appetizer/salad menu and you'll find Yum Pla Krob, a dried file fish (or is it tile fish?) fried and tossed with red onions lemongrass and lime juice. This isn't an item found at every Thai place in town, and the version here was comparable to Thai Square's. We've also had the Nam Tok, which is rare flank steak with herbs, onion, and lime--good but probably not quite as good as Tarin Thai, one of the other other relatively new Thai places in Herndon.
We've ordered the chicken satay twice, but I've never gotten to taste it because the chowpup has eaten the entire dish. At most Thai places, she lets us have the last skewer, but she wasn't relinquishing the Thai Towne version. The chicken appeared to be cut alittle thicker than most, and the chowpup is actually enjoying the peanut sauce, which she dislikes at most other places. They don't serve it with toast triangles here. So for what it is worth, the chicken satay has a 6 year-old's seal of approval. Your mileage may vary, but we've found that chicken satay works pretty well even for kids who aren't veteran diners.
Both the chicken lemongrass soup and the chicken galangal soup (similar, but with coconut milk) were very good.
The pad thai is fairly good here, and on the less-sweet side of the spectrum, at least by NoVa standards. We've also enjoyed the Country Roast Duck and the "garlic garlic," which is pork in a garlicky brown sauce with broccoli--far tastier than that sounds.
The mango with sticky rice was beautifully presented, with the mango cut a bit thinner than usual and spread out into a fan.
Thee are 7 vegetarian entrees and 3 vegetarian appetizers available.
Polly, I agree on TT. I thought it was solid, but not nearly to the level of Tarin or even Luang. I'll try it again though. I had Tarin Sat. night and they were very good still.
On a related note, the place that is where Van's Vietnamese used to be is pretty horid, *BUT* I made the horrible mistake of eating off the buffet at noontime.
It was SO bad, though, I wasn't giving it any more credit. I should go back and try again, but order off the menu. I guess though that I'll try to find a time when the buffet isn't there, as many places often give more attention to the buffet than individual orders.