Thai Dinner Debate: Fairfax, VA
I am a huge Thai food fan (but don't know too much about authentic Thai) but recently have been inundated with too many choices for Thai food! I have tried and loved Cee Thai Fine Dining and Crystal Thai. I was not impressed with Sakoontra or Tara Thai. I have a business meeting for dinner and would like to try another place in Fairfax... either Pad Thai or Court Side Thai. Does anyone have a preference? Also, anyone know who makes the best sticky rice in the area?
The best Thai in Fairfax is Paya Thai, same owner as Cee and Crystal, but the chef is a cut above. IMO, much better than Tara, and definitely better than Sakoontra. Paya is diagonal from the toilet bowl building at the intersection of Rt. 123 and Old Courthouse (in a strip mall next to Taco Bell). I can't speak to Pad Thai or Court Side Thai, but whatever you do, don't go to the new Thai place in McLean. Can't remember the name (it faces rt.123). It's emphasis is on the decor not the food. Busara in Tysons isn't bad, especially if you're looking for ambiance. I'd say the food is on par with Tara.
Sorry, can't speak to Pad Thai or Court Side Thai in Fairfax. But I have another rec if you are in the Arlington area on Columbia Pike. Just recently ate at a divine authentic Thai restaurant with my friends from Thailand--THAI SQUARE. I'm not a fan of the fake, sweet sauced, chain Thai restaurants. Many of those places have beautiful decor, but food is mediocre. The food was sublime at Thai Square. Not very fancy inside, but you won't be disappointed with the dishes. I have the menu in front of me.
My recs are:
Yum Nua (Beef Salad)
Grilled flank steak, tossed with cilantro, scalliobns, red onion, fresh chili pepper, and lime
Crispy Squid with Basid (THE BEST!!!)
Tender squid sauteed with fresh chili peppers, garlic, and basil leaves
Pad See Ew
Stir fried wide rice noodles, chinese broccoli, and sweet soy sauce
Curry sauce, chili peppers, and a touch of coconut milk
Crispy Whole Flounder
Deep fried whole flounder topped with fresh basil and chef's special chili-tamarind sauce
If there's a short statured Thai gentleman behind or sitting at the bar on a PC, that's Boon the owner. He's wonderfully modest and hospitable. Please tell him Megan sent you. If Mangos are in season their mango sticky rice is my favorite. Also, forgot to mention that Paya's seafood is always fresh. The spicy, crunchy catfish and the red snapper in chili paste are phenomenal. The crab fried rice with huge chunks of blue crab shouldn't be missed.