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Thai Dinner Debate: Fairfax, VA

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aromanel Feb 21, 2008 07:34 AM

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?

Thanks!!!!

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  1. Meg RE: aromanel Feb 21, 2008 08:06 AM

    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.

    1. rheelee RE: aromanel Feb 21, 2008 04:11 PM

      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

      Panang Curry
      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

      3 Replies
      1. re: rheelee
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        Steve RE: rheelee Feb 21, 2008 05:34 PM

        Thai Square has long been the Chowhound favorite in NoVa.

        1. re: Steve
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          aromanel RE: Steve Feb 24, 2008 11:25 AM

          Thanks "Steve, rheelee, and Meg!" I am definitely going to give Thai Square a try in the future and will do Paya Thai for my dinner. Meg-- I tried Busara before and thought it was solid good but not wow. Thanks for letting me in on Paya!

          1. re: aromanel
            Meg RE: aromanel Feb 24, 2008 01:51 PM

            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.

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