Exciting news about Nava Thai
Just returned from a late lunch at Royal Mile Pub (yum fish and chips)--as we were leaving I looked over toward Taverna Kefi to see that the sign is gone and that it has been replaced by a Nava Thai sign.
Sad news about Taverna Kefi, I know others had reported on here that it looked closed up recently, but excellent news for Nava Thai fans as their reopening was not supposed to be in Wheaton or take place anytime soon. A hand printed sign on the door says "coming soon." I can already taste the papaya salad.
One problem is the space has been absolutely jinxed since Sir Walter Raleigh Inn moved out years ago and has had at least four restaurants come and go. The space is large and unless the Nava Thai owners cut it down, it might be difficult to keep the same standard of food preparation that they had at the smaller place. I guess we shall see.
This from an e-mail I received:
Thank you for your continued support on Nava Thai Restaurant. We are now happy to inform you that we have found the new place which is located right next to our old parking lot, and of course only a few steps away from the previous location.
Our grand opening date will be January 3rd, 2009. Please visit our website at www.navathai.food.officelive.com for our new hours and further information. Please print out a coupon from the attached file to receive a discount during your next visit to our restaurant.
We're looking forward to seeing you again soon,
The Nava Thai Family
11301 Fern Street
Wheaton MD 20902
Tel: (240) 430-0495
Nava Thai is indeed open again. Even though I generally like to give new places time to work kinks out we went as I had a taste for Thai and a desire to get out of the house. The new space is indeed huge and very tastefully decorated. Since I never made it to Taverna Kefi I can't credit anybody for the design but it's a really pleasant environment.
The menu has been expanded and, if memory serves, prices have been bumped up by a $1 for most dishes. The place was nearly full when we got there around 7 and the servers were hustling. Food was quite slow to come out. We waited nearly an hour for our entrees and were comped a drink while we waited. The table next to us left before their food came. The papaya salad was as good as ever, my husband had a new entree, a white pepper shrimp dish which he really enjoyed. I tried to order a new dish as well, a hot and sour curry but they didn't have it and settled for the green, which was flavorful since I'd only had it once before at the old place I can't really compare.
They don't have their liquor license yet but the bar made a good place to wait for take out. I really want them to do well but clearly they are going to need more staff in the kitchen to keep up.
We went Sunday night and enjoyed it. The server told us that they given one month to leave the old space they had and were lucky that the new place was available. The decor is exactly what was at Taverna Kefi, it appears they took over lock, stock and barrel. Even the plates are the same.
I'm not supprised there was not much of a lunch business, I don't think any of the restaurants in that triangle do much for lunch as the businesses are all on the other side of GA Ave. Only complaint I had was that there was no whole fish on the menu. However, what we did have was very good.
Curious to see what happens with the wait. The wait was already incredibly long at the old place, even when we went for lunch on a weekday and there weren't many others there. The larger size is disconcerting, I hope they can work it out because I will never be able to eat crispy duck anywhere else again.
I had dinner there tonight. It was fantastic. For a Sunday night, the restaurant filled up nicely. Enough to be lively but not so crowded that you had to wait. The waitress told me that they are still working on their liquor license but expect it soon.
They are not joking when they put the little pepper symbols on the menu--definitely NOT toned down for Americans. The papaya salad was listed on the menu with 2 pepper symbols. It was a tad to spicy for me. (I get papaya salad at other Thai places with no problems.) My BF is a real chili head and he was very happy with his dish, the crispy pork. I had the pink tofu noodles--no peppers. I look forward to going there again. Just need to mind those peppers...