chew's Profile

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Have Indian Mangoes hit stores yet?

Regulation wise - they are allowed in (also Thai mangoes if that is of interest to anybody) but due to US technical restrictions (fruit from some places are subject to irradiation or hot steam or cold dip or ... to kill pests and prevent foreign invasive species), it becomes a toss up between short shelf life with good taste or longer shelf life and so-so taste (via treated fruit). Of course all this additional logistical burden means higher prices for those fruit as well.

I think some central & south am sources are exempt and thus you see more of their products on the shelves (vs. India or Thai or other Asia origin fruit).

Thai bakery? Is there one?

Outside of hiring someone to make it for you, Bangkok 54 and possibly Duangrat grocery store might have it on the weekends.

I know these markets carry homemade deserts (which I believe they sell via consignment) and Kanom Krok might show up, but due to labor (Just making it is easy. making it taste good is hard :-)) and spoilage issues that one might be a toughy.

I'll ask around and if I hear anything, will update here.

Reminder for Thai Food lovers!

Tomorrow, Sunday 12 is the annual Songkran (Thai New Year) celebration at the Washington DC Buddhist Temple (Wat Thai in Washington, DC - www.watthaidc.org). With that comes all of the celebration and for chowhounds - the beloved food stalls!

It's a good opportunity to taste food from different Thai venders / restaurants all in one place and while the costs have gone up - keep in mind part of the proceeds are for charity (the Temple) :-


And starting Monday - Thai Restaurant Week in DC (April 13-19)

http://oca.thaiembdc.org/ (see the What's New section on the right side).

Gift certificates as well as prize drawings for filling out little survey cards - all on top of discounts on food! Can't beat that :-D

Oh and it looks like the grand prize is a trip to THAILAND!


- Chew
Resident Buddhist :-)

Thai Festival at Union Station

"Washington Post: http://tinyurl.com/deuvk5"

Just an FYI - the Washington post link from above is from 2008 NOT 2009. Use the below linkee for the 2009 info - and don't forget to clip out the coupon!



Song Phat (old Nava Thai)?

The reason they close on Wednesday (as did Nava Thai) is because the grocery store that owns the space (Hung Phat) is closed on Wednesday - and since they occupy the back of the store ... :-)

But as to the food - I've been there twice with my GF and we both enjoyed the noodles and the grilled xxx on rice or dry noodle.

Small menu for sure but all in all - not bad, especially if your hungry and can't wait 45 min to 1 hour in line at the Nava Thai (which is now 2 doors down).

Nava Thai in Wheaton, MD

Just wanted to let all the other Nava Thai fans know - I went there this weekend and the rumors are true.

Their lease expires at the end of this month (November 2008) and their landlord is NOT renewing it (I believe it is going to turn into a Pho restaurant). The Nava owners are searching for a new location but do not yet have one (though Rockville and Bethesda were mentioned as possible locations).

If you are a Nava fan - better go there before the end of the month and get your fix. Oh and don't forget to sign up for their email-mailing list so you can get updates.

As for Wheaton - there will always be Ruan Thai :-)

Thai Fruit Carving

The thing that is important to know about Thai fruit carving vs. regular fruit carving is that;

1) The Thai version focuses on intricate details on each and every small piece, (and usually only fruit, not the vegetables, etc that other carvers do) so its usually better for smaller scale displays that are more ornate and not large displays which would take up too much time / $$$ relative to a regular fruit / vegetable carver.

2) The Embassy doesn't have a "Chef" per se. The Ambassasdor usually has a Chef / cook on his private staff but they are transferred at the same time he is.

Currently, Thailand doesn't have an Ambassador (he was transferred back recently), the DCM (Deputy Chief of Mission) is the acting Ambassador.

The Embassy sub-contracts to caterers much like any other place does (choosing specialists that meet the needs of the occasion).

Just an FYI.

Bangkok Garden, Bethesda

Warning about BKK Garden - the main Chef (and owner's son / co-owner) does take a day off (I think it used to be Wednesday) so the quality of the food will probably fluctuate if his sous chef is in the kitchen that day.

Just ask the hostess when you are phone ordering / being seated, she should be willing to tell you (I don't think what day the Chef takes off is a secret).

Thai Fruit Carving

Sorry if this is a double or triple repost but either my browsers (Firefox, IE and Safari) are wonky or this forum is just not refreshing for me.

Anyhoo, my GF (who is Thai) does fruit carving as a hobby, what question did you have - I can certainly ask her about it for you.

Decent Dim Sum in DC?

Just wanted to mention that there was another Dim Sum / Chinese restaurant across the street (University Blvd.) from Hollywood East also - though the name escapes me (Good Fortune?) - in case you find the line / wait too long at any one place. Both are pretty good but Hollywood East has better, more friendly service the last time(s) I went.

Also keep in mind that there is a Hollywood East Restaurant and a Hollywood East Cafe (same owners I think, but they are located in two different parts of Wheaton).

Songkran Festival pics

For MySpace members only - here is a link to my Songkran 2008 at the Wat Thai DC pics too. Of course I focus on the food for most of the pics :-D


I would have loaded it up on flickr or another free service but the file images were too big and over their size limits (Myspace allows up to 5mb per).

Songkran Festival pics

Nava Thai will add an egg on top if you ask. It's an option listed on the bottom left of the menu I believe.

Or you can just ask the server - who's English was perfect the last time I was there.

Good authentic Chinese in Alexandria/Arlington?

China Garden is pretty good if you don't mind the crowds and waiting line on the weekends.Convenient though for the area since they offer free underground parking on the weekends.

Just as an aside (like many restaurants) - tourists stop there because the rest. owners cut deals with the tourist / bus operators. So never use just that as a gauge :-D

casual sushi?

Also in the Tenley Town metro area - Simply Ayzen. They took over the old Jindara (was a Thai place). Now its Asian fusion along with Sushi. I just tried it the other week with my GF and two coworkers and was pretty happy. Food was good plus and service was excellent (waiters really on the ball).

We started with an order of Manhattan Rolls (REALLY GOOD! Was pleasantly surprised), the Roti Canai (Good!), Crispy Calamari (Ok but I'm not a big calamari fan so don't listen to me on this one), Emperor Shrimp (OK), Peking duck roll (I liked it but my friends thought it was just ok), Mackerel Teriyaki (GF's entree - she liked it) and Kyoto Steak (my entree - I thought this was great).

For desert we split with the Green Tea Creme Brule and Fried Icecream (all good but not really difficult deserts, so fwiw!).

Overall definitely would recommend and I will go again. Maybe try other dishes on menu - might be some other hidden gems on there.

Their website is at:


Simply Ayzen in Tenleytown?

Do you have a link to the article? I have been a big fan of Tono Sushi - which is owned by the same people that own Simply Ayzen and was wondering how their new place was - foodwise (they don't own Spices - FYI).

While this may not be a high-falootin' sushi restaurant that some Chowhounds prefer, me being a friend of an employee means using their employee discount! Oh and for the record - the former Head chef at Tono who setup their menu was Hiroki Fujiyama, who is now executive chef for Morimoto :-)

Bangkok Garden in Columbia, MD

Just wanted to say - for those in the DC area - the Bethesda location (also Bangkok Garden) is the same under the same family ownership.

Both locations offer the same great food. My Thai friends and I try to eat at the Bethesda location when we want to eat some authentic Thai food (just out of convenience, since we are all around this area).

If you bring someone who can read Thai they also used to have a "native" menu which has "Mom's Kitchen type Thai food" - not sure if they still do or not, but couldn't hurt to ask :-)

best Thai places?

The important question - rather than which Thai is the "best" Thai restaurant - is what Thai dishes / food do you like?

Some restaurants are good at certain dishes while crappy at others. This is true for 99.9% of all the Thai restaurants I've been to and I've been to PLENTY!

It's more important to focus on what you are actually going to eat versus what other people may have liked at certain restaurants :-D

THAI in N.W. D.C.

Towards downtown Bethesda - I always stick with Bangkok Garden. Good stuff!

Recs in Shirlington- not Carlyle Grand

I would second Aromas.

I LOVE Indian food - especially the breads and vindaloo and the vindaloo there is spicy in the way that I like. The hotness really appeals to my Thai side.

Whether it is authentic Indian food or not - not being Indian, I can't say - but it is hella tasty!

Recs in Shirlington- not Carlyle Grand

T.H.A.I. in Shirlington is the name of the restaurant you are thinking of.

Modern / Fusion Thai food. The owner - Chef Aulie is kind of a local celebrity among the Thai restaurant set. She does alot of the local talk shows / news shows.

Very creative = yes
Very traditional Thai = no

She also owns / co-owns Bangkok Joes Dumpling Bar in Georgetown (Wash., DC).

Nava Thai in Wheaton - Thanks Chew!

I'm glad you liked it! I just found out that they have recently revised their menu by adding even more items. I haven't tried all of the new stuff yet but I'm hoping that it's up to the level of their other foods. As far as I am aware - Nava is a mom & pop shop and I think the pop is the one in the kitchen, though I am sure they have a spare chef on his day off. (which may affect day to day consistency now and then), so if you try something that tastes favorably remember the day or ask who is in the kitchen just to be sure.

In terms of restaurants - I grew up here in the states so I meter my Thai food by 1) Does it taste like what dear old (now retired and living overseas, former Thai restaurant chef) mom used to make and / or 2) recommendations from my other Thai "foodie" friends and so far that system has worked out pretty good :-)

Ideas for catering a birthday for a Jewish friend?

Wow - thanks for all the great input. Would you guys have any suggestions for good / birthday worthy Kosher establishments (deli or supermarkets) for possible outsourcing?

VA preferable but Washington, DC area in general would be OK also. Thanks again!

Visits to El Pollo Rico and Pollo Campero- Overrated!!

I would add another vote for Edy's.

I live in Takoma Park (relatively near Wheaton, MD) and I still would rather go to VA for Edy's.

The owners are a very nice Peruvian and his Thai wife (Edy is named after her - Thai people call her Auntie Eed), so that might explain some of the extra spice in the sauces.

The chicken places in Wheaton are good (especially if you go when your hungry) but nothing I would go out of my way for - so ditto to the original poster's opinion on that.

Ideas for catering a birthday for a Jewish friend?

Hi guys,

A friend of mine has volunteered to cater a birthday party for another of our friend's Birthdays and after some fruitless consultations with the internet - he has asked me if I knew anything about Jewish BDay food traditions - which of course I don't (I'm Buddhist), but I figured where else could i get better food info than from Chowhound - so here I am!


Are there any traditional foods or special requirements / must haves for such an event? I think the birthday person is "Orthodox" Jewish if that would make any difference. Any advice or recommendations on this would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance!

- Chew :-D

(Sorry for the cross-post from the Washington, DC forum, but was recommended to post here for greater response)

Jan 02, 2008
chew in Kosher

Ideas for catering a birthday for a Jewish friend?

Thanks for the advice, Bordeauxfax, I didn't even know there was a Kosher board! Maybe I should start looking at other folders than Washington, DC area :-)

Ideas for catering a birthday for a Jewish friend?

Hi guys,

A friend of mine has volunteered to cater a birthday party for another of our friend's Birthdays and after some fruitless consultations with the internet - he has asked me if I knew anything about Jewish BDay food traditions - which of course I don't (I'm Buddhist), but I figured where else could i get better food info than from Chowhound - so here I am!


Are there any traditional foods or special requirements / must haves for such an event? I think the birthday person is "Orthodox" Jewish if that would make any difference. Any advice or recommendations on this would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance!

- Chew :-D

Thai by Thai in Sterling VA

I think like most ethnic places, the Thai (or otherwise native) menu is not limited to Thai people but to people who can read the "Thai" language menu.

If you can read it and aren't Thai - I think they'll be more than happy to let you have the menu :-)

Thai Square

See Eew - yep thats good too. You just described the exact same way I like it too! Too bad Pan Asian isn't still there for me to go try out :-)

Thai Square

After reading your opinions on Ghin Na Ree, I asked my girlfriend if she had ever heard of it. Turns out her landlord is the owner. Talk about a coincidence!

Now I will have to go check it out for sure.

Thai Square

Actually just stopped by Nava tonight - 27 & 28 are my regulars :-)