Last Thursday I had the opportunity to go to Thai X-ing for my friend Jess’ birthday!
Even though I love food and everything that comes along with it, I have to admit that I’m not much of a “foodie” when it comes to fine dining and trendy restaurants. Jess and her boyfriend Erick on the other hand, are my go-to DC foodie friends who always know all the hip places to go. That’s why for Jess’ birthday we went to Thai X-ing!
Now, a quick side story as to how I arrived at this place.
Apparently you need to make reservations for Thai X-ing way in advance, and if a member of your party doesn’t show up you will still be expected to pay for them (it’s about $45 per person). On Thursday morning Jess texted me saying she had an open spot in her reservation because someone else couldn’t make it, and she asked if I was free. Heck yes! I said I would double check to make sure I could come, and she said she’d email me the details. Sounds good!
As soon as I got into work, I sent off a few emails and then headed into what turned out to be a super long meeting. It lasted from 10:00 – 12:35 and when I got back to my desk I saw frantic texts and g-chats from Jess saying she needed to know if I was coming for sure by 12:30 or she was going to cancel my part of the reservation. Nooooooooo!!
I immediately responded saying I could come, but it was too late; she had already canceled my spot. Dang it. I asked if she could call back and, like the amazing birthday girl she is, she got me back in. Woohoo! Now that’s a good friend.
The end of the day rolled around pretty quickly and soon I was making my way over to the metro to catch the train to the restaurant. Once I switched to the green line and was only two stops away, my metro stopped. For twenty minutes. Apparently there was a disabled train at L’enfant Plaza and we were going to be holding until it was cleared. Ugh. Thankfully I had left my office with plenty of time to spare and still wasn’t too worried about making it to dinner on time. I thought I would probably be about 5 minutes late for our reservation but I knew that my friends were usually late too so seemed like no big deal.
THEN I get out of the metro and went to pull up Google Maps so I could figure out where to walk. Nothing happened. Google Maps wouldn’t load. Neither would my internet, and neither would my texts. Also my phone is messed up right now, so even though I hadn’t used it much that day the battery was down to 7%. I had no idea where the restaurant was in relation to where I was standing. I remembered it was north of the metro but which way was north??
I then called Jess to ask her for the address of the restaurant, which she said she’d text me. Two seconds after hanging up with her I remembered my texts weren’t working. Oh yeah.
At this point I was convinced the universe just did NOT want me to go to this dinner and I should just hop back on the metro and go home. I had absolutely no idea where this place was in relation to the metro and had no way to find out. It’s an obscure hole-in-the-wall type joint so I knew I wouldn’t just walk around and happen to spot it. Plus I had seen on the map at work that the restaurant was about 10 minutes from the metro, so I didn’t want to just wander around without the address. At this point I was really regretting that I didn’t write down the directions for how to get there when I had looked it up earlier in the day, but who expects their phone to fail so miserably? Ughhhh.
Finally I called my other friend Jess and she told me the cross streets and I just started walking and hoped I was going the right way. After two blocks I realized I wasn’t. I turned around and walked the other way. Finally I was headed in the right direction, and after 15 more minutes I finally arrived at the restaurant. I was the last one from our group of about 12 to arrive, and by the time I got there the food was being served. Oh well. Better late than never!
It was a good thing I kept trying and eventually made it to the restaurant because everything was delicious! The restaurant itself is a row house the the owners converted into a restaurant. The owners clearly still live there because when you go into the bathroom you can see their personal belongings on the shelves. There was also a curtained off area where they sleep. Weird!
When I sat down the waiter asked me if I had any food allergies and when I said no he just started bringing things out. We didn’t order from a menu; we pretty much just had whatever the chef felt like making for us
First up was a spicy cabbage salad of some sort, and then we had some meatball soup and “salmon cupcakes.”
The “cupcakes” were wrapped in banana leaves and we quickly discovered the leaves were not edible (which should have been obvious- it was a “cupcake!”). Nevertheless the salmon inside was cooked perfectly and it was expertly seasoned with spicy Thai flavors. Yum!
Up next was my favorite dish of the night- the squash curry. This was acorn squash (or maybe pumpkin?) coated in a dreamy coconut curry sauce. It was salty, sweet, and spicy all at the same time. So good!!
Our waiters also brought out a full fish that we had some fun dismantling. Jess was in charge of taking off the head (ew) and she even dug around for the cheek flesh for me which is thought to be one of the tastiest parts of the fish. Yum.
We also had bowls of hot sticky white rice, which was perfect for balancing out all that heat.
Our next meal what a plate of drunken noodles (or something like that) with crushed peanuts and lime. This was another favorite. Yum!!
There were also some chicken dishes going around the table and there might have been one or two other small dishes as well (it’s so hard to remember- there was just SO much food). Everything was spicy but very, very good.
As soon as we were done eating the waiters brought dessert for Jess and we all sang happy birthday.
Then the rest of us got dessert which included fresh mangoes, berries, and sweet sticky rice. The rice reminded me a lot of rice pudding but less watery, and it was SO good. And I don’t even like rice pudding! Wow.
All in all I really enjoyed Thai X-ing and would definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a fun place to eat in DC!
I should also mention that Thai X-ing is BYOB. They had no problem with people bringing in bottles of wine or beer, and they served plenty of water, but I didn’t see any other beverage options. Just something to keep in mind!
Now I’m on the lookout for the next trendy restaurant in DC that I should try out. Any suggestions?
Questions of the day: Do you like spicy food? Do you eat at trendy restaurants?