Disappointment With Thai X-ing’s Vegetarian Night

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It’s probably unfair to compare Thai X-ing to Little Serow. They’re putting out dishes with little passing resemblance – two very different styles of Thai cuisine. But when you dine at the two restaurants in consecutive weeks, comparisons are tough to avoid, especially considering how much I was wowed by Little Serow.

I dashed into Thai X-ing on a recent Sunday night, running about ten minutes late to meet my friends for dinner (thanks weekend Metro!).

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It was like popping into someone’s house. Thai X-ing does not resemble a restaurant – and that’s a compliment. You’re basically sitting in a cozy living room filled with houseplants.

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I whipped out a bottle of wine from my shoulder bag (alcohol is BYOB) and set it on the table. Then it was time to catch up with the group, who had already started on the soup course.

The soup was bright, spicy and sour.

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Sunday nights are vegetarian nights at Thai X-ing, with a chef’s menu of $40/person for groups of five or more. I’ll admit, I was a little bummed we went on a vegetarian night. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of vegetables. But knowing that this is one of the more highly touted Thai restaurants in DC (where it can be tough to get a table), I wanted the full picture of what they could do — meat and all.

This was mixed vegetables and fried tofu.

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A side dish of rice and white beans.

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Pad see ew.

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I think there were one or two more dishes that I didn’t get a chance to photograph – maybe something with green beans?

It was all quite good, but very safe. Where was the boldness? Where was the daring? For a vegetarian night I’d been anticipating creativity and imagination. These were essentially familiar flavors and basic vegetables, the sort you’d find at most Thai restaurants.

The one dish that truly stood out was the curry pumpkin.

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“It’s so creamy!” I said. The smooth, fleshy pumpkin scooped out effortlessly from the rind and mixed dreamily with the curry sauce. Awesome. That was a sensual dish.

But then dinner wrapped up and I realized no more entrees were being sent out. My heart sank. For eight people, we didn’t have enough food.

This delicious dessert of fantastically ripe mango and sweet sticky rice helped some. When I buy mangoes, they never taste quite like that.

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I was still hungry, though.

No complaints about dinner — I think I had just been expecting more. Little Serow was such a memorable experience that any Thai restaurant afterwards was bound to disappoint. My recommendation for Thai X-ing is to go on a day when the menu includes meat, or choose a vegetable and fish day; I have a feeling there will be better variety and much more interesting dishes. And if you’re going with a group of eight, ask for an extra dish or two!

Thai X-ing
515 Florida Ave. NW
Washington, DC

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