Thaiphoon: DC Excursion #2

by janet on November 13th, 2006

For our second expensable DC gastronomic adventure our fearless leader BSW chose Thai. All day during the meetings he kept trying to remember the name of his favorite Thai place. He said that the name was something obvious, and had “Thai” in it, and the answer he came up with was that the restaurant was called “Thai Food.”

We never take BSW seriously, despite his awesome-sounding nickname ((If you missed it, BSW is short for “Black Something Wonderful.”)) and the fact that he is our Chair, so we were skeptical. Research revealed that the restaurant was actually called Thaiphoon. Clever. Dupont Circle was only one Metrorail stop away, so there were grumblings and rumors of walking there, which I squashed because of my hot new boots with heels.

The longest escalator ride ever spat us out onto the street at Dupont Circle. I didn’t see the actual circle, but I did see mountains of cute eateries and shops. I could get used to this. We walked by Tomate, and as we did this me and BSW vowed to eat there next time. ((SSC: I hope you guys are OK with this – at the SLC can we please eat at Zaytinya and Tomate, please please please?))

We arrived at Thaiphoon. The interior was your standard modern-stylish. I eyed admiringly the booths that essentially huge raised cubes cut into the wall. Our party was huge tonight, though, so we were seated at a long table near the rear of the restaurant. Everyone on the wall-side looked squished – for some reason the table was pushed so close to the wall that all the girls on that side had a convenient platform on which to rest their boobs.

I was seriously dehydrated so I ordered water first thing. I was seriously tired and about to crash so I also ordered a Diet Coke. I was scared that I was also seriously grouchy so I got a mojito.

Newbie TI (short for Thousand Island) went the braver route and ordered a saketini. It came with three pickled grapes on a toothpick and looked very sleek, stylish, and avant garde. I think it tasted bad, though, as he didn’t finish it until we sophomorically started chanting “CHUG CHUG CHUG!” and he did.

TI and I decided to split an appetizer of chicken satay. A good standby, delicious no matter where you order it. It was delicious on this night as well. I particularly appreciated that they offered up a huge bowl of the dipping sauce (sauce fiend that I am) rather than stingily draping it across the skewers as in many other Thai joints. TI and I munched hungrily on the dish, with me using my fingers to eat the Thai-style slaw that accompanied it (Americans can be so rude, can’t they, TI-from-Germany?)

Onto the dish that gave James nightmares (see photo above). TI and I were on a roll so we both ordered the Crispy Fish special (the last week they were offering it!). It was a whole red snapper, battered and fried and drizzled with the most delicious sauce. This sauce made the extremely labor-intensive (and frightening-looking ((I think Thaiphoon realized this and the cherry tomato half originally came on top of the eyeball to hide it from plain view. I went for the gratuitous shot and moved the tomato in the shot above.))) dish worth it.

HOWEVER. It was so. freaking. spicy. I love spiciness, but not when you can’t taste a single fucking thing because you feel like you just licked Satan’s asshole. The first two bites were sublime, the rest a test of my courage and will. It was so spicy that the rice, which usually is a good heat-cutting tool, just made it worse because it was warm and exacerbated the spiciness. I tried chewing on some mint from my mojito, but in the context of my mouth the edges of the mint leaves felt jagged and hurt me. What good is it to have a beautiful fish like red snapper (my favorite) if you can’t taste the damn thing?

I left a little pissed off at Thaiphoon (like the girlfriend who doesn’t cry when you dump her but instead gets angry). Thus, I am hereby giving Thaiphoon the nickname “Thai-poon,” appropriate because TI’s girlfriend is Thai.

2011 S. Street
Washington, D.C.
202 667 3505

4 Responses to “Thaiphoon: DC Excursion #2”

  1. sylvia says:

    “you feel like you just licked Satan’s ass”

    disgusting. i love it!

  2. TI? Me? says:

    Hey Janet,

    why am I TI? I don’t get… I didn’t even order Thousand Island dressing…

    Plus, I have to disagree with you – this red snapper was sooooo delicious. Now, I am usually a little anxious about too spicy food having a stomach that grew up on bland German food, but this fish was wonderful. Spicy to wake you up enough, but not too spicy to bitterly regret it the next day… just very tasty and flavorful – and just look at the eye of this fish… Who wouldn’t fall in love with it!


  3. janet says:


    I suspected that you were drunk out of your mind – you don’t remember screaming “THOUSAND ISLAND!!!” at the top of your lungs in the lobby bar, many many times? In the context of the conversation it was quite hilarious. BSW will tell you.

    Perhaps your fish and my fish were seasoned differently? Because I was doing some bitter regretting the next day for sure…

  4. […] When the fish came out, it looked very … fishy. I am not squeamish about scary-looking fish but I was slightly put off by the slimy spotted tail. In addition, I think it was telling that I had to take about a million photos of the dish. It looked ugly from basically every angle. It was a huge slab of fish unceremoniously draped over a small forest of baby broccoli. I am aware of the fact that sometimes I am too picky about a dish’s aesthetics (Japanese DNA; I might also be too picky about service) so I thought I should judge it by the taste. The fish itself was lovely – very soft and topped by a deliciously crispy skin. I eat all garnishes and was very happy that I ate this one – it was an entire scallion sprig, roasted so it was sweet, also crispy, and just delicious. The broccoli and the mushrooms, however, were entirely too salty. The mushrooms were the worst offenders. As soon as I ate one a sound came out of me that went something like, “WLAH.” In the end, I don’t think this dish ended up being anything I’d ever order again. […]

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