Monday, September 19, 2005

Bangkok 54 on Columbia Pike in Arlington

Go to Chinatown for Chinese food. But go to Arlington for Thai food? Unfortunately Thaitown is distributed throughout the DC Metropolitan Area. A little traveling is required to get a sense of the Thailand's cultural and culinary beauty. Of the many Thai restaurants around -- some very good, some very bad -- most are mediocre. One of my favorites is Bangkok 54 in Arlington, off of Columbia Pike.

The decor is exotic and ornate, paying close attention to light and shadow. The bar, though elegant and inviting, is entirely too small for its potential vitality. My party had to move to a table when we reached six people, and we had the bar to ourselves!

The drinks are among the best I've had, especially since they recently introduced a line of exotic, Thai-food inspired cocktails. One tastes like Tom Yum soup, with the emphasis on lemongrass and lime leaves; while another tastes like coconut curry, with fresh coconut juice and Thai basil. Of course we can't forget the signature Mai Thai 54, complete with flaming Bacardi 151!

The cuisine is delectable; truly, I've never regretted an order. The Crispy Catfish Curry, Fiery Kaprao, and Spicy Stir-Fried Thai Watercress are incredible. Bangkok 54 is also vegetarian (and pescetarian) friendly with a healthy array of conscientious cuisine.

Moreover, the service is friendly and conversational, especially if you go back once in awhile -- they are sure to remember you!


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