on tuesday night seth and i ventured to outer washington for a little thai food at sala thai. the restaurant is cute and kitschy with plants and decor hanging from the ceiling. as it was a tuesday night, sala thai was pretty quiet.
we started out with thai iced teas for both of us, seth wanted a cup of tom khar gai, and i ordered the pan fried pork dumplings. the thai iced tea hit the spot and the menu even suggested the iced tea as a good way to cut the heat of the food, if you didn't want a beer.
the broth of the tom khar gai was very tasty and fragrant of lemon grass and coconut. but the only ingredients in the soup had were chicken and scallions, which was a letdown because we were hoping for some vegetables. to be fair, when rechecking the menu, it clearly states "chicken soup with coconut milk, lemon juice and chopped scallions" so i guess we can only blame ourselves.
the pan fried pork dumplings were by far the highlight of the meal. they were stuffed with a mild pork filling, pan fried to a beautiful crisp, and topped with little bits of fried garlic. i tried to scoop up as many bits of garlic onto my dumpling before dipping it into a slightly sweet tamarind sauce.
for our main course we ordered seafood rad pik off the specials menu and yellow curry with chicken from the curry offerings. The seafood rad pik consisted of lightly battered shrimp, scallops, and squid, sautéed with mixed vegetables and a special sauce, all served over a bed of iceberg lettuce with cucumbers and tomatoes around the edge of the plate. the special sauce was fruity and reminded me a lot of duck sauce and i can't remember if there were any vegetables in the dish other than the cucumbers and tomatoes. at $14.99 it was one of the most expensive items on the menu and it was a very big serving. i thought the bed of lettuce was kind of strange and even though we ordered it as hot and spicy it was quite mild. with all this said it was still good. while i was getting pretty full, seth polished off every bit of seafood. he left a few cucumbers though.
the yellow curry with chicken had pineapple, green peppers, summer squash and basil leaves and was creamy, aromatic, and slightly sweet with a very nice heat. which was a surprise because it was listed as a mild curry. so the seafood rad pik was more mild than we expected and this was more spicy than we expected. i would have preferred that both dishes has the heat of the curry. i really love thai curries and this was a good curry. it had all the things i look for in a curry, like the creamy sauce playing off the acidity of the pineapple.
our service was at times slow for how empty the restaurant was, but out waitress was friendly and kept our waters full. all in all i think sala thai was good, but standard. all the food was flavorful, but other than the dumplings, nothing stood out. and while sala thai was relatively inexpensive, i thought it was pretty pricey for thai (again, to be fair we did order one of the most expensive items on the menu). it's also quite far from our apartment in the west end. if it was excellent thai, i would make the trip across town to eat here, but there are plenty of comparable thai restaurants closer to my home.