Monday, May 5, 2014

Thai Tanic, DC

Thai Tanic is one of the few restaurants in Logan Circle that has survived the gentrifying movement on 14th Street. Surrounded by brand new establishments, Thai Tanic has held its ground because of its strong support of the local community and its solid dining fare. Thai Tanic has been in the same location since March of 2001 and has since even opened a second restaurant in Columbia Heights. In all this time, I had overlooked Thai Tanic, but am now proud to say I have finally dined there.

In a generic neon red font, you can see the name of the restaurant from afar. Underneath "Adventures of Thai Cuisine" is also illuminated in neon, making this restaurant look quite divey. Inside, I was surprised to find a bustling scene. Despite the location in the midst of all the nice, new restaurants, this restaurant clearly has a solid following. Me and my friend took a seat at a table very close to the bar.

Thai Tanic has been a long-time supporter of the gay community in DC and always proudly displays the rainbow flag during Gay Pride week as the gay community represents a large portion of its patrons and employees. I started off with a Big Ginger drink made with Domain de Canton liqueur, fresh lime juice and a dash of bitters. Unfortunately, I found out pretty quickly that drinks are not their strong point as this drink was pretty watered down. And for a $10 drink, that was disappointing.

Inside, iridescent tables are complemented with sparkly red dining chairs and red and blue walls. Mirrors, Thai elephants, and Buddhas adorn the dining room while red and white lights shine down. There are 4 vegetarian appetizers in their own section on the menu. My friend recommended we try the Papaya Salad Jae and I'm glad we did. The shredded green papaya was mixed with tomatoes and string beans in a spicy lime dressing. It was so much better tasting than it sounded.

For my entree, I ordered the Gang Pak -- extra spicy. This was a delicious vegetable dish loaded with carrots, cabbage, squash, snow peas, broccoli, and tofu in a red curry with sweet basil leaves. I specified no fish sauce just in case. I also love that they offer brown rice as an option.

My friend ordered the Tao Huw Pad Tua Ngorg, which was stir-fried bean sprouts, fried tofu, mushrooms, spring onions, red peppers, and green peppers in a garlic soy sauce.

I also ordered a Mango Cosmo and asked them to make it stronger -- this was a great improvement over the last drink!

All in all, I was pretty happy with the food. But, the drinks and service were so-so. At one point, I had to flag down our waitress to get more water as she barely checked on us at all. The entrees were $11.50 each so not cheap, but not overly expensive either. And it was a very casual low-key environment, no reservations needed. I think it is a great place for a quick meet-up with a friend on a weeknight.

Thai Tanic
1326-A 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 588-1795

Thai Tanic on Urbanspoon

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