Monday, December 22, 2008

Passive Review: Dusit [Thai Cuisine]

When a restaurant is two blocks from a Metro station in downtown DC, I don't care. I'll even walk five or six blocks without hesitation down there. But when a restaurant is two blocks from a Metro Station in suburban Maryland, I'm like, "What? 2 blocks? Oh, who wants to go to Wheaton, anyway." It makes no sense, but I feel incredibly put out when I find that, to find good ethnic food, I have to walk a bit in the suburbs.

Today I was Christmas shopping at the Wheaton mall and I decided to visit Dusit, reportedly one of the best Thai restaurant in the Districted area. It's at the corner of University Blvd and Georgia Ave, only two blocks from the Wheaton stop on the Red Line.

It was 5:00 or so and I was by myself, which was fine by the friendly staff. They waved me to a booth and then continued talking among themselves in what I assume was Thai. I flipped through the menu, but I had no idea what I wanted. I put the menu down and the waitress came over instantly. I told her I didn't know what I wanted, but that I like everything, spiciness included. She recommended the Penang Curry. I passively went with it, choosing the shrimp option. I also ordered the Steamed Dumplings (pork and shrimp).

The dumplings were great. They were of the shaomai variety, which can sometimes be overcooked so as to ruin the texture. Dusit's were perfect. The sauce that came with them was strong and salty and sweet.

Penang curry is not normally a favorite of mine, but Dusit's penang is the best I've ever had. It was sweet without being cloying. It was subtly peanutty (with peanut chunks in the sauce as well). And it was spicy, but the spiciness was more of a supporting role than a lead. You can tell that it's hot from the start, but you can taste everything perfectly--it only gets warm in your mouth after the first few spoonfuls.

While I was eating, a woman came in who appeared to know the owner. The owner, a tall woman in a gray dress, sat and talked with the customer about the weather, how she's been, their respective children, etc. I didn't get the impression they were close, but maybe the customer had been a frequent patron a year or so ago. I got the feeling that Dusit would be a nice place to be a regular at, unlike my local 24-hour diner, the Tastee.

In all, Dusit seems worth returning to to sample more food. I won't say they're awesome just yet, but my one entree was perfect, as far as that goes. Walkability is very high, just get over the fact that it's in Wheaton.

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