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Thai Taste by Kob - Chef-Owner Phak Duangchander Comes From Thai Market, in the Former Ruan and Nava Thai Space

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After reading Todd Kliman's recommendation of Thai Taste by Kob, we went that Friday.  The restaurant is located on Fern St. in Wheaton, behind the very good Hung Phat grocery store (fresh rice noodles and Red Boat fish sauce).  The location seems to be an incubator for well-regarded restaurants, formerly being the home of Nava Thai and Mi La Cay.  We had the following dishes:



Moo Yang (appetizer)- recommended by Kliman. Grilled pork with a delicious dark spicy sauce; the roasted ground rice added a pleasing texture.  Pork was juicy with a nice char.  Reminded me of a grilled beef dish called "tiger's tears".



Blanket shrimp (appetizer)- Shrimp wrapped in rice paper and fried. Served with a sweet chili sauce.  Moist shrimp, well-flavored sauce.



Pad Ma Maung Himmapan (entree)- Meat dipped in batter and fried with a semi-hot red chili paste with fried cashews and red chili.  This was a disappointment, possibly because of miscommunication regarding heat tolerance.  There were no red chilis or chili paste, rather there were sauteed onions, red bell pepper, and jalapenos.  The meat was properly fried but too much without an acid counterpoint.  The condiments didn't help and I tired of it.  Maybe the traditional dish would have been better.



Pad Thai and Panang curry (entrees)- Both were fine.



Fried Crispy Coconut Plantain w/ condensed milk (dessert)- very good.  My wife enjoyed it.



Baked taro egg custard w/ sticky rice (dessert)- My son and I loved this.  The custard was nicely eggy; the taro gave it a grayish color.  The rice was chewy and salty and there was a sauce we thought reminded us of popcorn.  An unusual and tasty combo. 



The service was very friendly but there was a bit of a language issue that kept me from figuring out the better items on the menu (the kids yapping at me while I was discussing the menu didn't help either).  Kind of a hipster vibe, including square plates  and bowls that sit at an angle.  We spent about $60 for four (no alcohol) and which included a February 10% discount.



I look forward to visiting again.  Next time, we'll focus on the dishes in the Thai street food section.  


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deangold   

Kay is feeling under the weather a bit and so we went for soup.  She had duck with thin egg noodle and I had a soup d with beef, meatballs and wide egg noodles.  Bohth were outstanding.  We started with Som Tum Thai, ordered medium which packed a punch for Kay and inspired me to use the various chile preparations bite by bite.  Larb was outstanding: earthy, well flavored and again much improved by an extreme amount of the chiles.

I would love to arrange a meal relatively soon {This Saturday night would work} for those wanting Thai Spicy foods in abundance.  We would do a separate table for those wanting not too spicy food or just leave them behind.

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JoyS   

Popped in here last night inspired by Todd Kliman's notes on the place. Turns out the people running/cooking Thai Taste used to be (maybe still are) involved with the Thai grocery store in downtown Silver Spring (they recognized my husband from being a grocery store lunchtime regular).

Pad Ped Pla Dook (was also on the menu at the grocery store) -- stir-fried mix of catfish (choice of filet or with bones), red chili paste, peppers, Thai eggplant and tons of lightly fried basil scattered on top. Pretty spicy (a good thing), tasty fish and not greasy at all.  I was happy to see them use Thai eggplant as most places use the Chinese version.

Massaman curry with beef -- coming highly recommended from the server when we asked what to order, the beef was extremely tender and the sauce with spices, coconut milk and tamarind was delicious. I kept spooning more and more on top my rice.

No alcohol (maybe an issue with the location as Mi La Cay & Nava didn't have it either), but the Thai-iced coffee was good. And as mentioned above, the menu is big and includes a lot of what they label as "street food," so there is a lot to work through in coming visits. As a Ruan Thai frequenter, I'm stopping here on my next trips for Thai.

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DonRocks   

Any idea if this is related to the old Thai Taste in Rockville? It's a fairly common name for Thai restaurants, so I suspect not. (That thread, btw, is historic for heralding the opening of Cava.)

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Lydia R   

Given today's great weather, and the "Pad Thai" recently served at Nats Park, I was happy to have a chance to get their Kai Pad Ped lunch special. I was able to finish the soup, salad, and roll with only room for a few fierce tastes of the vibrant red curry. Lunch leftovers tomorrow!

I asked about their website and they are either getting a new host or a new domain name. In the meantime, they're posting specials and other promotions on their Facebook page: @ Thai Taste Wheaton.

Here's a scan of their menu (almost as much fun to read as Dean's wine bible) and a photo of my to-go container (a bento-esque rectangle).

ThaiTasteByKob.pdfpost-226-0-65436400-1397159143_thumb.jpg

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nelumbo   

Dinner on Saturday night with vegetarian friend:

Fried Tofu appetizer consisted of very delicately fried soft tofu, plain with a dipping sauce of chili sauce with crushed peanuts. Liked the texture of the tofu, would have preferred a different type of sauce as this one was too sweet for my taste.

Yen Ta Fo soup with wide rice noodles, shrimp, squid, fish ball, fried tofu, crispy wonton, and bok choy with a reddish tomato base broth. Loved the broth, which was kind of sweet and sour without the cloying qualities found in chinese takeout; also the bok choy stayed crisp and did not devolve into a stringy, mushy mess as so often occurs.

I am not quite sure what my friend ordered, but it involved tofu fried to an almost crunchy state with chili paste.

Dessert of fireball ice cream was a large scoop of vanilla ice cream with a hot fried dough shell and a slightly salty sauce that might have been coconut. Liked the combination of the salty sauce with the ice cream.

Intend to go back and try more soups and some of the street food dishes.

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We went here for lunch a couple of week ago.  There were two notable dishes:

Kao Ka Moo-  Surprisingly, this was not a beef dish (ba-DUM!).  Rather it is described as, "Pork leg stewed in Chinese five spices served with rice, hard boiled egg, steamed Chinese broccoli, chopped chili, chopped garlic & homemade vinegar".  That day, they swapped out the Chinese broccoli for a Chinese pickled vegetable and instead of vinegar, there was a small bowl of braising liquid.  A lovely presentation and the dish was delicious though the pork leg was a bit dry.  
 
Lucky Bag- This appetizer is described as, "Special blend of curry powder, sweet potatoes, minced chicken, and onions; wrapped in rice paper skin; fried until golden crisp. Served with cucumber relish salad."  The presentation was again terrific.  They look like little money bags and taste like Indian samosas.  The frying was expertly done and it was delicious.
 
I tend to order the less common items and have always been happy with them.  Service is friendly and prices are reasonable.  I strongly recommend this place.
 
 
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We had a good dinner here tonight but not quite the level of cooking I was expecting.  We may have erred in asking that the spicy food be toned down to medium.  I had devil chicken wings, which were crispy fried with a sweet sauce.  I would have liked them to be a bit hotter.  Spicy basil fried rice was quite good - we had it with tofu- as my husband doesn't eat meat.  There was lots of flavor but again we ordered it medium hot and we should have kept it hot. I finally asked for the spicy condiments, and this was just what the dish needed. My husband had a whole crispy fish- I forget what kind of fish.  But it was very overcooked and dry, although the lime ginger sauce helped resuscitate it.

Our food was slow in coming out of the kitchen and the staff was very apologetic. They brought us shrimp dumplings and later Thai iced tea to compensate, although we didn't complain.

My husband doesn't eat meat or shellfish, so his options here are limited.  I would come back, only if I could find a meat eater to accompany me. I feel as if I missed out on some of the best dishes.  The highlight for us were the housemade sauces, which add another layer of flavor to the food.

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nelumbo   

Have been a few more times - the standout dishes that I recall were the Lucky Bag, also the papaya salad (quite spicy), and the Kua Kling ("mouth on fire") which we had with pork belly.

Was there ever interest in doing a meetup here? I'd totally be up for that although my schedule is a bit difficult for the rest of the year.

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DanielK   

Was there ever interest in doing a meetup here? I'd totally be up for that although my schedule is a bit difficult for the rest of the year.

We did one not long after they opened.

But it's really easy to do a DR meetup. Pick a day/time that works in your schedule, post it here, create a topic for it on the Events board, and people will show up. Grand total of 10 minute investment of your time, and guaranteed to work.

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squidsdc   

This is our "go-to" place for spontaneous "let's grab something," and Mr. S loves the papaya salad. They know us well and greet us sometimes with a "long time no see!" :rolleyes:

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nelumbo   

But it's really easy to do a DR meetup. Pick a day/time that works in your schedule, post it here, create a topic for it on the Events board, and people will show up. Grand total of 10 minute investment of your time, and guaranteed to work.

New topic for our meetup accomplished. 

I'm really only free on Sundays in the near future (well, and Black Friday), am thinking lunch on the 22nd, see above thread for details.

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DonRocks   

New topic for our meetup accomplished. 

I'm really only free on Sundays in the near future (well, and Black Friday), am thinking lunch on the 22nd, see above thread for details.

nelumbo has taken the step of forming a meetup, and I hope we'll have at least a tableful of people who come. I want to thank her for taking the risk (and make no mistake, it's a risk) of arranging a meetup in Wheaton - nelumbo is a model member, and it's important to me that we get several people for this dinner. If not here, then where? If not now, then when?

Cheers,

Rocks

PS - Visitors: You don't have to be a member to come; just flip me an email at donrockwell@dcdining.com and let me know you're interested. You can join later if you're interested, but it's okay if you don't.

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dracisk   

I live a couple of miles from there, have never been, and would love to check it out, but I can't do the 22nd, and the rest of my November weekends are all pretty much full already. Nonetheless, thank you for organizing this!

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dinoue   

I guess I never did a write up when we went here probably about 6 months ago. Have no recollection of what we got, but they had several monthly special dinners which we got a couple of and shared among the family. It was an incredibly good deal and not things we might have normally ordered so a nice way to force us into trying things different. A place we want to go back to, but it can be a pain to go out to Wheaton when we can also get pretty good Thai in downtown Silver Spring.

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nelumbo   

taking the risk (and make no mistake, it's a risk)

Ha, I think the main risk is of me having to consume an entire plate of crispy pork belly by myself!

Anyhoo, I know this time of year is difficult for scheduling. If Sundays are a no-go, a weeknight would also be fine with me, I just figured that it might be harder with work schedules and traffic. That is probably a discussion for the other thread though.

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ktmoomau   

So we had our lovely meet up this weekend.  Old friends and new acquaintances, but as usual it mostly felt like I had know everyone there for much longer than I have.  We really struggled over what to get only because so much of the menu looks good.  I had never been before but others commented that most everything was good.

We finally decided on Thai Taste Spring Rolls, Pumpkin Empanadas, Papaya Salad (medium heat), Fried Tofu for appetizers.  The spring rolls were tasty and crispy little bites, I liked how thin they were in comparison to some spring rolls.  The pumpkin empanadas had a good flavor.  I thought the papaya salad was good I didn't really think medium heat was very spicy, and the salad is always a nice combination of fresh and crisp with heat, which this was.  I am not a huge fried tofu kind of person, I don't dislike it, but it isn't really my thing.

For entrees we had Pad Himmapan with crispy pork (medium spicy)(pictured), Geang Deang with chicken(remnants pictured), Pad Woon Sen with tofu, Sausage Fried Rice, Devil Fish (medium spicy)(pictured) and their shrimp special on top of ground chicken and broccoli (no name on the menu or receipt)(pictured).  I really liked the devil fish, I thought the fish was really good and even the small fish ($25) had a lot of meat on it.  The sauce on it was spicy, and really garlicy and good, I could eat that sauce over a lot of different things, it was good on the accompanying veggies on the plate.  I thought the fish had good firm texture, and didn't have the amount of bones I was expecting, which was nice, I had some bits that were also a bit crispy on the outside, tender inside and just really nice.This was probably my favorite dish.  The crispy pork dish was also really good, although if I wasn't with a big group I don't know that I would want that much fried stuff on my own, but it was tasty and provided nice texture along our progression.  The fried onions were in my opinion the best way to eat a chunk of onion. The chicken curry was also good, and I could eat a whole bowl of it, although for me it wasn't as distinctive as the devil fish.  The sausage fried rice was a really umami packed version of fried rice and I thought the sausage was a bit softer in texture than some sausages in fried rice, I really liked the texture of it.  The shrimp special was really interesting.  There was fried shrimp on top of a ground chicken in tomato sauce with steamed broccoli.  It was all plated in a bowl of taro?  I thought this dish was also really interesting and different than what you see on a normal thai menu.  The clear noodles with tofu were also good.  I kind of thought the standouts though were the specials, but I was glad I could have so many dishes so you could get the bites of familiar and comforting with the bites of more aggressive flavors.  I thought the spice level was good, if I went back and wasn't sharing, I might order a few things a bit spicier though I really like spicy food.  I wish MK hadn't been sick as he would have really enjoyed the food and the company.  I apologize for the limited photos, I didn't really think about taking photos until the devil fish came out.

Dessert was mango and sticky rice.  I really liked the rice in their version as it was salty and coconut flavored and had a nice sticky but gelatinous quality to it.  It wasn't the plain one note sticky rice you might eat at your corner thai place.  Anyway thanks everyone who came out, I would gladly drive up to Rockville (on a weekend) to have lunch with you all anytime.

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nelumbo   

Thanks for doing the writeup!  I've had the papaya salad there at "American hot" level, and it was considerably more spicy than the "medium" version.

I also really liked the Devil fish in particular for the tasty sauce, and also the crispy pork dish.

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