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Paya Thai, Old Courthouse Road in Tysons Corner - Closed


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I recently had dinner at Paya Thai (http://www.payathai.com) at 8417 Old Courthouse Road near the intersection of 123. Songbird is in the same shopping center.

The location is a large one that was mostly empty the night we came. There is a large room with booths on either side and tables in the middle, a small bar area and a private room in the back. The service was good, the staff attentive to the basics of water and checking in on us regularly.

We started with 3 appetizers. The Fresh Spring Roll was served warm, which threw up for a loop, we were expecting a summer roll. Once past that it was nicely done with a generous helping of fresh crab in the middle. The Kao Tang Na Tang (Prawn chips and dip) was a disappointment. The chips were pre-done (not fresh) and the coconut curry sauce lacked any depth. The green Papaya Salad was fresh and very tasty.

We then started with some soup. Two of us had the Tom Ka Chicken that was good, but not outstanding with good heat. The Tom Yum Mushroom was very good, nicely spiced and flavorful.

We tried the Sizzling Seafood entree that was in a tangy sauce. the beans and carrots could have been a bit more done, but the seafood was excellent. My only concern was that they used that strange squid that has multiple cuts on the side as opposed to fresh. We also had a Soft shell crab that was a bit too deep fried to taste and sort of got lost in the sauce.

Final thought was that the food was good, maybe worth a return at another time.

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I recently had dinner at Paya Thai (http://www.payathai.com) at 8417 Old Courthouse Road near the intersection of 123. Songbird is in the same shopping center.

The location is a large one that was mostly empty the night we came. There is a large room with booths on either side and tables in the middle, a small bar area and a private room in the back. The service was good, the staff attentive to the basics of water and checking in on us regularly.

We started with 3 appetizers. The Fresh Spring Roll was served warm, which threw up for a loop, we were expecting a summer roll. Once past that it was nicely done with a generous helping of fresh crab in the middle. The Kao Tang Na Tang (Prawn chips and dip) was a disappointment. The chips were pre-done (not fresh) and the coconut curry sauce lacked any depth. The green Papaya Salad was fresh and very tasty.

We then started with some soup. Two of us had the Tom Ka Chicken that was good, but not outstanding with good heat. The Tom Yum Mushroom was very good, nicely spiced  and flavorful.

We tried the Sizzling Seafood entree that was in a tangy sauce. the beans and carrots could have been a bit more done, but the seafood was excellent. My only concern was that they used that strange squid that has multiple cuts on the side as opposed to fresh. We also had a Soft shell crab that was a bit too deep fried to taste and sort of got lost in the sauce.

Final thought was that the food was good, maybe worth a return at another time.

I had a similar experience at Paya - food was good, but not stellar and the inconsistency among dishes made you wonder how they all came out of the same kitchen.

My favorite is still Pilin, but it's mostly for takeout as their dining area is absurdly small.

Beware the Japanes/sushi place in the same strip mall as Paya. Not good and way overpriced.

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Woops my bad, I had only seen that done with frozen squid.

when you talk about squid with multiple cuts at the side do you mean that it is scored kind of like a checkerboard and that it curls up?? because this is just a way of cutting the squid.  it doesn't indicate that it isn't fresh.

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Two weeks ago, Paya Thai began offering Thai Hot Pot. There are currently five tables available, each one having a user-controlled induction heating unit (click) which, if you've never used one, is worth the price of admission by itself.

A vegetable-based broth is used as a base, and diners can purchase any of about 30 items a la carte to add into the liquid (prices average about $4 per item). Although certain things are overpriced (a single raw egg, for example, is $3), two people can eat very well for about $35.

The wine list at Paya Thai is exceptional, with all kinds of decent bottles to be found in the $25-35 range. And since the Hot Pot renders relatively mild flavors (with the exception of the dipping sauces), you can feel comfortable going with either white or red wine here. If you've never seen the wine list at Paya Thai, you'll be very surprised when you do.

The owner, Jonathan Tia, is excited about taking Paya Thai in this direction. He has consulted with Cee in Fairfax (which might explain Cee's good wine list), and Cee apparently has several Hot Pot tables now as well.

Between the novelty of the induction heating system, the "fun" of what is essentially an evening of shabu-shabu, and the strength of the inexpensive wine list, Paya Thai is a really interesting dining option right now - and it would make a perfect first date!

Cheers,

Rocks.

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This month's Viva Tysons! magazine reports that this place has closed and China Castle (the link is from Fairfax County, not an actual website) will be taking its place.

I just got off the phone with Jonathan Tia. His landlord jacked up the rent, so Mr. Tia shuttered Paya Thai and merged it with his other restaurant, Cee, near Fairfax Circle. In fact, when you call Paya Thai's old number, it now dials Cee.

While this might sound like a sad tale, if you view it from a diner's perspective, it's the opposite of expansion-and-dilution, which is a positive.

So if you liked Paya Thai in the past, you can essentially still find it down the road at Cee, complete with Thai hot pots and the best Thai wine list in town.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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