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What happened here??

One day, we will crack the mystery of non-European restaurants, the culture of which seems to hide the chef rather than promote him (or, in the case of Hong Kong Palace this evening, her). All it takes is the loss of one person, the unnamed cook, to send a restaurant this tiny into disrepair. Who knows?

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I was under the impression that, not too long ago, Thai Square was comparable to Bangkok 54, which I have liked the two times I have eaten there (pork belly & larb :rolleyes: ). I have been meaning to try Thai Square to judge for myself how the two compare. Should I not bother?

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Unfortunately reporting that I think this place has continued its path downhill. Even though it's only an order of Pad Thai for tonight, it was the most lifeless and tasteless pad thai I've ever had there or anywhere. The shrimp could probably bounce like a super ball tonight. The meal left me feeling bluer than this interface and perhaps a Smurf. What happened here??

I am not sure if this is indicative of whether Thai Square slipping or not, but even at its peak I thought the Pad Thai was any good.

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I got delivery from here a couple weeks back and it was god awful. The Crispy Honey Duck was greasy and almost rancid tasting and the Dried Chile Beef was tough and lacking any kick. I see no reason to go back here at this point, that's 3 straight mediocre-to-bad meals in a row that I've had here.

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Pig Knuckle Stew. Seriously. :D

Including bone or is this deboned? If you enjoy gnawing on pig knuckle (I do), the diner at the back of Great Wall does a tasty version (braised with star anise).

Pig Knuckle Stew ($11.95) is another favorite of mine here, and while the spicing was very much in line with what I've had in the past, there was precious little meat this time, with the dish being primarily fat and skin (there's nothing wrong with fat and skin, but this ratio was excessive). Like the duck, it was served lukewarm although one or two pieces of the pork approached being hot.
This probably answers my question. The tasty part of the pig knuckle is the skin and fat, so I'll be trying this.

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Only 1 knuckle on the plate. Sure there were other small flaps of skin but most of the plate was filled with meat and greens. Nevertheless the pig knuckle stew has great flavor (very similar to Chinese braised ham hock), the skin very soft and gelatinous.

I also tried the floating market noodle soup and the Chinese broccoli with pork rind. The Chinese broccoli has tons of garlic in there, and the sauce is quite sweet. When I had this dish at Nava Thai, I don't recall the sauce being sweet at all, in fact, I thought it was somewhat spicy. Given that I don't particularly like sweet food, I much prefer the Nava Thai version. The floating market noodle soup was pretty good even though the meatballs were store-bought.

I don't know if this is as good as this restaurant gets. If it is, it is not anywhere near as good as my experience at Nava Thai. Should I try Bangkok 54 down the street? At least they have parking.

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I tried numerous carryout dishes from Thai Square the other evening, and my impression remains that this restaurant is nothing like it used to be. While it is still some of the best Thai cuisine in the area (yes, it still is), the execution of the dishes is completely different than what it was five years ago, and I assume that their head cook left a long time ago.

In descending order of preference: Sauteed Eggplant and Chicken with Basil ($9.95), Mussamun Curry ($10.95), Pig Knuckle Stew ($12.95), Sauteed Bean Curd with Basil and Fresh Chili Peppers ($8.50), Crisp Honey-Roasted Duck with Basil ($14.95)

The chicken dish was terrific - I will order this again in the future - and the beef curry and pig-knuckle stew were both very good. However, both the pig-knuckle stew and honey-roasted duck clearly show a different hand in the kitchen than before. The tofu simply didn't survive the reheating process, becoming soggy and floppy; regardless of the reheating, its sauce was thick, brown, and somewhat gloppy. For about the fourth straight time, the duck was too heavily battered, and the duck meat itself was nearly inconsequential.

Perhaps the strategy at Thai Square now is to stick with the simple dishes. I'd love to know who was cooking here five years ago, and find out where he or she ended up. This restaurant is still worth an occasional carryout for me, but it's no longer a cross-town destination, I'm sorry to say. But I guess I've been saying that for awhile now, sigh.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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We're creatures of habit and rarely stray from a short list of dishes when ordering carry-out from Thai Square. We were happy with what we got last night and I thought that at least one of the dishes - Green Curry Chicken - was better than the last time we'd had it. I did notice a marked decrease in the size of the pieces of Thai eggplant in the dish - slivers versus the halves or quarters that we'd seen previously. There was plenty of fresh basil and the sauce had the complexity of flavors that I've enjoyed in the past.

The Somtum was kicking, as usual, though it also seemed a little short on the tiny dried shrimp. The sun-dried beef had just the right not-quite-chewy texture. I continue to enjoy the (perpetual) special dish of Bean Threads with Shrimp. It had a generous half dozen shrimp and a the noodles are slightly smokey (and taste really good mixed in with the left over juice from the Somtum...

Maybe there's someone new in the kitchen, or maybe we just got lucky with our choices. Whatever the case, we'll be ordering again sometime soon.

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The place used to be great. Unfortunately it has really gone downhill.

Care to elaborate? Compare some dishes that 'used to be great' that aren't anymore?

(or maybe tell us about somewhere that you do like. :rolleyes: This is the third negative comment I've read from you this afternoon - you must have had some positive dining experiences recently.)

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I have to de-lurk to stick up for Thai Square. We've kept Thai Square in our regular rotation...probably because they deliver and we have a newborn baby so we don't get out much. I'd say we order from here about twice a month (more when I was pregnant and craving spicy food!) We had one truly terrible meal, but the rest were actually pretty good. Our regular order is sun-dried beef, crispy honey roasted duck, and green curry with shrimp. The sun-dried beef has been outstanding on several occasions--meaty and tender and infused with a sweet-sour flavor. The green curry is dependably good, though there have been fewer eggplant pieces as noted by goldenticket. The crispy honey roasted duck is the dish I've been disappointed with most often. Sometimes the meat seems like it was first fried about 2 days before and then dipped in batter and flash fried so that the crust is barely blonde and soggy while the underlying meat and fat are chewy like jerky. But, when it's good, it's sooo good. And I continue to order it because I'm willing to risk the occasional mediocre rendition if it means that every so often, I'll get the excellent version. So, I understand why Thai Square has been abandoned by a lot of Rockwellians--I definitely noticed a downturn in quality about a year ago--but I just wanted to say that I'm still a fan.

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I have to de-lurk to stick up for Thai Square. We've kept Thai Square in our regular rotation...probably because they deliver and we have a newborn baby so we don't get out much. I'd say we order from here about twice a month (more when I was pregnant and craving spicy food!) We had one truly terrible meal, but the rest were actually pretty good. Our regular order is sun-dried beef, crispy honey roasted duck, and green curry with shrimp. The sun-dried beef has been outstanding on several occasions--meaty and tender and infused with a sweet-sour flavor. The green curry is dependably good, though there have been fewer eggplant pieces as noted by goldenticket. The crispy honey roasted duck is the dish I've been disappointed with most often. Sometimes the meat seems like it was first fried about 2 days before and then dipped in batter and flash fried so that the crust is barely blonde and soggy while the underlying meat and fat are chewy like jerky. But, when it's good, it's sooo good. And I continue to order it because I'm willing to risk the occasional mediocre rendition if it means that every so often, I'll get the excellent version. So, I understand why Thai Square has been abandoned by a lot of Rockwellians--I definitely noticed a downturn in quality about a year ago--but I just wanted to say that I'm still a fan.

This makes me so, so sad because the honey duck is my favorite dish there, and one of my favorite dishes of all time. I don't live nearby anymore, so driving awhile for mediocre or bad honey duck is no fun. Please let us know if/when the honey duck is reliable again, because I'll be there in a flash!

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I have never tried the honey duck, but I am happy to say that the crispy squid is nearly back to its formerly excellent level. I went by for a quick lunch, started with the Tom Yum Talay, which was a trifle thin, but tasty and fairly seafood rich. But the main dish was nearly as good as it used to be, the squid was golden, crunchy and delicious. It was a trifle oily, but not overly so, and the basil was perfect. Spear some basil on my fork, scoop some rice and spear the squid... Heaven! I had the catfish a couple of months ago and it was thoroughly ok, not great. The squid is back in the running, but I have to admit, I used to give Thai Square the edge over Bangkok 54. Now, I am not sure which is better.

Tried to get a small floating market soup to compare it to Sakulthai, no joy, full size or nothing. I really like Sakulthai's FMS, would love to see what Thai Square's is like. Time to go back for more...

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This makes me so, so sad because the honey duck is my favorite dish there, and one of my favorite dishes of all time. I don't live nearby anymore, so driving awhile for mediocre or bad honey duck is no fun. Please let us know if/when the honey duck is reliable again, because I'll be there in a flash!

Contrary to what some people may want to try and argue, even small ethnic restaurants in the suburbs sometimes have inconsistencies. So to add my experience to the mix of how the cooking is lately....

Honey Crisp Duck was spot on.

Red Curry Duck was even better and probably the best example of the 30 times I've ordered it

Tom Yum Kai was good

Tom Kha Kai was fantastic

Braised Pig Kuckle was either really good or really so-so, pending whether or not you got one of the fatty bites, which for me there weren't enough of.

From my experience last week I would say they're currently on.

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No post on this thread for a long time. I have been to Thai Square twice in the past couple weeks. Once for a Chow lunch and then for dinner last night. I am not an authority on Thai cuisine at all, and this may not be the best place, but what I have had the past couple visits has been darn good.

Last night with the Hubby we had pork knuckle stew which I love. Pork knuckle braised with greens that is tender and has really great subtle herbs. I am not sure exactly what spices go in here, but I love it. To me it is homey and earthy. We also had the crispy squid which was good as usual, really crisp and flavorful. The texture was great with the other things we had. I like that the sauce isn't gloppy at all not sparse, but not at all gloppy. We also had the county style curry which is more like a spicy soup with eggplant, lemongrass, peppers and chicken. Hubby really liked this. The girl questioned me before ordering most everything then smiles and told me the pork knuckle was her favorite dish.

For the chow lunch we had a spicy almost sweet and sour like soup. I was not as keen on it, not because it wasn't good just not my thing. And an assortment of dishes I wish I could remember. It was a great lunch. And they parked our car for us and brought it out then helped us safely back onto Columbia Pike. Packaged leftovers nicely and gave me extra rice.

I saw this dish on another table though that was a noodle dish that was orange, noodles the size of fettucine, kind of almost in a circular mold with a shrimp on top. I would love to know what that dish was it looked really good. Anyone ever have something that sounds similar?

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I've ordered delivery from Crystal Thai and Bangkok 54 more times than I can count and consider both of them to be pretty good for what their strengths are. Yellow Curry Chicken from Crystal Thai and Beef Kaprao and Pad Thai from Bangkok. We eat at Rabieng, our favorite, a couple times a month. If only they delivered.

I've driven by Thai Square a million times without giving it much thought. After reading about it on here we decided to give it a try. The Crispy Honey Duck sounded right up R's alley and the Sun-Dried Beef sounded good. Throw in that they deliver to my condo and I thought we were all set for an excellent meal.

When I ordered I was told it would be an hour and 15 minutes before delivery. That made me think they must really be good to be that busy. I have to say we were very disappointed when the food arrived and won't order from them again. R liked the Crispy Honey Duck, but that was the only hit. He said he'd give it an 8. The Sun-Dried Beef was ok, but nothing I would crave. Let's say a 4 or a 5. My Beef Kaprao was pale, tasteless, and unappealing. I'd give it a zero.

I'll be sticking to my tried and trues.

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After gardening on Saturday I felt very depleted and like I needed some carbs. So we headed to get some rice noodle dishes at Thai Square because they have homemade (or someone else makes them homemade for them frequently) wide rice noodles. I got the Pad Lard Na Palay, essentially seafood, noodles, Chinese broccoli and gravy. Very homey and comforting. Hubby got Pad See Ew, which was tastier than mine, so I ate a lot of his. It was the grilled bits that really made his shine, although mine wasn't bad at all.

I love the Chinese broccoli, I am going to have to grow this in my garden next year, as I have heard it does well in these parts and you can eat it like green and you have the broccoli heads. I also got Han Kuen which is like sausage in a wrapper, in a good way. Nicely fried and crisp (I was hungry didn't eat before I went gardening and spent too long there so we didn't eat until like 3:00 pm)

Anyway cheap and tasty and hit the spot. I think Thai Square is the one of the better Thai places in the area for noodles and stews. and if I spelled anything wrong above, sorry I didn't want to have to look up anything.

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We were back in the neighborhood so popped in for a bite and were...quite pleased! The honey duck is not the best I've ever had there, but it is definitely recognizable as the dish I love(d), crispy and fried dark with a nice pile of crunchy basil, though with quite a bit of the batter. The sauteed eggplant with fried tofu from the specials menu is very good, with contrasting textures and just a bit of a spice kick from the chiles. The pad se ew is just as I remember it - slightly wok-charred, sublte, and satisfying. We got there for the first turn, and only had to wait for a few minutes to get a table around 7:15 PM. The service was extremely pleasant and attentive, and I couldn't drink down my water even halfway before it was refilled (pretty good, considering we'd been tramping about all day and I was guzzling the ice water). I'm so glad we dropped by!

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We were back in the neighborhood so popped in for a bite and were...quite pleased! The honey duck is not the best I've ever had there, but it is definitely recognizable as the dish I love(d), crispy and fried dark with a nice pile of crunchy basil, though with quite a bit of the batter. The sauteed eggplant with fried tofu from the specials menu is very good, with contrasting textures and just a bit of a spice kick from the chiles. The pad se ew is just as I remember it - slightly wok-charred, sublte, and satisfying. We got there for the first turn, and only had to wait for a few minutes to get a table around 7:15 PM. The service was extremely pleasant and attentive, and I couldn't drink down my water even halfway before it was refilled (pretty good, considering we'd been tramping about all day and I was guzzling the ice water). I'm so glad we dropped by!

It comes to mind that we, as well as the tables surrounding us, were asked several times throughout the meal (by different people) whether we liked our food, and if everything was good. They were pleased that we were pleased, so I'm not sure what would have happened if we didn't like something, but it seems that all the servers cared very much if we were happy. A positive sign, I think.

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We were in the area and decided on an early dinner at Thai Square. This was our first visit and were pleased. I do not have a favorite Thai restaurant or know who is the "best" but we were pleased with our entrees. The Tom Kha Kai soup was excellent in my opinion. The Pad Ped Moo Pa - pork sauteed with Thai eggplant, bamboo, beans and spicy chili paste was also good and Thai hot. Husband had the Sukiyaki, Thai Style with seafood & chicken with bean threads, napa, celery, and scallions served with a special sauce. We really thought this was a great dish. The sauce was not hot spicy; it was a rounded complex sauce that really made the dish. Would definitely order this one again. The pork dish, not likely to order again. We would go back to this place again.

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We got crispy honey duck and pork knuckle stew via delivery the other night. Between the crispy duck and crispy squid there is a lot of crisp, spicy, goodness going on at Thai Square. The pork knuckle stew was warm and homey and I enjoyed it a lot, as well. I also liked the spicy sauce that may have came for the spring rolls? or something else we ordered it was great with spring rolls over the sweet chili sauce.

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We got plate of crispy honey roasted duck but there was no duck meat in there. There was alot of batter, and maybe some duck skin. My wife and I kept looking for the duck and we kept getting disappointed. Eventually we stopped eating it since all we got were greasy pieces of batter. The catfish (Pad Ped Pla Dook) was seriously spicy. Cross sections of the catfish (with fish vertebrae) thinly sliced, deep fried until crispy, and then stir-fried. Makes you want to eat rice and drink beer. It was too hot for my wife, and almost too hot for me but it was really good. Finally, the Chinese broccoli with pork and pork noodle soup were both pretty good. They use pork meat, not just fat, fried crispy - even more crispy than chicharron so we didn't really eat the pork, but we enjoyed the greens.

Quick question, has anyone ever gotten a meaty crispy honey roasted duck? As in big chucks of meat, battered and fried as opposed to thin strips tasting mostly of batter and mystery substance inside?

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Well, my good friend convinced me to revisit this place last Saturday, after she enjoyed her prior meal. I think it's on the okay list still, especially if you order the "safe" stuff (i.e., stereotypical American-Thai cuisine).

The Tom Yum soup (with shrimp) was watery with droplets of chili oil and not a whole lot of flavor, and the only disappointment of the evening. The other dishes pass muster enough to probably give it a go, if you are near here. I will try again, but probably only order carry out next time.

A slight snafu with one waitstaff almost put a damper on the night, but another waitstaff remedied the situation (after asking for a manager but no manager was on duty that night when we were there, at least. On a Saturday?!).

Again, give it a go, at an arm's length, but if you are closer to Thai Noy or Bangkok Golden, well, you probably know where to go, then.

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Had dinner at Thai Square last night with a Thai friend (who is an excellent cook and very particular about what she eats) and others and can report that most of the food was outstanding. All of us have lived in Thailand and felt the food tasted very authentic. Everything was fresh. We had crab fried rice and the crab was sweet and delicious. Had a crispy flounder that was great, good pad see yew (?), som tham, beef jerky and laap khai. The laap was the only disappointment. The seasoning was odd and too spicy.

The restaurant was crowded but the service was wonderful and our food came out amazingly quickly. Best Thai restaurant experience we've had in a long time!

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Wanted to have delivery from Thai Square tonight, but the line was busy.  When finally patched through, they noted a two hour wait.

A recent, positive review causing a flood of business, perhaps?

Lucky Them.  Sad Mango.

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