It’s true. Bua Thai is one of my regulars. It’s one of those austere Asian restaurants that you probably order take-out from but would never notice walking down the street, that is, until one day it’s snowpacalypse and everything is closed but Bua and you sit down and it’s so small and dim and cozy with its little Christmas lights that you look out the window and it feels how you always thought Christmas should. Like how it does in movies. Hole in the wall Asian restaurants can just do that, don’t know why but its true. No other cheap cuisine does it, maybe a diner but that’s about it.
Anyways. For some reason or another I have become WAY overly invested in Bua Thai. I don’t know why. I just like the people, the localness of it, the fact there are always customers there but never too many (save maybe at lunch on a workday) and that at the end of the day, it’s a comforting default if I can’t decide what I want but am hungry. Basically I just get this…
Perfect. Now. I know as soon as I write this review there will be some reader who comments that they tried Bua’s Pad Ped Pla Muek, or something complicated like that, and that it was terrible and they should know because they did Peace Corps in Thai village X and became well-versed in Thai cuisine while founding their NGO, and now that they think about it, they can’t believe that such an international city like DC can have such sub-par Thai food in general and this makes them feel something something.
Look. I am not the Lewis and Clark of food. I order either Pad Thai or Panang Curry at like EVERY Thai restaurant. For an appetizer I order satay or some salad with ginger dressing and at Bua, this thing called a Thai Stick that is delicious and basically Satay with different seasoning. I’m sorry, but its true. If you order the basics, I think its good and local and worth supporting. If you order crazy authentic stuff, you are on your own.
However, what I will say, as I emplore people to support Bua Thai and other local take out places like it, is your regulars are your regulars for many reasons. They just fit with you. So, Bua Thai may not set the culinary bar for Thai, but its has a damn fine shrimp pad Thai and its staff are as nice as they come. You should check it out if you get the chance. And I guarantee that in the middle of winter, it will feel like Christmas.
Bua Thai, 1635 P St. NW, DC 20036, 202-265-0828, http://www.buathai.com/