Shirlington (in Arlington) is a great little neighborhood, except when it is jammed on Saturday night. We had theater tickets at the beautiful Signature Theatre complex and headed over to T.H.A.I. in Shirlington (nobody could explain the periods in the name) beforehand.
It seemed to take a while to get noticed, but once we did, all went well. We quaffed a $20-something perfectly ideal for spice or not VIOGNIER from MONT PELLIER 2008 in California that they also serve by the glass.
Appetizers range from a special COCONUT FRIED SHRIMP that is more of a fried shrimp ball than the whole battered shrimp with a nice sweet chili dip to Pan Seared SQUASH POTSTICKERS which sounded so great but were bland in their butternut squash and sweet potato filling and the scallion spicy ginger-soy dip was not spicy at all to the uber SUMMER ROLL, a simple soft rice roll with shrimp and pork loin, veggies and a killer Sweet Peanut-Chili Dip that packed a punch.
Chicken Coconut Soup was nice, but needed a bit more spice or lemongrass as well.
The four of us smartly settled on three main courses:
PENANG PERFECT is a chicken in coconut curry with peanut sauce, basil and kaffir lime leaves and needs lots of rice as it is quite rich, but yummy.
The special Pan Asian SEA BASS with steamed veggies and Jasmine Rice was simply nice
and the CRYING TIGER was a slightly overcooked to medium (and hence dry) flank steak with a great sauce...just ask for it medium rare!
Will saw the BANANA SPLIT BRULEE and I knew it would be a basic sundae with banana, Coconut Ice Cream, Thai Coffee Ice Cream, Strawberry Sorbet, peanuts and Caramel & Chocolate Sauces...what a mess in my mind.
The FLAMBE THAI BANANA is much better and flambeed tableside in Grand Marnier for a show and served with orange peel, toasted coconut, sesame seeds and Chocolate Ice Cream.
If you are in Shirlington, THAI is a decent choice, but anywhere else in Arlington, Falls Church or the area, I think better Thai exists.