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August 1, 2007 / Tony

Lunch at Kanlaya Thai Cuisine

This was, by far, my favorite meal of my trip to Washington, D.C.  Kanlaya is an average sized restaurant with a beautiful, understated, dark decor.  The wood was all cherry and the walls were earth toned and adorned with small pieces of Thai art.  I ordered, as I usually do at a Thai restaurant, the Pad See Eew.  Here’s a picture (and I apologize for the picture quality):


This dish was composed of wide rice noodles, chinese broccoli (stems and greens), sauce, and chicken.  Almost every part of this dish was perfect.  The noodles were al dente with an almost imperceptible (but highly desirable) stickiness.  The chinese broccoli, in all three of its forms, was slightly bitter and perfectly tender.  It was a great balancer to the sweetness of the sauce.  The sauce (I admit here to knowing almost nothing of Thai cuisine other than that I like it.) was just slightly sweet, rich, deeply flavored, and exotic at the same time.  I am sure a dark soy sauce was in it and if there was fish sauce as well, it was very, very pleasant.  The only thing I found lacking in this dish was that some (not all) of the chicken was just slightly overcooked.  Most of the chicken was tender. 

The service was impeccable and very quick.  I think only about 4 minutes elaspsed between the time of my order and when a steaming plate of noodles was placed in front of me. 

This is precisely the type of restaurant that I adore.  It is local and unique (there are no other Kanlayas) and is obviously customer oriented.  On the wall next to my table, there was a poster put up by the owners apologizing for having to raise prices due to increased fuel and import expenses.  It was just the sort of concern that was obviously put into my dish.  I can hardly praise the owners of the restaurant enough.  They are dedicated to wonderful food and take pride in the service they provide to their customers.  Alas, what a shame I live so far away. . .


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