On a cool, rainy night, on our way to see Death Trap at the North Street Playhouse, my wife and I decided to make a night of it, and went to eat at the Thai Rada restaurant in Onley. We have been a fan of Thai cooking for many years now, and many of the dishes such as pad Thai and the red and green curries are our favorites. The essence of Thai cuisine are dishes that play with sour, sweet, salty, bitter, and spicy taste sensations, juggling these odd bits, and forcing them to work together.
My wife, as always ordered the pad Thai (due to our late arrival, the chef had just run out of pork, so she ordered the beef pad Thai). Traditionally, Pad Thai is basically dried rice noodles, which are stir-fried with eggs and chopped firm tofu, and flavored with tamarind pulp, fish sauce, dried shrimp, garlic or shallots, red chili pepper and palm sugar, and served with lime wedges and often chopped roast peanuts. This version by Thai Rada did not disappoint, with a delicate citrus edge, my wife found it hard to stop eating, even with the ample portions.
I ordered the Panang Curry, which takes its name from the city island off the West coast of peninsular Malaysia, Penang, or Pulau Pinang in Malay. This type of curry is richer, sweeter, and creamier than the more herbal Thai red curry or green curry. Vegetables are not usually added to Panang curry, but for folks like me, Thai Rada offers a vegetarian version that is just wonderful. In reality, it is the curry sauce that is what we come for, and this version of panang by Thai Rada was as good as I’ve had in markets as large as the DC Metro. Creamy and delicious, the chef hit all the right notes, even using only fresh, crisp vegetables.
If you are a fan of Thai cuisine, or even if you haven’t tried it before, I would whole heartedly recommend Thai Rada. You won’t be disappointed; I can’t wait to go back and try my next dish.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.