Photos By Andy DelGiudice, Words By Brandon Wetherbee
The Beau Thai Mount Pleasant location is regularly packed. As a Lanier Heights resident, it’s annoying. Good for the restaurant owner, bad for the person that wants an order of green curry in a hurry. For the time being, the new Shaw location of Beau Thai will make neighborhood residents very happy.
The new Beau Thai Shaw location is much larger than the old place. Located at 1550 7th Street NW (which seems wrong, it should be 1500 7th Street NW), it’s part of the mixed-use Jefferson Marketplace development, across the street from CityMarket at O. It’s also across the street from Ivy and Coney and the also new Compass Coffee. Shaw is getting good.
Fans of the Mount Pleasant location will be pleased with the new location. Most of the menu has carried over, but the new additions are what will bring in new devotees. One highlight is the Sriracha noodles (wide noodles stir-fried with a spicy Sriracha sauce, white onions, carrots, tomatoes & spring onions). They’re not spicy enough to hide the other flavors and far from bland, a quality vegetarian option. The must order is the fried whole fish (whole fish, fried & coated with a tamarind sauce, topped with crispy garlic, served with a Thai slaw). The day we visited the fish was rockfish and we will happily order it again.
Chef Aschara Vigsittaboot (pictured below with co-owner Drew Porterfield) makes mostly traditional Thai, similar to what she ate growing up. It’s not fusion and it’s not cutting edge. This is perfectly fine. After eating something basic like the stir-fried eggplant, which is available at both locations, you won’t care about other flavors. The dish appears to be simple and it is but it’s also the one we couldn’t stop eating. If you’re dead set on eating meat, just add meat, but do order this dish.
The Shaw location has a well-sized bar with some well-made cocktails. Bar Manager Megan Eckhardt has created a few selections special for the location. The one that will inevitably be a YOUR WEEKEND COCKTAIL feature is the What’s Brian’s Having, an interpretation of an old-fashioned with bourbon, Luxardo maraschino liqueur, Bitterman’s Amére Nouvelle bitter orange liqueur, dash of Angostura bitters and garnished with a Luxardo cherry. It’s addicting.
Beau Thai in Shaw is open for lunch and dinner, with an upcoming brunch that’s not exactly common in the works.