UPDATE: CURRIES ARE MADE WITH FISH SAUCE. SEE BELOW FOR A FULL LIST OF ITEMS FROM THE CHEF THAT ARE VEGETARIAN!!! As a result of our inquiry, menus will be updated to clarify.
Thai food for vegetarians in DC (and most places in the US) is pretty ho-hum. Shaw’s Thai X-ing is a clear exception, but what about when we’re not up for an 8 course meal?
I visited the new Beau Thai location in Mount Pleasant recently with some hope. Yes, the name is ridiculous – when are these puns with ‘Thai’ going to end? – but the menu is bigger than at the original Shaw restaurant and it’s nice to have another dining option in the neighborhood.
The menu has a few items marked with a (v), but it’s a bit confusing because the curries and noodles can also be made vegetarian although they’re not marked.
Our server claimed that they don’t use fish sauce at all, but it’s better to specify when ordering just to make sure.
We skipped over the requisite rolls (fried and fresh) to start with eggplant salad. It was really nice and unique – melt-in-your-mouth and a bit charred like baba ghanoush, with fresh herbs, lemon, hard-boiled egg, and light-as-air crispy tofu.
Although main courses included noodle soups and a tempura bowl, I always like to try standard dishes when checking out a new Thai place. This time we had red curry and drunken noodles.
The red curry was mediocre – acceptably flavored, but with way too many chunks of fried tofu and too little of anything else. The couple of eggplant morsels were tender and delicious, but gone in a jiffy. Since eggplant seems to be a winner here, I’d skip curry next time and try the eggplant stir fry dish.
Drunken noodles were spot on – browned in the skillet with good flavor and set off with cherry tomatoes, red peppers, and lots of basil. The spice level was just right for me, but if you are a fire fiend then ask for more.
Emboldened by our satisfaction with the noodles, we went for mango sticky rice to end the meal. Not a good idea. The rice was barely sweetened and the only trace of coconut was in the goo spread stingily over the mango slices. What?
All in all, Beau Thai’s a little unreliable, with some redeeming qualities. Like most beaux I know.
3162 Mount Pleasant St NW
(202) 450-5317 or (202) 450-5346
AppetizersSpring RollsGarden RollsVegetable EmpanadasCrispy TofuSaladsGreen SaladGrilled Vegetable SaladEntreesPad King TofuKa Pao TofuSauteed VegetablesStir Fried EggplantRice DishesFried Rice TofuPineapple Fried Rice Tofu
Noodle DishesDrunken Noodle Tofu
Noodle BowlsVegetable Noodle BowlDessertsMango Sticky Rice
Salads and SoupsGrilled Eggplant Salad – Request no eggPapaya Salad – Request no shrimpTom Kha Soup – Request no chickenTofu Soup – Request Vegetarian Broth
Noodle DishesPad Thai Tofu – Request no eggPad Se Ew Tofu – Request no egg