Thai X-Ing Restaurant By Chef Taw Vigsittaboot - D.C.

Thai X-ing, an underground favorite, rises up

The city's original underground restaurant isn't a supper club: It's the quirky, basement-level Thai X-ing.

But the hidden-away restaurant has literally moved up in the world, expanding from its tiny 14-seat basement space to 74 seats on the first and second levels of its townhouse in Shaw.

Happily, chef-owner Taw Vigsittaboot still dictates the dishes in his prix fixe restaurant ($30 on weeknights; $40 on weekends), cooking traditional, well-spiced and often slowly cooked dishes to order.

One dish that appears regularly is Vigsittaboot's signature pumpkin dish, a red curry featuring slices of velveteen Asian pumpkin with filleted salmon and green beans. Young peppercorns, stewed tomatoes and basil give a tickle of spice and tartness in a roasted duck dish. Though the restaurant does prepare a superlative pad Thai, yum woon sen is a more exciting noodle choice, its fiery mix of translucent glass noodles packed with shrimp, green onions and mushrooms in tangy chile sauce.

There may be more elbow room and less incense in the new configuration, but Vigsittaboot still takes his time, cooking each dish as though diners are joining him at his home.

Thai X-ing is technically no longer underground, but the dining experience still very much is.

Thai X-ing, 515 Florida Ave. NW (at Fifth St.); 202-332-4322 or