On Tuesday, I went back to Wheaton, Maryland, and rode the longest escalator in the Western Hemisphere from the train platform to the surface at the Wheaton Metro station. Wheee! The day’s lunch spot was Nava Thai, which doesn’t seem to have an active web site.
Nava Thai shows up on more than just Cheap Eats surveys. It has also appeared on the Washingtonian’s “100 Very Best Restaurants” list for four of the last five years. This is authentic Thai.
Service was fine. I think Thais must be the most polite, considerate people on earth—they make Canadians look like Donald Trump. When I told the waitress that I was thinking about trying Nava Thai’s famous Floating Market Noodle Soup, but wasn’t sure I could handle a dish w/a three-chili hotness rating, she said there’d be no problem moderating the heat. (I know. I should have tried it as it’s eaten in Thailand, instead of going for a Western adaptation, but I’ve got an American palate.)
This is the Floating Market Noodle Soup. It’s one of the most glorious things I’ve ever eaten. I’d put this on a v short list of must-try dishes in DC, along with Rasika’s Palak Chaat and BlackSalt’s Key Lime Pie.
You choose your protein, either beef or pork. I went with pork, which arrived in three different forms: Sliced pork, pork meatballs, and crisp pork rinds. The vermicelli was made onsite, and had me trying to remember how slurping noodles was viewed in Thai etiquette.
And the broth! I don’t know all the ingredients, but I tasted basil, lemongrass, lime, coriander, and fish sauce. I finished every drop.
I can’t praise Nava Thai highly enough.