When a noodle soup should be funky, it’s extra funky at Baan Thai. When a curry is supposed to bring the heat, it does. Such is part of the magic of the Logan Circle Thai restaurant helmed by Chef Jeeraporn Poksupthong.
Baan Thai opened nearly a decade ago, but now it’s time to get in there to have your favorite dish because Dec. 31 will be its last night in business at 1326 14th St. NW. “Our lease ended and we’ve decided it’s time to upgrade,” explains managing partner Tom Healy. “The current space on 14th Street has been wonderful. It will always hold a special place in our hearts, but it lacks the infrastructure we need to offer the menu we want to do.”
Poksupthong, who goes by P’Boom, has cooked a complex menu of grilled skewers, noodle soups, curries, salads, deep-fried fish, and coconut griddle snacks out of an impossibly small kitchen. That’s the other part of the magic.
Baan Thai also serves sushi. When the restaurant first opened in 2010, it was under a different moniker—Tsunami Sushi and Lounge. At the same time, P’Boom was cooking in the first floor Thai restaurant in the same building, Thai Thanic. That’s where she started to make less Americanized Thai dishes for staff meal before shifts. Tsunami Sushi & Lounge lured her to cook such cuisine upstairs, and the Thai food proved enough of a draw to warrant a name change in 2014. Baan Thai kept sushi on the menu, as neighbors demonstrated a demand for it.
The restaurant has always had a little fun with its sidewalk sign board. In addition to touting its accolades, it sometimes displays a quote from a one-star Yelp review: “I must be too white for this place. They have nothing even similar to Pad Thai.”
“It’s been our privilege to offer a more unique version of Thai food and we are grateful for the spirt with which D.C. embraced it,” Healy continues. “We want to take that even further and show folks what we can really do. We are in negotiations for a new space and hope to be able to publicly announce our new location soon. If all goes well, we are hoping for an opening in early 2020.”
Baan Thai, 1326 14th St. NW 2nd Floor; (202) 588-5889; baanthaidc.com