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Sietsema Gives Germantown's Sabai Sabai Simply Thai 2 Stars

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Tom Sietsema gives Fred and Cici Hart's latest venture in Thai cooking, Sabai Sabai Simply Thai, two stars. The Germantown restaurant, whose name translates to "relax, relax," departs from their previous Rockville establishment in its conspicuously informal setting and menu. And, in fact, it's the street fare that gets Sietsema raving:

"The dish I'm most eager to return to is one of the items flagged as a street snack: a big bowl of sliced braised pork leg. The super-tender meat floats in a broth zapped with star anise and stinging with vinegar, shocks of flavor that keep my fork returning for more."

Sietsema was also pleased by Sabai Sabai's signature spicy catfish as well as the fried pork belly that one of his companions likened to chicharron. But things weren't all perfection. An order of the classic pad Thai went over so badly at Sietsema's table that the kitchen took notice and whipped up a new one. [WaPo]

Todd Kliman offered up a two-fer in his online chat this week. He deems Silver Spring's new Kao Thai restaurant "worthy of a nice night out," and he raves about everything from the won ton soup to the red curry. Arlington's Sawatdee, however, gets no such treatment: "A starter of coconut rice tasted as if it had been made from leftover rice; the papaya salad was soggy as an unwrung towel; the red curry was oddly viscious, as sweet as children's cough medicine and laden with eggplant slices the texture of mashed potatoes; a casserole of saffron rice (I'd be willing to bet turmeric was the seasoning, not saffron) and lamb appeared to have been made earlier that day and reheated." [Washingtonian]

THE BLOGS: We Love DC admits they would drive across town for Seventh Hill Pizza; DC-Wrapped Dates decides that Bar Pilar might do the trick for their future neighborhood hangout; EatMore DrinkMore ate some of the best mussels they've had in awhile at Napoleon Bistro & Lounge.

Sabai Sabai Simply Thai [Photo: Yelp]

Bar Pilar

1833 14th Street Northwest, , DC 20009 (202) 265-1751 Visit Website

Sabai Sabai Simply Thai

19847 Century Boulevard, Germantown, MD