Thursday, January 3, 2013

Paragon Thai in Cleveland Park

Pad bean sprout close-up
My boyfriend and I ate out way too much during December because we were on our holiday dinner and a movie kick. For Christmas Eve and day, we had great Chinese food at Harmony Cafe in Georgetown and at Jackey Cafe in Chinatown. I took photos of these two spots but the lighting was often too dim for blog purposes. Guess I'll just have to visit each another time. (A good problem to have.) However one restaurant that we visited on the Christmas holiday weekend had both great food and excellent lighting: Paragon Thai Restaurant.

This welcoming Thai restaurant is in a small strip mall at 3507 Connecticut Avenue. It's extremely handy to the Cleveland Park Metro station and steps away from the Uptown Theater, the greatest movie screen in the District, now an AMC Loews cinema. Paragon Thai was very busy on the night that we visited but the staff was attentive and kind.
We started the meal with two appetizers: Tao Hoo Tod, aka crispy golden tofu triangles, and deep-fried spring rolls. These appetizers were both excellently done, appealingly greasy. Next we had two mains. My dish, the Ka Pow Jae (below) was very spicy, as advertised. It was almost "Thai-hot," as some menus call it. This level of spiciness is a challenge that I love to meet.

My boyfriend got a mild pad bean sprout dish (top) with lots of mushrooms in a brown sauce. Paragon Thai also offers brown jasmine rice, for an extra charge. They have a full bar and reasonably priced Asian beers.    
Ka Pow Jae

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