I continued my exploration of the deliberately quaint restaurants that dotted S. 23rd Street in Crystal City, and decided upon Top Thai for one of my lunches. I was attracted by the daily lunch specials, which touted a soup/salad and entrée for under $8. This was a bargain, especially for the area, so I headed into the tiny place.
I didn't really get a good look at the interior, so my impression is confined to a fleeting impression of dim lighting, a couple rows of tables, a scattering of pictures, and not much else. The weather wasn't too bad for July, so I asked my cheery server to seat me outside in the covered porch area. This had brown wooden chairs and blue-gray tables fronting the sidewalk.
I figured that, with lunch so cheap and not having so many opportunities to sample Thai beer, I'd try the Chang. The server speedily brought the bottle and a frosty glass. My verdict - weak and watery.
That day's soup was Chicken Coconut Soup; for the entrée I chose the Chicken Pad Thai. The soup arrived quickly. It was tasty and smooth, with an adequate amount of chicken chunks, but did not contain much heat despite a one-chili pepper rating on the menu. The pad thai was brought just before I finished my soup. The pile of chicken, noodles, and sprouts in the shallow bowl was substantial, especially for the price. But, again, there was not actually any flavor which could have elevated this dish to something great. Both soup and entrée were incredibly bland.
I had read about the Mango & Sticky Rice and figured I'd cap off my meal with that. A small scoop of rice and a few slices of mango glistened with a heavy sheen of liquified sugar. Now this, did have flavor, very very sweet. I ate as much as I could, but it was too much sweetness and had to leave the rest.
I'd have to rate my experience at three dots. Service was outstanding, and the lunch special deal is a rare bargain for the area. However, the dishes were devoid of any spices, maybe in order to appeal to American palates, but for me it sunk the meal down to an average rating.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.