When Lucky Thai opened up at 240 W. Broad Street about a month ago it added a third option for Asian cuisine in downtown Falls Church.
Maneki Neko, a Japanese spot, and Pho 88, a Vietnamese eatery, have already been around for a while. The owners of the restaurant, the Sirirungsri family, immigrated from Thailand and have worked in the food industry for several years.
And, from the looks of the place, you can tell. It’s pleasantly decorated, with a single flower serving as the centerpiece of each table. The window in the store that faces W. Broad Street is decorated with native accoutrements. On the fanciness meter, it falls between Maneko Neko, which is decorated like a proper date spot, and Pho 88, which is styled more like a cafeteria.
The menu at Lucky Thai is expansive, as is the case with many Asian restaurants, and it includes a ton of vegan/vegetarian options, with the exception of the appetizer menu. There are two options, Spring Roll ($4.95) and Tofu Tod ($5.95), which are pretty ordinary, and I guess that is a pretty good percentage of the total appetizer menu, which is eight dishes deep.
The spring rolls, which are deep fried and served with sweet and sour sauce, are pretty pedestrian. The Tofu Tod, which is fried tofu served with special peanut sauce, is closer to unique than most tofu appetizers because it’s served with peanut sauce, which adds more flavor to the dish than most sauces add to most tofu appetizers.
The restaurant serves three soups for these milder spring days. The Tom Ka Soup ($5.95) can be customized with tofu even though the menu lists that it comes with either chicken or shrimp, but careful when you go to chew the tofu. It’s breaded and holds in the hot broth, which squirts out and has tongue-burning potential. Other than that, Lucky Thai’s version of the dish, which comes with mushrooms in a spicy Thai coconut milk broth, isn’t the best that I’ve had, but it’s still very good.
Since Lucky Thai has opened, I’ve tried two of the restaurant’s four curry dishes, the Red Curry and the Panang Curry. The other two are the Green Curry and the Gaung Ped Yang. All of the curry dishes are priced the same – chicken, beef, pork, tofu and/or vegetable for $8.95 at lunch and $10.95 at dinner, meat combination for $12.95 at lunch and $14.95 at dinner and shrimp or seafood combination for the same price as the meat combination.
Out of the two curry dishes that I’ve tried, I prefer Lucky Thai’s Panang Curry, which comes with a protein cooked in a peanut sauce and basil leaves. It’s creamy, spicy and savory and the sauce left behind after the vegetables and tofu are devoured is so good I was tempted to lick the bowl. I didn’t lick the bowl.
The Basil Fried Rice ($9.95), which comes with protein fried with rice, fresh basil, bell pepper and spicy chili sauce, is the best version of that dish that I’ve had. And when I ordered it Thai spicy, they actually made it really spicy, which was great. A lot of times Asian restaurants tone down their spicy dishes for those diners who look like they might have milder palettes, to put it nicely, even if the diners specifically ask for the dish to be spicy. Lucky Thai did not. They kept it real (spicy). And for that I was grateful.
Another entree worth note was the Pad Fresh Ginger ($9.95), which I tried on my most recent visit to the restaurant. It came with protein, fresh ginger, onion, scallions and Hu-nu mushrooms in a black bean sauce and was delightful. It had a slight bite, but was sweet and the ginger and mushrooms gave the dish an earthy flavor.
The wait staff at Lucky Thai was also very attentive, though every time I’ve gone there weren’t more than three or four parties eating. The menu offers brings variety to the W. Broad Street corridor and the food is delicious. Welcome to the neighborhood!
Lucky Thai | 240 W. Broad St. | Falls Church | 571-405-6722 | luckythaifallschurch.com