by April Watts
3462 14th Street, NW,
Washington DC 20010
Naming a restaurant “Thaitanic” is both great marketing and a clever play on words. But, there’s one caveat to such a magnificent name—living up to it. Whether one’s mind veers to powerful, Greek deities or the most impressive (though ill-fated) luxury steamship of the 19th century, the analogy is seductive. One glance at the signage and hungry passersby enter Thaitanic II with great expectations. Disappointingly, the name is an over-statement.
The visual set up of Thaitanic II is amazing from the moment you walk in the door until the moment food and drink are placed before you. Much like the name of the restaurant, the design is impressive. The traditional Thai décor is colorful and ornate; a visual treat that has patrons anxiously awaiting the first morsel of their appetizers and entrees.
Even the menu is attractive. A shimmering, gold leather cover bearing the Thaitanic logo holds a wide variety of offerings. The dish descriptions make choosing just one, a difficult task.
Thaitanic II also has good food presentation. Items are neatly placed on contemporary dishes and accented with garnish.
After such a strong lead in, tasting the food is anti-climatic. The spring rolls were “good”; though tough to chew, the papaya salad was “good”; and the chicken drunken noodle was “good”.
Thaitanic II has a full bar stocked with an impressive selection of liquors but don’t rush to meet your colleagues there for happy hour. While the bartenders pour drinks, they are not particularly skilled at mixing them.
Overall, Thaitanic II is a decent place to grab a bite to eat, but the name and image projected by the restaurant are somewhat misleading as the food does not measure up.
*Located on 14th Street in Columbia Heights, Thaitanic II is the second location in what appears to be a growing franchise. The first location is in Logan Circle.