Khao Man Gai Tod at Side St. & Sushi Bar by iThai

Where I work, there are a number of restaurants that cater to the many businesses and business employees that patron them. Side St. & Sushi Bar is one of those restaurants.

The restaurant has an interesting history. It began as a Tyson’s Corner branch of the iThai restaurant in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., and its name was simply iThai restaurant. Then, the owners opened up a nearby sushi restaurant called Shori Sushi. After maybe about three months, iThai had vacated its location and Side St. & Sushi Bar was born: a combination of iThai and Shori Sushi, except one that (unlike iThai) focuses on Thai “street food” instead of what the average American would consider Thai food (curries, green papaya salad, etc.). Aside from the sushi and the Thai street food, the restaurant does serve some Asian fusion dishes, with the main influences seeming to be Chinese and Korean cuisines (but mainly Chinese).

Anyway, that’s a long paragraph, but that’s my take. While I miss the old iThai (particularly its buffet), this new restaurant is still satisfying. From here on out, I’m talking about their Thai menu, not their sushi menu (which I find overpriced and yielding of remarkably skimpy portions).

Khao Man Gai Tod is a Thai-version of Hainanese Chicken and Rice that’s really reminiscent of Japanese katsu dishes. This particular dish is chicken, fried and served with rice as well as a standard Thai-style sweet chili sauce. It’s not overly complicated (as street food tends not to be) but it’s really tasty and the fried coating actually stuck onto the chicken (unlike many of the tonkatsus that I’ve had where it detached from the meat).

A close-up:

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It was really crispy. And overall, really tasty.

Up to you if you think that $11.99 is a fair price for this dish. I think it’s a fair price for what you’re getting, but the dish is listed a lunch special, and I think anything hovering much beyond the $10 range is really cutting it close (if not missing the mark).

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Anyway, I love the owners and the food is really tasty, but the restaurant has some identity issues it needs to figure out (most notably how its website is still the old iThai restaurant website, which is very confusing at first). It’s got potential, for sure. Holding out for you!

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