Welcome to the Northern Virginia Restaurant Blog.

Restaurant reviews in Tyson's and surrounding area... mostly

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Tara Thai - Falls Church, VA (re-visited many times)

7501-E Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22043
tel : 703.506.9788
E-mail : tarathaifallschurch@gmail.com

Just a quick update that Tara Thai in Falls Church is still awesome. We have reviewed it previously, but just wanted to let you know about the consistency of the food, the service and the overall quality of the dining experience in this neighborhood strip mall restaurant.

For those who like ethnic dives, Tara Thai does not have the ethnic dive vibe.  Its large windows let in a lot of light, its aquarium decor is well-maintained and bright, and its staff all speak excellent English, are cheerful and knowledgeable.  Just needed to get that part out of the way, now on to the restaurant.

There is no dish here that is not absolutely delicious.  It's one thing to have a great selection on the menu, it's quite an added bonus to execute each dish the same way every time for a reliably undeviating experience when you've got the yearn to satisfy that specific craving. Tara Thai Falls Church is a hit every time.

Service is also consistently attentive, friendly and flawless.  Staff here are clearly knowledgeable and happy, while courteous and efficient.  

Last night we decided to stop by for happy hour. Their menu selection is typically listed on the wall. All drinks are half-price (wine, beer and cocktails) and there are about 8 appetizers that are also heavily discounted. Their wine selection during happy hour is limited to only "white or red," so if you'd like a wider selection from their well-stocked bar, be prepared to choose from the non-happy hour menu.  The happy hour appetizer selection is available only at the bar and a few tables nearest the front door. Theoretically, sitting so close to the entrance on a cold January night can feel drafty, but the vestibule is heated and insulated perfectly, so it's quite a comfortable location.  

We have mentioned in previous blogs that the Num Tok (beef salad) here is excellent.  This is an appetizer for those who enjoy intense flavors.  A particularly savory flavor is in the liquid that remains in the cradle of the plate once the beef, red onion, green onions and cilantro garnish are gone.  Their fried calamari appetizer is also excellent.  It comes glazed in a medium-intensity sweet and sour sauce, which is more on the savory side, with diced onions, green peppers and red peppers.  The Spring Rolls are delicate and perfect for finger-food type of snacking with a deliciously-mixed Cosmopolitan or a nice wine.  The Curry Puffs (two to an order) are delicate fried and potato-ey, accompanied by a clear sauce with small jalapeno pieces, which is more sweet than spicy.

The happy hour  section can get quite crowded, but luckily, Tara Thai accepts reservations for that section, which is quite unusual and definitely welcomed!

One thing that we did notice over the many years we have been regular customers at Tara Thai in Falls Church is that the entree portions seem to have gotten smaller.  The small mint that used to accompany the bill was discontinued several years ago.  There were some other changes, that appear to have been a result of needing to meet the bottom line.  Though these small changes are noticeable to folks like us, we still consider Tara Thai to be a wonderful place for a great dining experience and a terrific meal.

We could not sign off without noting that not all Tara Thai's are alike.  We have visited the Tara Thai in Ballston, VA (Arlington) several years ago. Our experience there was nowhere close to the one in Tara Thai Falls Church.  It is no wonder that Tara Thai in Ballston closed.  We have also visited Tara Thai in Vienna, VA and reviewed it here. Our experience there was also far inferior to what we describe here for Tara Thai Falls Church.  Be mindful of these differences and please do not judge them all by your experience in one.

 Cosmopolitan with what's left of the Num Tok appetizer (sorry was too excited to dig in before remembering to take a photo)

Spring Rolls appetizer

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