Kanlaya Thai Cuisine

Downtown - Penn Quarter - Chinatown

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In a Nutshell

  • Varied menu of flavorful fare
  • Ample vegetarian options
  • Vibrant Chinatown location

The Fine Print

Promotional value expires Aug 8, 2011. Amount paid never expires. Limit 1 per person. Limit 1 per table. Reservation required. Gratuity not included. Not valid with other offers. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

Thai food attempts to balance the five fundamental flavors: hot, sour, sweet, salty, and victory. Score a win for your mouth with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of authentic Thai fare at Kanlaya Thai Cuisine in Chinatown. Kanlaya serves an extensive menu of ambrosial vegetarian and meat-studded plates in a warm, vibrant setting. Flavorful appetizers providing a piquant primer, warming taste buds with selections such as noodle-filled Thai spring rolls ($4.95 lunch, $5.50 dinner) before testing their mettle on a mouthwatering main course. Sink teeth into spicy Southern seafood, a free-swim of shrimp, squid, and scallops in roasted-chili sauce ($14.95), or satisfy a herbaceous hankering with steamed tofu nueng, featuring soft tofu, fresh ginger, and vegetables in black-bean sauce ($8.95 lunch, $9.95 dinner). Kanlaya’s cheerful Chinatown location provides an edible excursion, entertaining bored mouths without tiresome tongue twisters or neck-cramping earlobe juggling.


Washingtonian Magazine and the Washington Post featured Kanlaya Thai Cuisine. More than 140 Yelpers and 21 Yahoo Locals give Kanlaya Thai Cuisine an average of 3.5 stars and TripAdvisors give it an average of 3.5 owl eyes.

Kanlaya Thai Cuisine

After strolling past clusters of Chinese eateries and shops, it might be a bit surprising to find an authentic Thai restaurant in the heart of Chinatown. The aroma wafting out of Kanlaya Thai Cuisine’s kitchen is unmistakably one of Thai cooking—a tangy mixture of basil, chili, black bean spice, and kaffir lime leaves. The fragrance only grows stronger and more enticing upon entering the bright, clean dining room and taking a seat at one of the glossy wood tabletops. Attentive servers bustle across the hardwood floors of the elegant space, taking orders, making suggestions, and noting diners’ spice preferences. Bartenders dart about behind a tiny corner bar, doling out imported beers and garnishing fruity cocktails with umbrellas and fresh fruit.

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, chefs are hard at work, folding natural ingredients into a sweeping array of aromatic traditional dishes. Using time-honored Thai cooking techniques, the chefs whip up fiery coconut curries, tangy fried rice, and noodle dishes with meat, seafood, and tofu. To craft their specialty pottery shrimp—a favorite of food critic Robert Shoffner of the Washingtonian—the chefs simmer shrimp, cellophane noodles, napa cabbage, and mushrooms in exotic spices. The chefs take great care in the presentation of their dishes, decorating meats with swirls of carrot flowers, serving rice in bowls made of pineapple halves, and dishing pad thai noodles onto plates made of Renaissance oil paintings.

Customer Reviews

pad thai pretty good
Ty S. · December 25, 2013
Food and service were excellent! I'll definitely be going back.
Karen P. · November 16, 2013
I will definitely come back.
Norissa D. · November 12, 2013
Merchant Location Map
  1. 1

    Downtown - Penn Quarter - Chinatown

    740 6th St. NW

    Washington DC, District of Columbia 20001

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