A recent comment suggesting Ruan is less expensive than Nava didn’t mesh with my own experience, and prompted me to do a little price study among those two plus Suporn and Dusit. I am using online menus — for Dusit, which has no website of its own, I am using Foodler — so there could be errors or outdated information, beyond any errors I make on my own. Also, Thai food is incredibly diverse, and there is only so much overlap among all four menus, so it can be tough to compare many dishes. Also, portion sizes may slightly vary, though in my experience all four restaurants are quite close in this regard, except in terms of soup portions, so I’m skipping the tom kha gai. Also, Suporn’s online menu seems to be missing a bunch of sections.
Also, never start a land war in Asia, and never choose the wine in front of me.
With those caveats in mind, here are a few comparisons:
Som Tum Papaya Salad: Suporn $8 — Dusit $7.50 — Nava $6.95 — Ruan $5.95
Pad Thai: Dusit $10.95 — Nava $9.95 — Ruan $9.95 — (not listed on Suporn site but I know they have it, and I bet they charge about ten bucks!)
Kaprow!: Suporn $9.95 (beef) — Ruan $12.95 (duck) — Nava $11.95 (duck) — Dusit $11.95 (duck)
Panang curry: Ruan $9.95 — Dusit $10.25 — Nava $9.95
Ruan has several catfish dishes at $11.95; Nava has a half-dozen tilapia dishes at $12.95. That’s just a handful of examples, but prices look pretty comparable and even identical in some cases, again assuming the online menus are current. So I don’t think it is rational to decide which of these fine establishments to visit based on price. Let ambiance and especially personal taste be your guide! I will continue to rank Nava above all others, but they’re all good, and reasonable palates can disagree (and it sounds from various comments like Nava is not best for vegetarians/vegans, a point I am not qualified to address).