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Best reasonably priced restaurants in D.C., fish / thai / vietnamese

Check out Baan Thai (the old Tsunami.) Really good stuff going on.

Another thought--and it's not cheap, cheap--but it is exceptionally cheap for what it is: go to Little Serow. It's incredibly special food, well worth it.

Where can I buy dried New Mexico chiles in NW DC or SoMoCo?

Not positive, but I'd strongly suggest checking out capitol super market on 11th st.

2015 Chinese New Year Dinner

I'll bump this back up -- anyone have recommendations for good restaurant events tomorrow night?

Thanks in advance.

Report: Tsunami

After seeing some articles about Tsunami's new Baan Thai menu, I finally went to check it out last night. My initial impression: exceptionally legit menu, and excellent execution. I actually think some of the food would give Doi Moi a run, at 50-65% the cost. Some might be better. There were a few misses, however, too.

Three of us ordered 4 small plates and 2 mains.

Small plates:

Crispy rice cakes with chicken and shrimp - Khao dtung naa túng
-- Outstanding dish. Would easily order this again. Perfect balance of sweet, spicy, crunchy. I highly recommend this order.

Green mango salad - Yum má-mûuang
-- Also an outstanding dish. Just the right spice level, in my view. Terrifically enjoyable, and better than what I recall at Doi Moi. A generous portion.

Chicken stuffed in a tapioca skin - Saa-kuu sâi gài
-- This too is a must repeat. Six tapioca chicken balls to the order. The texture is fantastic, and a really delightful dish.

Grilled lemongrass shrimp - Goong yâang dta’krái
-- This was entirely skip-able. Four small shrimp, well cooked, but nothing interesting. There is too much other good stuff on the menu, in my view, to get bogged down here.


Guuai-dtiiao tom yum moo dang gài sup -- Tom yum noodle soup with roasted pork & ground chicken
-- This was an excellent dish, and certainly an entree serving. A large amount of pork and chicken, pork rinds for crunch, a delicious soup. The noodles weren't the most exciting, but everything else about this dish was a complete win.

Beef curry noodles - Guuai dtiiao kehk núua
-- DO NOT ORDER. We asked the server about this, he gave it a polite "meh" and pointed to other dishes. We ordered it anyway -- mistake! Although the broth and noodles were delicious, the beef itself was stew meat that certainly had not been stewed to an edible point. Not at all good.
-- That said, and in a sign showing that this chef is not pulling any punches, the broth was loaded with tripe. This was a very welcome surprise, given that tripe was not so much as mentioned on the menu!

In short, for those going, I have two main take aways from my experience:

1) Although generally true, listen to the waiter! He steered us away from the one mistake order and didn't warmly recommend the shrimp either. Our other orders--which he strongly encouraged--were fantastic.

2) Perhaps it was just the dish we ordered, but the beef used was sinewy, fatty stew meat, and not in an application where stew meat was appropriate. Most of it was inedible. It's possible we just got a bad plate or ordered a bad dish. But while I'll certainly be going back, and soon, I'll be avoiding beef dishes in the future.

Grub near 9:30 Club Washington D.C.

As this is my neighborhood, hopefully I can give a couple ideas.

Dickson Wine Bar: I think their food is terrific for what it is. The craft beer selection is often a bit limited, as I believe that their menu is organic. But the quality of the food, in my mind, makes up for it.

Right Proper -- as mentioned above. And it sounds like you are interested. Re Dino's: I've personally not been terribly impressed by either food or beer lately, but perhaps that is just me. Fishnet -- I'd pass given very iffy food.

Perhaps my favorite restaurant in the area: Izakaya Seki. They have a selection of Japanese craft beers that could be to your liking.

A bit farther: Bar Pilar. Very strong food, good beer options.

If you want to try the "new Shaw" stuff: there are reasonably close places in walking distance in Thally & Chaplin, both with decent beer lists.

Churchkey/Birch & Barley: The king of beer selection. It's a bit of a hike to 9:30 club from here (perhaps 15 minutes?) but not impossible. Easy cab/uber, too.

If you can give a bit more specifics on what sort of food/atmosphere/etc you like, I can try to be more specific in recs.

Thanksgiving Crisis -- Apples

Have you considered calling Smucker Farms on 14th St? They usually carry locally-sourced apples. The selection varies, I think, but they may have some that suit your needs. And they are just north of 14th & U St. Perhaps worth a look/call?

rehearsal dinner in a unique space

I'm curious if anyone has an idea for an interesting rehearsal dinner location. I'm looking at a party of around 50-60 or so. I'm hoping to keep it to $150 / person or less, though I suppose there is some flexibility.

I'd like something with both great food and an interesting space. Rogue 24 or Baby Wale, for example, would be my ideal kind of space from an aesthetic perspective. (But Rogue seems a bit too expensive, I think, and Baby Wale -- well, the food, not so much.)

Bibiana seems a possibility, though not incredibly exciting to me. Is there anything new, good, and small that I could buy out for one night? Shaw/Logan/U St./downtown preferred, though I suppose we'd go anywhere in DC.

Thanks in advance for any recommendations!

Last minute ideas for a date-night reservation?

Have you considered B Too? I think the food is really quite good, and it's usually pretty easy to get a same day reservation on the weekend. It could make a great date spot in the city.

Shaw grazing: A&D and Thally

I'm a shaw resident a few blocks from Thally (hence the handle), and unfortunately my experiences there have been similar to yours. I've been for dinner 3 or 4 times, and the food has never been great.

That said, I wouldn't put Thally in the "high-end" food scene. Take your friend elsewhere to show that we've got great food here.

Estadio Recommendations?

I strongly recommend trying their charcuterie, and, if so, definitely do the mixto plate. Fantastic deal and lots of great stuff. The duck is always wonderful. I do think the menu is solid, through and through.

It may just be a personal preference, but while I love Estadio, I don't actually like the seats in front of the open kitchen that Elyssa recommends. It doesn't give you a whole lot of real estate to work with as a table. I've been unbearably hot sitting over there before. And the worst meal I've had at Estadio was watching them wrap up the kitchen for the night, which was sub-optimal. Watching the fry and grill stations just doesn't really do it for me. Again, though, probably just a preference thing.

V-Day Dinner

As noted in another thread today, although I don't think Casa Luca is bad, I don't think it's great, either. I'd certainly go to Bibiana first, which is roughly the same price point.

If you were forced to spend a big zero birthday working....

As to Casa Luca, since opening, I feel like their prices have crept up significantly. So while it was designed as a more budget option, I don't think it is at this point. I was there a month ago, and our bill exceeded 150 or 175 a couple (and no bottles of wine were ordered, either). I'd put this on par with Proof, Cedar, etc., with respect to cost. Casa Luca in my view is good, but not great. I'd not do this as a big bday celebration dinner.

Bibiana, by contrast, I think is delightful. So to further that suggestion, if you do go the Italian route, I think Bibiana is the strongest choice among Casa Luca, Fiola (too expensive for you), and Bibiana.

If you were forced to spend a big zero birthday working....

Central will be noisy -- the room I was thinking of is in the back, and I'm sure is what they meant by "private dining." So if you can't get that, you don't want to be in the main part of the restaurant. I also think it's fair to say it isn't particularly vegetarian friendly. So, for those twin reasons, I'd probably scratch Central.

I do want to emphasize -- particularly given your interest in cheese, wine, & vegetarian options -- I'd very strongly recommend Proof, if there is any way you can work it into the budget. This is a fantastic place for a big bday celebration, wine and cheese are great, and it is an atmosphere that will appeal across the ages. It's been one of my favorite restaurants for years (I'm now 31), and it is one of my parents' favorite spots when they come visit (in their 70s). And I don't think there is much of a material difference in price between Cedar and Proof, either.

If you were forced to spend a big zero birthday working....

I'd strongly second Proof and Central -- both are excellent spots, but will require some planning for a table of 10. These spots, in my view, have some of the most consistent, excellent food in the city. They're interesting, nice spaces. And metro accessible. (Proof was my, "I'm turning 30 meal," significant other edition).

If you can push the budget, I'd also toss Corduroy on the list. If enough advance time, you could get a great table upstairs. Food is excellent, and good wine selection. It may be slightly easier for a table of 10. But if Bistro Bis is out, so too may be Corduroy. (Corduroy was my, "I'm turning 30 meal," sister edition).

Finally, if you are of the view that Central and Proof are too pricey for the group, I'd suggest reserving an upstairs table at Bistro du Coin in Dupont. Although I'd certainly recommend Central or Proof first, if you need somewhere "budget," but still has excellent food and a good atmosphere and that will accommodate a large party, Bistro du Coin is terrific. A friend recently had a birthday here and it was great. That said, it isn't turning X0 great.

I don't quite see Zaytinya for what you describe, as it is a bit loud. Also, unlike Central, Proof, or Corduroy, the conceit at Zaytinya is small plates to be shared with the table. Although this is great if you are with family and friends, I steer away from this concept when with work associates. And Cedar has never struck me as amazing, though I haven't been in some time, so others here may have a more relevant sense.

Also I recommend 14th St for something more casual. Proof's two sister restaurants -- Estadio and Doi Moi are both great, though neither take reservations. And there are a huge number of other good spots up and down the street that will be enjoyable for a variety of ages.

Chef for a wine lover's in-home dinner - 5 people

I'm not positive he'd do it, but if price isn't much of an issue, Dan O'Brien from Seasonal Pantry comes to mind. I'd suggest getting in touch with him to see if he'd be game. His food is fantastic, and he seems to travel with his supper club on occasion.

What are some "shouldn't miss" dishes at Proof?

third the tuna tartare. it's amazing, and what I consider a signature dish.

They almost always have a duck breast dish that is fantastic. That is often my go-to.

Proof truly is one of my favorite restaurants in DC. For years they have had consistently excellent food with wonderful ambiance. Without going to the price point of Komi, etc., there is no better place to get consistently excellent food in my view.

Table (Frederik de Pue) and Eat the Rich

I live a few blocks away and very badly want to love this place. Friends of mine in the area think quite highly of it.

I've been for dinner 3 times and brunch once. I've walked away entirely unimpressed by the food every time. I've generally found the service fine, and I love the ambiance of the place. But the food, in my view, has been consistently subpar.

In fact, we did brunch just recently, and not one dish was memorable. Both entrees served that day (we ordered one of each) were incredibly unappetizing.

It's so disappointing, because it strikes me as having such wonderful possibility. If others have had a good experience here, I'd appreciate hearing about it, because I can't for the life of me understand why friends of mine from the neighborhood keep going back.

Parents Night Out Processional

This is a very personal preference, but if it were me and I were in your shoes (at least as I imagine it), I'd go to Proof and park there for the night. Wine, beer, and food are all amazing. Desserts are solid. I think the food is of the highest consistent quality. And there are plenty of other places to go in the area after if you wanted variety, but having an evening at Proof would be the respite I'd want.

Other options:
1. Start at the bar at Rogue 24 (with an advance reservation). Have a few bites and drinks as you desire. When you want to do something lower key--but equally as aesthetically pleasing--walk a few blocks over to Baby Wale (should be able to walk in, but an advance ressie can't hurt). If you are still hungry, get a pizza. Otherwise, have a drink and their cookie dim sum.

2. Do a restaurant crawl through Cleveland Park. My suggestion would be start at Palena Cafe for a bite and a drink. Then I'd move to the bar at Ardeo Bardeo. Maybe a dessert there. You could add in Ripple (or Dino's before it closes!) if you want to hit 3 spots.

3. Alternatively, you could do a Barracks row crawl, though it would be a bit difficult on a Saturday given recent wait times (and no advance reservations). I'd start at the bar at Belga Cafe with some outstanding Belgian triple beer. Have some drinks until your table at Rose's Luxury opens (put your name in there before getting Belga). Have some bites and drinks at Roses. And then head for a night cap -- perhaps Sonoma or Beuchert's Saloon.

Anyway, these are the ideas that would top my list given your query.

What's New and Delicious!?

Among those, I'd definitely do Doi Moi first. It is a bit spicy, but work with your waiter to make sure you find your comfort zone. (That said, it was on the spicy end for my girlfriend; I found it great.)

Thally is very good, and I need to go back, but it was a bit on the less interesting end when it opened. I really do need to give it another go soon, though.

Have you been to Baby Wale? Not *amazing* food, but a wonderful spot, and very well priced food. Get whatever soups they have + a pizza.

recommendations for a weekend trip outside DC?

I just wanted to deeply thank everyone for the great recommendations on this thread. We've marked several wonderful ideas, and we will spend the next year or so checking them out. I'll make sure to update this post as we do so. Thanks again.

Dino closing/moving

To say that I'm excited about the move to Shaw is an understatement.

recommendations for a weekend trip outside DC?

Now that you remind me of AVAM, the perfect time for us to visit Baltimore would be next May for the kinetic sculpture race weekend. That was a wild event.

recommendations for a weekend trip outside DC?

Thanks to everyone for suggestions so far. Lots of good ones for us to explore. And please send any more. We try to do a weekend away every 3 to 4 months, so having a list of places for the future is quite welcome.

Re Bmore, I actually lived there for a year (right in the Sotta Sopra building), so I hadn't put that on the list. But you are right, the city is quite fascinating, and my gf has spent little time there. That is certainly something we should do soon.

recommendations for a weekend trip outside DC?

My apologies if this has been covered recently, but I didn't see a thread on it.

My girlfriend and I are looking to take a weekend away -- likely two nights -- within a 2 hour (maybe, at most, 3?) drive of DC. We like good, interesting food. And small towns to explore by day. Similar prior weekend trips have included Charlottesville, Philadelphia, Annapolis, Leonardtown, and Mercersburg. We're looking to do something different this time.

Any genre of food is of interest to us, we just like stuff that is good. Price is totally open, so we don't mind spending $35 or $350 for dinner. (Though, probably not Inn at Little Washington prices, as we'll save that for some time more special.)

Where would you recommend we go, and what restaurants would you suggest along the way? I would love B&B or hotel recs too, but any advice is welcome. Thanks in advance!

Delivery options in Woodley Park?

For Thai, I highly recommend ordering from Beau Thai Mount Pleasant. It's very close, and I'm sure they'll deliver. Outstanding Thai food.

Upscale Mexican in Baltimore or DC???

Steve's suggestions are both good ones.

Depending on your interest in being somewhere that is a bit more of a younger scene, I've always quite enjoyed El Centro DF. It's on the 14th St strip of restaurants, so median age is probably 33-ish. If you get a reservation in the main dining room, I think it's really quite enjoyable. Good food, and nice ambiance.

I'd also potentially add to the list Rosa Mexicana. It likely get less than favorable press around here as it is a chain, so certainly less interesting. But I've always found the food reasonably solid and it is a bit more towards the "formal" end. If your husband would like a high-end chain spot, I'd consider this too. Plus, there are lots of other nice places in the area if you want to add drinks on to the night (barmini, perhaps??). Given that I like more interesting local restaurants as a personal preference, though, I'd choose Oyamel over here for myself.

(Not at all responsive, but for cheap taqueria, you can't beat Mama Chuy. I love that place.)

Rose's Luxury

Absent the ice cream and the crunch on the dish, it certainly would have felt more like an appetizer. (Note, I seem to recall that Belga Cafe across the street often does a foie + waffle starter. Not too dissimilar.) But I think the ice cream sweetened it to dessert territory.

That said, this was certainly on the savory end of dessert dishes (which I like). Likewise, as noted above, the strawberry pasta was certainly on the sweet end of non-dessert dishes. It seems Rose's has little problem with flexibility in their interpretation of what goes where. (In fact, if you asked for it, I'm sure they'd be happy to serve you the foie as an appetizer rather than a dessert, if you so desire.)

Green tomatoes?

Not actually responsive -- as I haven't seen green tomatoes on shelves recently -- but I've had really good fried green tomatillos. The tomatillos, in my view, add a fantastic flavor. And those are probably far easier to find right now.

Rose's Luxury

It was a slice of entier, lightly seared. Although average to thickly sliced, it was either a half slice of a small lobe, or more likely a quarter slice of an average size lobe. Again, the foie gras was modest, but delightful. As full as we were, a larger portion would have been just too much.

It was in accord with what I take to be the clear theme of the menu -- exceptional decadence.

Rose's Luxury

I just got back from a dinner at Rose's Luxury, and I found the hype to be quite well deserved. It was rather crowded for a Monday evening, but we were luckily able to get two seats at the bar by the kitchen.

To begin with, the build out is really quite nice. I love the ambiance. It reminds me in certain respects of Baby Wale -- these spots have got to be two of the most interesting new dining rooms in town. They make much of the dinner party concept; there is absolutely no show of pretension here.

We started with the Vietnamese Pate. It was a very generous portion, great bread, and interesting house pickles. I'll definitely do that again.

A loaf of exceptionally fresh potato bread came next. It was wonderful -- so airy and delicate. And some luscious butter to accompany.

Next arrived the popcorn soup. It was really quite something. Unlike any dish I can recall. (The kitchen is kind to plate it in separate dishes). Absolutely delicious. This strikes me as a must order here.

At our waiter's recommendation, we ordered the fried chicken. Very good, though a slight step down in my mind from the prior two dishes. Certainly worth trying for those who love fried chicken, but I'll be ordering the pork sausage and crispy octopus first before a repeat here. (Both were being enjoyed next to me and look incredible.)

We next had the black pepper strawberry pasta. It was a unique dish; that said, it's not something I necessarily loved. Although the pepper did some to cut through the sweetness, it still felt more like a dessert than a main.

Given we weren't particularly hungry and we wanted to try a variety of small plates, we skipped the larger family style meals. But they looked great going out the kitchen, so I'll plan to try the brisket next time I'm back.

Although we planned to call it at that, the dessert menu had a foie gras dish we decided to try. Foie gras french toast with a cinnamon ice cream. The piece of foie gras was modest, but given how full we were from the dishes prior, that was certainly for the best. The dish was delightful, and a particularly unique pairing with the addition of the ice cream. I'd certainly repeat this.

All in all, this was an incredibly enjoyable casual dining experience. Rose's Luxury is certainly a fitting name, as the menu is nothing but rich, decadent dishes from top to bottom. The food is excellent, and the restaurant is inviting. If it were in Logan or Shaw, I'd go weekly.