Doors open at 6:00pm for the first round of seating at this reservationless underground restaurant in Dupont. However, snagging a front row parking spot and arriving an hour ahead doesn’t guarantee first place at the front of the line. My friend and I arrived 5th in line around 5:00pm on a Saturday afternoon and watched as more and more hopeful diners piled behind us, wrapping around the corner.
For $45 per person, Chef/Owner Johnny Monis–also behind the popular award-winning resto next door–serves a fixed Northern-Thai inspired meal that increases in heat with each course.
1) Sweet rice milk.
You’re going to need a lot of this if you’re a chili-whimp (like me). No worries-the first refill is complimentary!
2) Fresh alternative to crackers
Throughout the meal, use this basket of sliced radish, cucumbers and lettuce as a foundation for your meal.
3) Crispy Papaya Salad
The crispy papaya salad with scallions, red onion, and crispy dried fish has little red chilies that are no joke. It’s a sweet, tangy salad that’s addicting, but unless you can handle the heat–I’d avoid the little chili flakes.
4) Naem Khao Tod
– Deep fried rice puffs are something I’ve never had before. They’re like crispy tater tots but made with smooth, chewy rice balls.
5) Gai Lan Bla Kem
– One of the only warm dishes, this bean sprout and green bean stir fry with eggs and salted fish
6) Si Krong Muu
Pork ribs with mekhong whiskey sauce and dill–my tongue was zapped by the time this came out.
7) Stick rice cakes
Soft coconut sticky rice cubes with speckled with sesame seeds.
1511 17th St NW
(between N P St & N Church St)
Washington, DC 20036
Neighborhood: Dupont Circle