Sala Thai's multitalented chefs prepare fresh sushi rolls that share billing on the menu with traditional Thai cuisine. Meals begin with zesty appetizers such as Pinky in the Blanket—deep-fried shrimp swaddled in an egg-roll wrapper ($6.95). In a split second, the entire table vanishes and reappears in a cloud of curry-scented smoke, revealing sizzling entrees such as chicken lemongrass ($8.95–$12.95) and scallop pad phed with spicy hot chili, garlic, and bamboo shoots ($10.95–$14.95). The diner with the quickest chopstick draw will enjoy the first bite of sushi offerings that include the smoked-salmon-cream-cheese roll ($6).
At Thai Tanic II's Columbia Heights location, cooks prepare seafood and poultry curries, peanut-tinged noodles, and exotic salads made from savory chicken larb or fresh papaya. Slender vases of yellow flowers adorn the center of each glossy black-and-yellow table, while a high, lofted ceiling looks down at plates that carry a bounty of pad thai noodles or a single delicious baseball card. Guests can sip tropical cocktails at the bar or chow down on fluffy pillows of seasoned tofu and flavorful mélanges of fresh mussels and seafood.
Growing up in Thailand, Aschara loved helping out in the family kitchen. Her mother taught her how to cook at a young age, and she relished waking up early on the weekends to purchase food from the markets on her own. On those market days, she also gained a deep appreciation for the tasty food sold by street vendors, an appreciation that underlies her menus at Beau Thai. Those menus are packed with fresh, authentic Thai dishes, including a Sunday brunch inspired by the same street foods she loved as a young girl. Meanwhile, her friends and partners Ralph and Drew—natives of North Carolina—bring their own unique perspective to the restaurant, most notably in the craft cocktails poured at the full bar. Spicy, battered Beau Thai chicken pairs perfectly with a Thai basil gimlet, while a sparkling lemongrass cocktail made with homemade limoncello makes a bowl of homey noodle soup or green curry pork feel extra special.
Those who love Asian food in all of its forms can rejoice at Mum Mum, which satisfies grumbling tummies with a variety of Thai, Japanese, and Chinese dishes. Diners start off with the restaurant's signature Mum Mum shu mai, which steams chicken, shrimp, and marinated crab meat in a wonton wrapper, before chowing down on fresh sushi rolls, Thai curries, or Japanese yakisoba noodles. Other signature dishes include tender duck slathered with mango sauce and the surf 'n' turf stir fry?filet mignon paired with jumbo shrimp and scallops.
During warm weather, guests can head up to the eatery's sky deck to devour signature maki rolls and sip cocktails from the outdoor bar. At nighttime, trees illuminated with twinkling lights and bioluminescent sea creatures cast a warm glow over the area.
Little Serow doesn’t take reservations or special requests. They won't seat a partial party, seat more than four people at a table, or open the doors before 5:30. But despite all that, hungry patrons still line up for the change to sample the family-style meals prepared by chef and owner Johnny Monis. The menu of Northern and Northeastern Thai dishes changes weekly, but can include authentically Thai creations such as muu nam tok (pig ears and rice powder), het grapao (mushrooms and egg), and gai laap chiang mai (chicken liver and long peppers). Many dishes have been known to pack a punch, but, luckily, an in-house beer and wine director that has taken great pains to ensure drinks pair well with the spicy cuisine and that all of the cocktail napkins are flame retardant.
Adega serves fresh café fare for lunch and dinner, including delicately swaddled wraps such as The Jerk ($7.49), made with jerk chicken, romaine, avocado, mango, red pepper, mango vinaigrette, and served in a tortilla made of chipotle and misanthropy. Feast with the family on a 14-inch margherita pizza ($11.99) or one of the other Mediterranean flatbreads, or prepare an absorbent nest for flightless wine flights by ordering one of the sandwiches such as The Duke Ellington, a swinging combo of roast beef, caramelized onion, lettuce, tomato, brie, and horseradish cream. The establishment also houses a variety of wines, which are sold by the glass ($4–$9) and bottle ($8.99–$60), but customers are welcome to buy a bottle at Adega during lunch or dinner and have it at the table with their meal. While feasting and sipping, absorb the café's warm and unpretentious décor, replete with ample windows for prime views of passing strongmen bench-pressing parked cars.