September 10th, 2017
Washington DC, USA
Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand
Thip Khao opened its doors in 2014 serving Laos Cuisine by Chef Seng. The menu here is extensive and full of variety with a broad selection of snacks, salads, stews, curries and entrees that make it perfect for a group to share. The Jungle menu caters for those more adventurous and willing to explore Lao’s cuisine a little deeper. Dishes are full of explosive and new flavors that creates an excitement every time a new dish arrives to the table.
Som Pak: rice fermented vegetables with tofu sauce
assorted vegetables with chili paste is the welcome greeting to the table
thai iced tea
What are your thoughts on Thip Khao? or have you been to any other Laos Restaurant in the area?
Bobby Pradachitch and Paolo Dugca from restaurants Tip Khao and Restaurant Eve respectively, joined forces to create and bring a little of their Lao/Filipino heritage to Washington DC.
The meal, for roughly 30 guests, took place in the Dolcezza Factory locate right behind Union Market. Two large communal table were the scenario of a meal full of sharing and engaging.
The event started with a selection of snacks and drinks. You could see the chefs in action right since the beginning. Full of energy and smiles, it was a great start of a delicious evening.
My favorite bite by far was the tapioca with fish sauce and mung bean. The texture and flavors were excellent. Ants eggs made their appearance as well which it was a nice indicator that these chefs are not afraid to show it all.
peanuts, eve’s bay leaf, garlic
cotton & reed dry spice rum
one of the best bites of the night: tapioca, fish sauce, mung bean
‘shrimp’ cracker, tendon, tamarind salt
ant egg tart, cashew, 8 month old lardo
chef Bobby plating what it was my favorite bite of the night
The Main Event
Full with emotions and high expectations after a great start with several delicious snacks, we were invited into the main salon. Tables covered in leaves and vegetable baskets awaited our arrival while magical sticky rice baskets arrived at table. Dipping sauces are passed among each other, sparkling cider is poured, introductions, cheers, people laughing, people sharing, having a great time.
sticky rice container
sticky rice was a never ending treat from the chefs
Chefs of Today & Tomorrow
The food kept coming, seafood, noodles, all made their appearance but the “Kamayan Feast” stole the show. A beautiful pork, each part of it perfectly cooked. Sauces, vegetables, rice, and more made a true ‘feast’.
These two chefs are already setting the standards and making headlines in their respective restaurant and cuisines right now. But experiencing them out of their comfort zone with a little more freedom during this pop up, make us wonder how much more they can achieve. Lots of creativity, great attention to the product and a tremendous pride for their cuisines makes these chefs a not only the ones to watch but the ones to bet for. The future is here… and luckily for is Asian.
Back to the main lobby to enjoy a refreshing sorbet while the tables are reset after the feast. We are able to walk a little and get to know more people with the same love and admiration for these chefs. Back at the tables, a pretty lotus flower cookie with ube and jasmine marks the end of a not only fun but delicious event.
I am excited for the the future. As for now, I just can’t wait for their next pop up adventure.
I quite often get ask that question: What are you favorite restaurants in DC? It is a very difficult question as DC has grown and so many amazing restaurants, coffee shops, and bars have open in the last few years. In addition, I am not from DC and I spend most of my days off out town.
Nevertheless, the list below can be considered as my favorites, but is mostly a list that I give to friends who are in town for one or two days. Short list of the places that I think you should not miss.
Colada Shop: opened its doors of their DC location a few months ago. Colada Shop brings Cuban/Miami flavors to the capital. The coffee here is different, and by different I mean better. Great cuban sandwiches and the most amazing guava pasteles. https://www.coladashop.com
A Baked Joint: sister store of baked & wired offers crafted coffee and pastries. Hip space and they do appreciate that you take the time to sip your coffee inside. Any selection will leave you pleased. http://abakedjoint.com
Daikaya: Chef Katsuya Fukushima brings Sapporo-stye ramen to DC. This spot is by far my favorite ramen spot in DC. Walk in only and expect some wait on pick hours. The menu consists of 4 different item plus a list of topins. I love the Vegetable ramen with the addition of pork belly, corn and butter. http://www.daikaya.com
Sushi Taro: Chef Nobu Yamazaki curates the best sushi experience in DC. For a more elevated and interactive experience try the exclusive “omakase counter”. Reservations here are limited. I enjoy a lot to stop by for lunch and try their “Kaiseki” menu which is elegant and diverse. http://sushitaro.com
Jaleo: If you do not know yet, Chef Jose Andres runs this city with 6 restaurants in Penn Quarter and a several more near by. Jaleo was Chef Jose’s first restaurant which opened in 2003 and introduced America to spanish cuisine and most importantly, “tapas” and sharing at the table. Love everything on the menu but I will kill for the “Coca con Erizos”. The Anchovies with pan tomato are a great start and the homemade sausage with mash potatoes are always in my top five. https://www.jaleo.com/location/washington-dc/
Jaleo menu & “Bitter Orange” cocktail
Jamon Iberico de Bellota with Pan con Tomate
Zaytinya: which means olive oil and yes, it is another Jose Andres restaurant, but hey, did you expected less from the most awarded Chef in DC? Zaytinya offer Mediterranean dishes “Mezze” style focusing on Greece, Lebanon, and Turkey. The best pita bread flows constantly at the table and it is best enjoyed with “Htipiti”. Mushrooms and the best Brussels sprouts are found here. Love the Octopus Santorini as well as the Rice Pilaf and Lamb Kleftico. http://www.zaytinya.com
Rose’s Luxury: I have been a fan or Aaron Silverman for a while now and is probably because of this place. Rose’s Luxury brought to DC the Neo Bistro style location which had a great success in Europe and proved him right. This place does not only served really delicious food but also has a very accessible prices. Yes, you have to line up before 5pm when they open doors but I promise you, it worth every second of your time. Do as I may, and order one of each from the menu. https://www.rosesluxury.com
Welcome Bread at Roses Luxury
The Dabney: Chef owner Jeremiah Langhorne takes pride on working with the finest local producers and showcasing the best local products available on your plate. The open wood-fire kitchen allows them to stay true to its classic cooking methods. Reservations here are accessible and the bar seating is great for last minute walk-ins. Menu is diverse but not extensive. I usually order anything with vegetables here, bonus points when they are cooked over the fire. http://thedabney.com
Ember smoked carrots with whipped ricotta
grilled spicy pork sausage in stew
DESTINATION DINNING (or fine dining if you’ve like…. but define “fine” first)
Minibar: Jose Andres hub of innovation where dinner is not just a meal but a show. Only 12 seats at this restaurant’s chef counter where you get to experience chefs plating the food in front of you. Modern technique meets outstanding product. Expect the unexpected. A night full of surprises and innovation. http://www.minibarbyjoseandres.com
Morels and Faba Beans
Spot Praw and Aloe Vera
Pineapple & Pearls: Chef Aaron Silverman newest restaurant next to Rose’s Luxury. The ambiance here is more curated towards the elegant but yet modern diner. A dozen courses with a healthy doze of table-side presentations make the dinner not only delicious but entertaining. If you are dining solo the seats at the chef counter gives you a closer look at the magic being worked in that kitchen. http://www.pineappleandpearls.com
Plating of the main course
Fennel Absinthe BonBon
Barmini:Located next to minibar, Jose Andres intimate cocktail lab dazzles with modern cocktails and incredible presentations. It is a bright intimate space. Cocktail flights showcasing their latest techniques and over one hundred cocktails on the menu makes this a unique place for a night out. http://www.minibarbyjoseandres.com
Columbia Room: I personally love the tasting menu here as it is a more curated and developed selection of cocktails. The space is dark and beautiful and service very personalized. For a more relaxed experience try “the library”, which does not require a reservation, here you will find a larger list of libations and an amazing list of rare spirits. http://columbiaroomdc.com
Copy Cat: this is probably the bar I (and all industry) may frequent the most. Devin Gong and team craft perfect cocktails in a very casual environment. Classics are my choice here but they keep a ever changing list of creations on their wall behind the bar. I also “love” the soup here. http://www.copycatcompany.com/#home
LATE (VERY LATE) NIGHT:
Wise Guy Pizza: Pizza by the slice? NY style? you got it in this little corner on H street. Opens until “very” late. A wide selection of pizzas are available all day. I usually go for the Margherita and 5 other slices. http://www.wiseguynypizza.com
New Big Wong: yeap, I am not kidding, but this little Chinatown restaurant on H street is where you will find chefs and restaurant people after work. Scallop fired rice are the best I have tried here. Love the beef chow fun and the garlic scapes. This is probably the restaurant I have been the most. http://newbigwong.com
So, next time you are in DC for a short time, I may just send you this link. But DC has something for everyone.
“Mirabelle is a contemporary celebration of the American and French table offering refined fare from James Beard Award-winning Executive Chef Frank Ruta and Pastry Chef Aggie Chin. Influenced by modern American hospitality sensibilities, Mirabelle provides an inviting and sophisticated setting perfect for dining and entertaining in the heart of D.C.’s bustling downtown neighborhood, just two blocks north of the White House.”
“The new concept by restaurateur Hakan Ilhan (L’Hommage Bistro Francais, Ottoman Taverna, Al Dente and Alba Osteria), showcases Ruta and Chin’s approach to refined French fare and is intended to be a neighborhood gem and dining destination for any time of the day. It was at the White House where Ruta played an integral role on the kitchen team responsible for serving the First Families, world leaders and dignitaries under the Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations.”
Bamboo #2 – Dolin Dry Vermouth, Gilles Brisson Pineau des Charentes, Angostura & Orange Bitters Washington Mule – Noble Dame Calvados, Ginger, Lime, Angostura Bitters, Soda Boulevardier – Redemption Bourbon, Campari, Byrrh Grand Quinquina
House smoked Tasmanian sea trout
Dauphine potato, lemon creek fraiche and smoked trout roe.
House Smoked Tasmanian Sea Trout
House Smoked Tasmanian Sea Trout
Tart of warm white asparagus from Provence
Ora King salmon, toasted seeds, and green almond oil
Tart of Warm White Asparagus from Provence
Tart of Warm White Asparagus from Provence
House Made Bread
Wild caught John Dory ‘Dieppoise’
Bouchot mussels royale, sauce Americaine and Kenner Square mushrooms 🍄
Stuffed breast and confit shoulder of Shenandoah spring lamb
Spring nettle and mint emulsion and baby leeks & carrots. This was such an outstanding dish!
“Cheese from the cart”
🧀 mimolette, Normandy 🇫🇷
🧀 goot essa, ‘felsa yehr’, Pennsylvania 🇺🇸
🧀 goat lady, North Carolina 🇺🇸