1511 17th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
Over the past few years DC has exploded with a number of high quality Southeast Asian restaurants. I’ve documented the surge of Filipino food in DC before, but the growth of Southeast Asian food has also extended to other cuisines like Lao at Thip Khao and Thai at Little Serow. I wanted to try both during my brief time in town two weeks ago but only had time for one, so I chose Little Serow.
Little Serow can be hard to miss, with a relatively nondescript location on 17th Avenue NW. I definitely walked passed it on my way there during my trip. However, its inconspicuousness does not deter it from having its tables constantly filled every night. It’s a testament to the renown of the cooking quality here, years after its grand opening.
The restaurant has a constantly changing prix fixe menu that’s currently priced at $49. The week I was there, this was the following menu:
- Nam prik makeua – This is Little Serow’s version of nam prik (a thick spicy sauce) with eggplant. Normally I’m not an eggplant fan, but grounded up with salted fish and chiles, this was the perfect starter for the night.
- Khanom jin naam yaa – The next dish included perfectly cooked noodles mixed with a catfish curry sauce. Given my preference for less sauce, I would say that there was a little too much sauce for me. However, the flavors were pretty good and it was probably one of my favorite dishes tonight given my love of catfish.
- Ma hor – The jackfruit in this dish matched pretty well with the spiciness of the chiles and the richness of the pork and shrimp. I think I ate this entire dish in less than a minute, if that is any indication of its deliciousness.
- Laap chiang mai – This dish comes with small wedges of cabbage, which I unfortunately swallowed and choked on in the middle of the meal. That aside, I thought this minced sausage was enjoyable, especially with the lettuce and radishes they give you throughout the meal.
- Tow hu thouk – I loved these fried tofu pieces. The ginger paired well with the chiles while the ground peanuts gave a nice crunch to the dish.
- Het grapao – After eating spicy dish after spicy dish, the over easy egg and mushroom were definitely a great way to start cooling down my taste buds.
- Si krong muu – Ending out the night were these well marinated and succulent rib pieces. The meat fell right off the bone and it was definitely a highlight to end the savory portion of the meal.
As a person with little experience eating northern Thai cuisine I can’t really speak to any quality comparisons with other restaurants. However, it was a very tasty introduction to northern Thai cuisine, tasting small bites of dishes that I might otherwise need to eat multiple times at a more traditional entree sized restaurant. In fact, I would say that the introduction to new flavors is why this meal was my favorite of the trip, even beating out my excellent meal at highly regarded Rose’s Luxury.