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Bad Saint in DC - Report

Steve | Jan 28, 201612:27 PM

This tiny restaurant du poche has all of 24 seats, but even then that makes it seem much bigger then it is. Two tiny tables of four, and then the rest are counter seats squeezed into a little L shape. Everything here is in miniature.

Everything, that is, except for portion sizes. This is no dainty hipster cuisine. This is a manly, brazen, strong-flavored Filipino kitchen that has become a destination restaurant, and rightfully so. Because I was alone (and during a snow emergency) , I managed to waltz right in and snag a seat. Normally folks have to to arrive early or very late or be prepared to put your name down on a list.

I was solo at the prized seat in the house, the lone kitchen counter spot. I ordered a salad, main course and dessert, and these could have fed two people. This is definitely an experience for sharing.

I ordered:

Salad of greens, pomelo, and almonds with a habanero vinaigrette.
Garlic fried rice with crab and chicken liver.
Bilo-bilo, a hot rice porridge dessert.

The salad and the dessert were simple looking but had surprisingly complex and wonderful flavors. The fried rice was nice and fluffy and earthy, though this might not be the best time of year for crab. The rice was topped with seeds, a crunchy powder, and judicious slices of very hot red peppers.

Other options on the menu include the oft-ordered ukoy (two gigantic blocks of fried vegetables), a chicken adobo (first sous vide and then into a pan on the grill), and a really good looking casserole of lamb neck, olives, and peppers called kalderatang kordero. If you can swing it, a place to take visitors looking for something special.

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