Just got in from the tundra that is DC and wanted to file a quick report on some of the notable eats I had in town.
Got into town earlier than expected and headed right over to Little Serow. Already a line at 5:00 and was only able to get into the 10:00 PM (which ended up being 9:45) seating.
A lot has been written about LS, so I'll just try to add my 2 cents. The reservation system is awful. I totally understand and have waited in lines to get into places in NYC and other locales, but they were all smaller than LS and the first operation of the chef. There is no reason they can't sell ticketed reservations if they are looking to avoid no shows. The whole process just reeks of pretense and ego. But, then again, I did wait in the line, so there is that. But the well heeled clientele getting dropped off at Komi while I was there leads one to believe Monis can spring for tickets.
The food, though. Wow. Extremely complex and unique to anything you probably have ever had outside of Thailand. It wasn't nearly as cheffy as I had imagined, which I loved. The beverage pairing was good, but the food is stellar. Only matching the food is the service. Best I've ever had in DC. Even on that first time in to put your name down they are patient, courteous, and genuine. A really wonderful staff. When we ate at around 9:30 on Valentine's Weekend, the restaurant was about 40 percent full. My suggestion is to just show up late if you can't get there early. Save yourself the hassle.
Also got to Red Hen and had an outstanding meal. The service here was a little off, but the food is simple, beautiful, and deeply satisfying. The pastas are where it's at, and the large portions are great. The short rib was underwhelming and overcooked. The sausage ragu is everything I've read. Maybe the best pasta I've had in a year. Really great place.
My favorite place in DC on this trip? Red Apron.
The entire concept is so much fun and the sandwiches are phenomenal. Reminds me of Publican Quality Meats in Chicago but more inviting and warm. The Partisan is at the top of my list for my next trip to the District. Chef Anda is someone I'll be watching. Find a better roast beef than his, I dare you to try!
All in all, another great trip and I can't wait to come back when the temperature is more conducive to human life. DC is one of my favorite food towns and only getting better each visit!