Weekend Recap Part Deux: Little Serow

Little Serow

1511 17th Street NW
Washington DC 20036

In weekend Recap Part 1 I mentioned the Hubs and I ate at a restaurant called Little Serow.  I even talked about the process of actually getting to sit down to dinner.  It was such an experience that it truly deserved its own post.

Outside of Little Serow (Image Credit:sclusivo.blogspot.com)

Little Serow is an interesting little restaurant.  It only holds 28 people-ish, and the decor consists of a “tin roof” ceiling, turquoise walls and is very minimalistic. You can see the kitchen and staff working as you eat, and there are 3 servers, 1 of whom is the co-owner.  We sat at their center island on stools, which because the floor is poured concrete were off kilter.  This likely would annoy most people but I didn’t even remotely care, especially once the food came out.  (I wasn’t able to take any pictures, they do not allow flash photography  or video so I am borrowing these from other sources (which are linked)).

Little Serow (Image Credit: Bon Appetit Magazine)

The way the restaurant works is it is a $45 prefix menu plus wine/beer/drinks. 

They serve you only what is on the menu. 

If you don’t eat it, too bad, so sad.

— —

The wait staff was incredible.  The NICEST people you’ll ever meet.  You’d expect them to be pretentious but that they were not.

We weren’t sure which wine to go with and they were extremely accommodating and honest.  The Hubs and I both went with the recommendations.  I had a German White  and The Hubs had a Lambrusco? (not 100% certain about the name/spelling).  They brought out a little container of sticky rice & a basket of other veggies, and then proceeded to explain that these items were to be used to balance the heat and intense flavors we were about to experience.  They said it would makes sense once we started to eat.

Little Serow (Image Credit: BonAppetit Magazine)

Interest. PIQUED.

The first  of 7 “courses” came out, it was called “nam prik num“… yeah I don’t know what that means either but they served us Pork Skins which we used to dip into salsa-type mixture of chilies, shallots and shrimp paste (could be wrong about specific ingredients). It was Delicious and Spicy!! Holy heat batman! It was a gradual heat and of course we were trying to save the basket-o-veggies in case we “needed” it later, so we toughed it up and sucked down our water/wine.

Course 1 (Image Credit: http://www.tangmeister.com)

The 2nd and 3rd courses came out together the 2nd was called “tom kha gapi” which was  shrimp, ramps & galangal. OH and of course chilies… so it was spicy!! This was a soup and we were meant to dip the rice into it.   So we did delve into our reserve sticky rice and it all started to make sense in my mouth.  The 3rd course which went well with the soup was “soop naw mai” this was a salad-type mixture of bamboo shoots, salted snakehead fish topped with rice powder.  This particular dish was salty, sweet and acidic all at the same time.  The coconut in the soup helped to balance this meal.  Foodie, I am not, nor pretend to be but I’m starting to finally “get it.”

Snake Head Fish (Image Source: s3.amazonaws.com)

Soup (Image Source: s3.amazonaws.com)

The 4th course was “gai laap chiang ma” …yahhhh girlfriend ate Chicken Liver & liked it! WHAT, hold. the. phone.  This course was smokey and salty.  They served it with cabbage leaves.  It kind-of reminded me of eating Chicken Lettuce Wraps but on a whole other level.  Like to even compare the two does not do it justice.

Chicken Liver (Image Source: s3.amazonaws.com)

The 5th course was one of our favorites (all the courses were delicious) but this one deserves a special shout out.  It was called “naem khao tod” this was crispy rice, sour pork sausage and peanuts in a chili based sauce.  The crispy rice was divine! I popped one in my mouth and literally turned to hubs and said “OMG, you have to try this.”  I haven’t said that since love at first bite into the pansotti at Del Posto in NYC.

Have I mentioned yet that each and every one of these courses is incredibly spicy? 

I feel bad for course 6 because I don’t fully remember it. I think I was still in heaven from course 5 or drowning my mouth and lips with agua.  The Hubs was drunk by this point also so he’s of no help (thanks for nada homie).  It was called “gai lan bla kem” and consisted of salted fish, egg and “greens”.  I really feel bad that I cannot remember it because I know it was delicious.

The last main course came and this was the “si krong muu” or as I would call it Fall Off The Bone & Your Chair pork ribs with a mekhong (thai) whiskey sauce topped with dill & crispy onions.  I was so full at this point that it was a struggle to actually put anything more into my stomach.   But the pork was so incredibly freaking delicious, I am not even remotely exaggerating, that I powered through and ate it all anyway.  We were STUFFED… and still wanted more.

Course 7 (Image Credit: http://www.tangmeister.com)

MORE WE GOT!

The Pièce de résistance was when they brought out the coconut sticky rice for dessert. Ahhhhhhhh.  The perfect finish to the perfect meal. 

Coconut Sticky Rice (Image Source: s3.amazonaws.com)

This meal was a culinary experience like no other.  We’ve eaten at pretty good restaurants in NYC (Del Posto, Daniel… etc) but nothing quite compared to the service and taste explosion that went on during this meal.

I will caveat this by saying that this may have been the spiciest meal I’ve ever eaten.   The heat never compromised the integrity of the individual flavors.  So if you’re now interested, and no they did not pay me to write this, just be careful if you’re not adventurous and don’t like spicy food.

Weekend Recap Part 1: DC & Baltimore

This past weekend The Hubs and I spent a weekend in DC with a stopover in Baltimore.  I had a half marathon to race so we decided to drive down Saturday AM and spend the weekend, sightseeing, eating and then stop at Baltimore on the way home.  I’m going to give you the weekend recap here and the race recap tomorrow or the next since that will be a long post… so buckle up!

On Saturday Morning The Hubs and I woke up at 5 (we love this recently) showered and packed up to leave at 6.  In true form we left at 6:45 and got Dunkies. We made incredible time and got to D.C. by 10am! woo hoo.  We went straight to Arlington.  The Hubs grandfather (who is known as Poppop) was buried in Arlington, after surviving as a POW in a German Camp during WWII.  He flew a P-47 Thunderbolt and was shot down and held captive.  The stories are amazing, and I am so lucky to have been able to know him.  The Hubs was incredibly close with him so this was an important part of our visit.  While there we also wandered over to the JFK eternal flame, which I don’t ever remember seeing before as well as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Poppop's Grave - Arlington

Poppop’s Grave – Arlington

After visiting Arlington we made our way to Georgetown to get to the Nike Women’s Expotique (YES, “Expotique”).  More on this in tomorrow post because I could go on… for.a.while.  We walked around Georgetown a bit (hubs had never been).  Then ate lunch on the water.  It was a gorgeous day and we wanted to get something light and healthy with a great view.  It was perfect.  We even got some color!! hey hey!! Red Arms Rock.

trying on hats at expotique

trying on hats at expotique

After being done in G-Town, we went back to the hotel.  Through the Nike Women’s Series we were able to get a really great price on a hotel in Foggy Bottom.  If you know the area or don’t, we basically were .5 miles from The White House and in the heart of GWU.  We stayed at the State Street Plaza Hotel.  It was a cute little place, pricey if it weren’t for the discount but the room was HUGE.  Like, the size of our last apartment huge, with a kitchen, living room, separate bedroom.  THE WORKS.  You could literally live there. Except that the only downside was that it looked like it was last updated in the 1950s. True Story, I felt like I was staying overnight at someone’s grandparent’s home.  But it was clean and the proximity to the start/finish line and the major attractions was key.  I recommend it if you do not care about the furnishings!

cute little georgetown canal

cute little georgetown canal

Since we had a busy morning we decided to continue on and walk around The Mall, see the White House “Where’s the POTUS” was my favorite quote of the weekend.   And then head to a restaurant that has gotten RAVE reviews but you have to stand in line to get into.  The Hubs and I are obsessed with Thai Food as of late and decided on “Little Serow.” It was a 25 minute walk from our hotel so perfect for us.  Little Serow if you have not heard about it was listed in GQ’s “The 12 Best Restaurants of 2013.” Here’s the link to the GQ Article. The restaurant is located in the basement of what looks to be a residential area.  The previous locale was home to a Dunkies! They open daily at 5:30pm, there is no phone  they do not take reservations, oh and there is no sign on the restaurant… We got to the place at 4:45.  There was already a line. We were approximately number 10 on the line.  People would come and hold spots for multiple other people so even if you thought “oh! we’re only number 10” that quickly doubled or tripled.  At 5:30 they start letting people in to sit, if you don’t get in on the first seating you give them your cell phone and they call/text you at the approx time they say and you just have to get back to the restaurant within 10 minutes.  We unfortunately did not get in right away so we put our names down, walked down the street to a bar and I watched the Hubs enjoy a cold bevvie on the hot day… I drank water. with lemon. At 7:15 we got the text letting us know our spot was ready.  I started to write more about the experience but realized it truly deserves its own post… so come back tomorrow for my review!!

Georgetown

Georgetown

After dinner we had plans to go stalk (not literally, well maybe) the White House Correspondents Dinner (uhmm hello Anderson Cooper (silver fox) was there!) and after parties, but the more we walked the more my legs started to hurt.  Not in the sore kind of way, but I actually thought that I was getting blisters on my outer thighs from my jeans.  So instead we booked it back to our hotel room and I discovered that I didn’t have blisters but I had rashes all over my legs. So that was cool.  I think it was from wearing jeans all day & walking everywhere in the heat.  But I freaked out and we went to CVS to get A&D, Aloe & moisturizer.  I tried everything even ice packs on the rash.  I was freaking out about the race, had a mini meltdown, but went to bed hopeful it would be gone in the morning.  Cliff hanger! You’ll have to read my post on the race to find out if they went away.

DC

DC

Sunday morning we got up nice and early (5am) to get to the starting line of the race.  After the race we cleaned ourselves up and headed to Baltimore.  Hubs and I wanted to check out the aquarium and get some crab cakes.  “Crab Cakes and Football!…”  Well the weather decided to go from nice during the race to poopy pretty quickly.  But we ate outside on the Inner Harbor anyway at McCormick & Schmicks Grille, this area was chain restaurant central and after eating at Little Serow, I’ve become a restaurant snob. So we settled on M&S Grille.  It was still good! I’m just spoiled now. haha.  Once done with lunch and after Hubs got the ketchup the waitress spilled all over him out of his pants, we made our way to the Aquarium.  I haven’t been in a long time!! So we were super excited but after walking around for a while I think we both realized (besides the fact that walking through an aquarium after a half marathon isn’t ze best idea) that we are at a weird age in our lives…  We’re a little too old to be at an aquarium, unless you have children.  Might be the first time we have ever felt that way.  But it was fun none-the-less!!  “I don’t know about you but I’m feeling 22!!” (Seriously, we’re children together).

We sat in a heck of a lot of traffic on the way home but we had a wonderful weekend together and a ton of laughs.