Washington, DC: Little Serow

I have waited a long time to go to Little Serow mainly because you have to get there early, and stand in line in the hopes that you will get one of the 28 seats in one of only two daily seatings Tuesdays-Thursdays.

My friend Stacey from Every Food Fits was determined to finally go try it and I could think of no better dining companion to go with. We planned and counted down until the day of our anticipated dinner there.

Guests being seated

We arrived at about 5:00pm on a Wednesday, only a handful of people ahead of us. The line grew quickly after we arrived. We were seated promptly at 5:30pm. Our host was gracious and friendly, even when we came in with a stroller and a very chatty toddler in tow. I was surprised at how upbeat and friendly everyone was. I was fully expecting the sense of entitlement that comes with a successful restaurant, but there was no arrogance, no high-brow attitude at all.

Instead, the happy bright seafoam green walls welcomed us. Our server explained the menu and dishes for the evening. Our only worry was that the food would be too spicy, as friends had mentioned this to us. But our fear turned out to be unfounded. Chef Johnny Monis brought out the first couple of dishes. Dishes kept coming out, and we wondered how we would manage to eat all of it.

My favorite dish was the catfish coconut soup (tom kha pla duk). I knew I would fall in love with this soup before I even tasted it. The Makrut lime and galangal make it incredibly aromatic. Then you taste the layers of flavor: sweetness from the palm sugar, and savory notes from chilies and lemongrass. I seriously thought about asking our server if I could get 10 quarts of it to take home with me.

So, was it worth it? Absolutely. Here are the dishes we enjoyed. Two dishes not photographed: crispy rice bites with cilantro and peanuts and the tender pork ribs with dill.

If you haven’t been to Little Serow yet, you must go try it. And if you have already been there, go back for that amazing soup.

Side salad: romaine lettuce leaves, Thai eggplant, radishes, cucumbers, and basil

Airy and crispy pork skin with a spicy side sauce

Corn salad with dried shrimp

Pork with lemongrass

Aromatic soup with Makrut lime, galangal, palm sugar, and catfish

Shredded pumpkin with egg, holy basil, and crispy tofu cubes

Sticky rice and coconut custard squares with toasted sesame seeds

Little Serow Menu for the Week of September 12, 2012

nam prik kapi
shrimp paste / palm sugar / crispy pork skin

som tum khao pod
corn / dried shrimp / bla rah

tom kha pla duk
catfish / galangal / khi nu chilies

laap chiang mai
pork / lemongrass / sawtooth

khao tod
crispy rice / mint / peanuts

phat fuk thong
pumpkin / egg / holy basil

si krong muu
pork ribs / mekhong whiskey / dill

Author: onevanillabean

I have loved cooking and baking since I was 5 years old. It was the one activity that I would share with all my extended family. Like most people, I love traveling. I love visiting the markets, exploring unknown ingredients, and bringing them back home with me for inspiration. I find that recipes with simple and pure ingredients yield the best results.

3 thoughts

  1. Oh wow I would have had many choices with this menu. Been dying to go but what was holding me back was all the pork but here I can count multiple dishes I can have. It all looks delicious however. 1, 5, 6 & 7 look amazing!

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