515 Florida Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20001
Neighborhood: U Street/Shaw
Nearby Metro Stops: Shaw-Howard University
Price Range: Inexpensive
Noise Level: Intimate
Reservations: Not Needed
Salmon in red curry; spring rolls; larb gai (ground chicken and onions in lime juice); pork ribs in green curry; pad Thai; Pad King Tofu.
Why go: Taw Vigsittaboot’s Thai place—in an English basement in DC’s Shaw neighborhood—is a one-man show, which means you have to place your dinner order when you make a reservation and call for takeout two days in advance. But the assertively spiced curries and brightly flavored salads are worth it.
What to get: Larb gai, the fiery minced-chicken salad; salmon in lush red curry; Panang curry chicken; pad Thai; peanutty Chicken Vigsittaboot.
Best for: Offbeat dates; carryout.
Insider tip: Portions are smaller than the family-style plates at most Thai restaurants, so you’ll want an entrée for each person.
>> See all 2010 Cheap Eats restaurants here.