100 Best Restaurants 2008: Bangkok 54

No. 84: Bangkok 54

Cuisine: Vibrant Thai cooking as stylish as it is substantive.

Mood: The gray-and-red palette, stone friezes, and recessed shelving holding silver Thai antiques all add up to the area’s chicest Thai eatery.

Best for: Diners seeking the buzz of downtown-DC dining without the parking hassle and crowds. Night owls can nosh in the new lounge till midnight weekdays and 1 am weekends.

Best dishes: Fiery roast-duck salad with a hit of lime; shrimp with Thai herbs deep-fried in a wonton wrapper; crispy pork with garlic-chili sauce and fried basil leaves; a delicious dish of tofu in dry sauce with basil and garlic; coconutty red duck curry; stir-fried watercress with black-bean sauce; steamed fish with chili and lemon; coconut ice cream.

Insider tips: Owner Nack Vorathiankul’s brothers make several trips a week to area markets to make sure the veggies and seafood in their mother’s cooking are fresh.

Service: ••

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.