Cheap Eats 2008: Bangkok 54

Why go: Beyond the trendy loungelike look is a serious kitchen that prizes big flavors and loves to play with textures.

What to get: Poh tak, seafood soup that gets its jolt from roasted chilies; tangy beef salad with fresh mint; crispy pork belly with chili and basil—a similar dish with tofu is also good; whole fish steamed with chilies and lemongrass; spicy red coconut curry with duck; five-spice stewed pork; chili-stoked fried rice with shrimp, chicken, and egg; Bangkok-style catfish curry; luscious young-coconut and Thai-tea ice creams.

Best for: Dates, celebrations, cocktails, and groups of singles out on the town.

Insider tip: During happy hour (5 to 7), draft beers and the lounge menu are half price.

See all 2008 Cheap Eats restaurants

Get Our “Brunches This Weekend” Newsletter

The best breakfasts and brunches to try every weekend, plus our most popular food stories of the week.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.
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 Logan Circle.