Cheap Eats 2012: Rabieng

Cheap Eats 2012

Country Thai cooking gets its due in this casually rustic dining room. The place minds the details: There are intricate hand-painted pillars, a beer roster that includes Fat Tire Amber Ale and Beerlao Dark, and a menu marrying the familiar with the lesser known.

Go for the unexpected with plates such as “tidbit,” a crispy rice cake to swipe in warm coconut-and-pork dip. Country beef jerky is at once tender and chewy—it’s been marinated, sun-dried, and flash-fried. Lychee dumplings contrast cool fruit with the crunch of minced pork, peanuts, and shallots. Among the larger plates, whole flounder is redolent of ginger and tamarind, and red-curry pork delivers a double whammy of five-spice powder and red chilies.

Also good: Lemongrass quail; pad Thai; nam kao tolay, a pork-filled deep-fried rice ball that’s smashed and dressed with lime juice, peanuts, and chilies; coconut custard; mango with coconut sticky rice.

Don’t Miss Another New Restaurant—Get Our Food Newsletter

The latest in Washington’s food and drink scene.

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.

We engage readers directly in their mailboxes with topics like Health, Things to Do, Best Brunches, Design & Shopping, and Real Estate. Get the latest from our editors today.
Get The Best Of Washingtonian In Your Inbox!