100 Very Best Restaurants 2015: No. 62 Doi Moi


Photograph by Jeff Elkins

About Doi Moi


Thai, Vietnamese
1800 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

For its first few months, this white-on-white dining room felt like a play stuck in the previews phase. But finally, the place’s expression of the bright, bold flavors of northern Thailand and Vietnam has become fully realized.

The kitchen, led by Haidar Karoum—also behind Estadio and Proof—takes a grandmotherly approach to cooking, carefully grinding spices and chilies and refusing to dumb down the cuisines’ traditional, often fiery flavors. The ground-duck salad, fragrant with kaffir lime, has a singeing intensity. Curries, such as a halibut version with green peppercorns and galangal, are more assertive than you’ll usually find. Even the cocktail cashews leave a pleasant burn. Balance these with the soothing crab fried rice and Adam Bernbach’s excellent drinks.

Don’t miss:

  • Sour Isaan-style sausage
  • Marinated beef with Sriracha
  • Pork-and-shrimp spring rolls
  • Fried-pork dumplings
  • Spicy tofu salad with soy-lime dressing
  • Crispy duck confit with chilies
  • Stir-fried pineapple with ginger
  • Miniature soft-serve cones

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.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.