The largest of the categories on the menu at Seng Luangrath’s Laotian restaurant is titled Let’s Go to the Jungle, and you sense the tour guide leading her wide-eyed newbies on a far-flung adventure in offering so many chili-stoked preparations of offal: You want authentic? Okay, you asked for it! To Luangrath’s credit, she hasn’t dumbed down her cuisine; the result is some of the most exciting cooking in the area at the moment—sometimes sharp (a sour soup with tamarind), sometimes smoky (tender strips of sun-dried beef), often fiery, at times all of the above.
Where you can get it: 3462 14th St., NW; 202-387-5426
Also good: Grilled pork necks; grilled salmon with curry; koi, a kind of Laotian ceviche.