100 Very Best Restaurant 2016: Thip Khao


Thip Khao's larb salad is at the top. Photo by Scott Suchman

About Thip Khao



It’s not as if you have to like insanely spicy food or off-cuts to come here, but you’re going to have a more exciting time if you do. And if you happen to go for both at once, then few restaurants are going to make you happier. Thip Khao is the second restaurant from Seng Luangrath (also behind Bangkok Golden) and intended as a showcase for the pungent, sour, spicy, bright flavors of her native Laos. Laos borders Thailand, but that’s not to say your Thai restaurant experiences will prepare you for this food, particularly those dishes from the “jungle” section of the menu. Offal remains trendy in fine-dining circles, a chance for chest-flexing chefs to show they’re badasses, but we doubt you’ve ever seen the likes of pig ears and intestines so richly exploited for their intensity and depth of flavor.

Don’t miss: Sun-dried beef; pork sausage; crispy-rice salad; sour soup; steamed salmon with curry paste; grilled fish with ginger and dill; grilled pork neck; southern Lao herbal curry; Lao ceviche; pumpkin sticky rice.

See what other restaurants made our 100 Very Best Restaurants list. This article appears in our February 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

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.