100 Very Best Restaurants: #9 – Bad Saint

The best seat at Bad Saint gives solo diners a front-row view of the wok action. Photo by Scott Suchman.

Crowds line up an hour or more for a chance to sit in a room so tight it feels as if you’re sharing a bus with the kitchen crew. For good reason: Chef Tom Cunanan’s nouveau Filipino joint is still turning out some of the most transportive cooking around. The menu has been trimmed down since the restaurant’s 2015 debut, but dishes change frequently and many portions are made for two. Cunanan never shies away from bitter, sour, and funky flavors. We hardly wanted to share a clay pot of Cunanan’s nontraditional take on chicken adobo with coconut milk and turmeric. “Embrace the turmeric—feel good,” our server said. Done. Moderate.
Also great: Heirloom-rice salad with tamarind vinaigrette; scallop kinilaw; prawns with crab fat; fried chicken; pork sausages with fried egg and garlic fried rice.

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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.

Anna Spiegel
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.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.