The 24 seats at Bad Saint, the Columbia Heights Filipino joint (3226 11th St., NW), used to be among the most coveted in town—but none have been filled since the pandemic began. The good news for anyone who’s ever waited in line at the restaurant is that its acclaimed cooking is at least more accessible, thanks to a carryout operation for home diners and patio dwellers. The menu continues to rotate often, but highlights have included a vibrant vegan adobo with turmeric and coconut milk as well as family-style pork shoulder with pickles and condiments for build-your-own buns.
They don’t have a restaurant, but Sushi Taro alums Amy Phan and Zach Ramos, who run Ama Ami, are behind some of DC’s most sought-after sushi. The duo assemble stunning chirashi bowls for takeaway-only pop-ups out of food incubator Mess Hall (703 Edgewood St., NE). They’ll also set up shop in your home and prepare customizable “homakase” tasting menus ($175 to $250 per person) full of seasonal specialties and imports from Tokyo’s Toyosu Fish Market. Be warned: Reservations book up fast and weeks in advance.
Prix fixe celebrations don’t have to cost a month’s rent. Cue the tawle (translation “table”) menu at Maydan (1346 Florida Ave., NW). You’ll eat with your hands at the still-hot—and fire-obsessed—Eastern European/Middle Eastern restaurant’s family-style feast ($75 per person), which is offered indoors and out. The parade of honey-soaked dates; housemade cheeses and pickles; and fresh herbs hits the rustic wood tables alongside fresh pita and lush dips. Platters of kebabs precede either branzino stuffed with herbs and oranges or a smoky rib eye with five condiments. That’s the only tough choice—or choice at all—for the night.
This article appears in the February 2022 issue of Washingtonian.