how's the gai tod (new finishing course) at Little Serow?
Its my last week in dc, and i'm debating returning to little serow vs. going somewhere i haven't been yet. i was a big fan of little serow, but *loved* the whiskey mekong ribs they'd been doing. the first courses all seem like minor variations of what i've already had (which is good, but not a draw over trying somewhere new).
has anyone had the gai tod? how does it compare to the ribs (as much as a comparison can be made, i recognize they are very different dishes).
well. answered my own question. pretty tasty- its a sweet, garlicky fry, not spicy (keeping in line with the ribs of not having the last course be spicy) and the holy basil adds a really nice touch to it. it's not quite as seductive as the ribs, but its a worthy last course. also, there was a bit more changeup than i'd expected in the earlier courses. the catfish is now served as a whole filet and is very moist, and one of the salads has a hefty amount of pork. i found it to be a more substantive amount of food than the last time i went (back in early june).
I enjoyed the wings a great deal (valcfield's description is spot on), but I never had the ribs to compare. It wasn't the very best dish of the night, however, perhaps because by then I was in a daze from the earlier dishes. My write-up at rockwell:
Went last night for the first time in a while. Menu below. Everything -- every single dish -- was really great. The corn and the pork in particular. Contra [another poster], not a single one of them tasted anything like any of the others (but perhaps this was a lucky menu week). And whereas on my last visit the portions seemed a bit skimpy for a table for four (but not really -- because of the fantastic sticky rice, herbs, eggplant, etc.), this time there was, if anything, too much food: Because it was all so good, I kept eating and just about didn't have room for the best chicken wings I've ever had. (I'm not suggesting the kitchen cut back on the portion size -- just warning readers not to fill up on rice!)
And that's in addition to all its other virtues -- impeccable pacing, warm hospitality, genuine enthusiasm (even at the very end of the week), great wines and beers (even post-Kat), a fantastic soundtrack, etc. (Helpful hint: If the noise level deters you, go later at night, when the music and the crowd are quieter -- conversation was very easy, even whilst being serenaded by Television (Marquee Moon, not the Olympics) and the Clash (both released before Johnny and Anne were born, btw!).)
I can see why some people think it's a bit steep as compared to, say, Bangkok Golden (another wonderful meal, but really, a different thing entirely); but the first-timers with us last night thought $45 was a steal for food and a dining experience of this caliber. It might be $30 if it were in Falls Church; but it'd be $80+ if it were in Manhattan. Methinks $45 is just right.
1. kaap muu
green chilies / shrimp paste / shallots
2. som tum khao pod
corn / dried shrimp / bla rah
3. tom sap
shrimp / mushroom / lime leaves
4. laap chiang mai
pork / lemongrass / sawtooth
5. khao tod
crispy rice / mint / peanuts
6. pla duk nueng ma nao
catfish / garlic / khi nu chilies
7. gai tod
chicken / holy basil / crispy garlic
8. nibbles of coconut cream/coconut cake concoction -- perfect ending