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Friday night in DC - beyond the norm

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Some friends are going to be in DC for the weekend, so we are looking to go out for dinner Friday night. Though we love Jose Andres type tapas & appreciate the $20-30 entree range of new American places that seem to be all over the town, that's not where I would like to take them. I am looking for something more affordable and more unique. Perhaps Indian or Thai or Latin... Some place we can get into at that time of day & not feel rushed to leave... Being from Baltimore, I think what I am looking for is someplace I have not read about yet.

We have considered Little Serow & love that idea. However, I have spent over an hour in line there before without any dinner, so I'm not looking to repeat that experience. I have also tried Open Table for Maketto without success.

Thanks for your help!

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  1. You might like Casa Oaxaca. It's super laid back, very good Mexican and affordable. Good drinks, good food, good vibe. Perfect for this type of night out.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Elyssa

      The enmoladas with mole negro, the pork ribs with green mole, and the skirt steak with mole colorado are all excellent at Casa Oaxaca.

    2. Mi Cuba Cafe is a charming place, and very affordable. It's sufficiently off the beaten path (near Columbia Heights metro) that I think getting a table should be easy.

      Taan Ramen in Adams Morgan would also fit the bill.

      1 Reply
      1. re: hamster

        The word is out on Mi Cuba. Friday and Saturday are packed, and I'm even seeing short waits occasionally on weeknights.

        Good for them, sez I. Glad to see them getting the recognition.

      2. For SE Asian, you can also consider Doi Moi. Food was good and unlike Little Serow or Maketto it's al a carte. Just make sure you don't start off with the spiciest dishes upfront.

        2 Replies
        1. re: shake N baik

          Ooh, what did you order? The menu looks tremendous.

          1. re: hamster

            Ordered the following.

            Goong Yang - Grilled head on prawns
            Moo Sateh - Grilled Pork Skewer
            Laab Ped - Ground duck & duck liver salad
            Gui Chai - Dumplings

            Unfortunately, the Laab Ped was the first thing to hit my taste buds and the spice just overtook my palate. It's a beautiful restaurant and sitting at the kitchen bar was entertaining. I need to go back and try more dishes.