Sunday, April 28, 2013

DC Spotlight: Dinner at Beau Thai

With today's post, I add my first Mt. Pleasant restaurant to the Washington, DC Restaurants page of this website.  Recently opened Beau Thai, although a bit more casual than most other places on my list of recommended first-class restaurants, is by far the most elegant restaurant in DC's Mt. Pleasant neighborhood. 

As you might guess from its name, Beau Thai serves Thai food, but unlike many other Thai restaurants I have visited, Beau Thai takes dietary restrictions very seriously.  Not only are vegetarian items clearly marked, but they really are vegetarian!  That means (according to my server) in vegetarian dishes there is no fish sauce, and the imitation crab is made with bean curd rather than processed seafood.  Not only that, but a separate vegan/gluten-free/food-allergy menu is available upon request.

Now for the best part -- the food is absolutely delicious!  It is by far the best Thai food I have ever tasted.  Everything seems to be made with really fresh ingredients. 

Spring rolls

Pad king with tofu (comes with white rice)

Pad Thai with tofu (and peanuts on the side, for my dining partner with the nut allergy)

The food was so good that three days later I ordered carry out (and the dish I ordered, pad pik king with tofu, was so tasty that it disappeared before I could snap a picture)! 

Mt. Pleasant (often called "a village in the city") has plenty of casual eateries (and no shortage of vegetarian food -- from cheese pupusas to veggie burgers, there are a number of quick-and-easy options reflecting the community's diversity), but Beau Thai offers a nice sit-down experience in a dimly lit, industrial-chic, hip space with a great view of Mt. Pleasant's main street.  It also has a vibrant bar and a great wine and cocktail list. 

Beau Thai's Mt. Pleasant location is the restaurant's second.  The original is located in Shaw.  

 Beau Thai on Urbanspoon

Monday, April 1, 2013

DC Spotlight: Lunch at SEI

About a year ago, shortly after I started this blog, I recommended dining at SEI to celebrate the National Cherry Blossom Festival

Since it's that time of the year again (although you wouldn't know it given the cold weather and still-bare trees), I thought I'd revisit SEI, which recently added a tasty tofu bibimbap entree to its lunch menu.  If you're in town visiting, this is still a great place to catch a quick but elegant Asian-themed meal in DC's conveniently located Penn Quarter neighborhood.

Tofu bibimbap (tofu, fried egg, watercress, rice, shitake, and gochujang sauce)

SEI also serves delicious cocktails and has a spacious bar/lounge area, where you can stay warm until the DC weather improves and the trees finally bloom.  Don't worry, it will be worth the wait!

Cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin (2011)
 SEI on Urbanspoon