Street food is taking over DC faster than Godzilla (now back in theaters!) trampled Tokyo. The latest spot to sling open their street food serving doors is Soi 38 located in the West End. It’s a passion project 10 years in the making from married couple (and Thailand natives) Dia Khanthongthip and Nat Ongsangkoon.
We’re a bit jealous of the duck inside the Best Thing on the Menu: Ped Roti. It’s lovingly wrapped in warm, fried roti. You may know roti from Indian cuisine or even the fast casual Mediterranean spot. But, roti is also used in Thai street food dishes that you might find at a night market in Bangkok–which is exactly what Soi 38 is modeled after. The wrap filling is sweet and spicy and also contains cooling cucumber, which you’ll be thankful for after bites eight and nine.
Another can’t miss dish is the catch of the day served either steamed with lemongrass, chili and garlic or fried with Thai spicy chili sauce. Thai spices seep deep into the flesh of fish so that you’re blown away by lemongrass and Kaffir lime with every bite. Fortunately, cocktails from JP Caceres utilize many of the same spices and herbs, so they pair perfectly.
Eating at Rice in Logan Circle is like stepping into a spa. Its minimalist, natural décor coupled with the dining experience actually causes you to leave feeling lighter than when you came in. Unlike some Thai restaurants, the cuisine at Rice comes without the grease. Enjoy a guilt-free meal, eaten at the restaurant, as take-out or as delivery. They have one of the fastest delivery times in the area.
We loved learning that Rice owner Sak Pollert created the restaurant with the inspiration of his childhood in Thailand. Sticky, fragrant jasmine rice played a leading role in all three meals of the day, hence the name of the restaurant. All entrees are served with diamond shaped mounds of rice that come in a variety of colors and flavors. You never know which one you’ll get, it’s like playing rice roulette.
The menu at Rice is divided into three sections: Rice Specialty, Authentic Thai and Healthy Green. The Best Thing on the Menu: Sautéed Chicken and Asian Pumpkin with Basil and Peppercorns is highly addictive and can be found in the “Rice Specialty” section of the menu. Its mild heat is a treat for the tongue, as is the texture and flavor of the Asian pumpkin, also known as Kabocha. Unlike other pumpkin produce products, kabocha is available year-round and tastes much like a sweet potato.
Pumpkin makes another appearance on the menu in the form of Pumpkin Empanadas. We recommend these, as well as the Crispy Brussels Sprouts Salad.
Sautéed Chicken and Asian Pumpkin not your BTM? Post your favorites in the comments section.