Wow, a 3-star review in the Post and no comments? http://www.washingto...tic-review.html
BTW, that chicken is damn good!
I think Mrs. B, myself and two friends were probably literally the last four people not to have to go through a lengthy and painful wait to get into Little Serow, showing up at precisely 5:30 the evening before the print version of the review hit sidewalks and newsstands and getting the last of the three fourtops available
I will leave to others the detailed analysis of flavor balance, authenticity and such stuff, and focus instead on how much I enjoyed the all-country soundtrack and the all hot (if a little chatty, at times) chick floor staff. And note that, even in and era of high-style,stripped-down decor, there might have have been something that could have been done to make the room look like a friend's unfinished basement after being painted by his bike-courier/stoner older brother
OK, a little more. In my moderately informed opinion, I thought the dinner was well worth $45, if not the three hour wait that will now become inevitable. The tofu salad was a fine and well-textured dish, I quite enjoyed the shrimp toast despite a definitely downscale feel to it -- oily, crunchy, scrumptious. The (braised? it had texture similar to pulled pork) duck with holy basil and raw duck egg was the standout dish for me, gooey and multi-leveled in taste. Because we were with a local celebrity, we got hold of a spice-roasted baby chicken which was tasty but not overwhelming, and a papaya salad ("the hamburger and french fries of Thailand") which proved a refreshing diversion. I thought the story behind the ribs (there is a story behind everything, that chatty stuff I mentioned) about the Mekhong whiskey and the long preparation was more interesting then the ribs, which were nonetheless pretty good in a generically Thai sort of way. Falling off the bone and all that.
I found the spicing to be a little tame, not that there's any value in fire for the sake of fire, just that if you're looking to get your brains blown out, this isn't likely the place. And, one downside was that the flavor palette with which Johnny paints is a little limited. A seven course meal doesn't offer the variety of spices and combinations that seven courses elsewhere would offer -- it's more variations on a theme. And, it's not a place to linger -- the courses come quickly and the guilt would be overwhelming if you tried to camp.
Nonetheless I quite enjoyed the meal, it does raise the bar for quality and care -- if not always for exuberance -- in the local Thai restaurant scene, and there is much to be said for a moderately priced, high-quality bistro of any type.
Get there early.