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Doi Moi, Chef Deth Khaiaphone's Southeast Asian With GM Virginia Otazo From The Owners of Proof on 14th and S Street in 14UP


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Kliman breaks the story that the ground floor of what I always thought was an unobtrusively handsome building will become the site of K&K's next adventure,"inspired by the cuisines of SE Asia." "Southeast Asia" is a pretty broad swath of territory, and the phrase bringing "modern techniques & execution to these traditional dishes," is pretty unhelpful, so I hungrily await further details.

As I recall, Karoum once cheffed at Asia Nora -- whether this is relevant, I have no idea (and I never liked that place, anyway). But this sounds more noodle-y.

Adam at the bar is always a good sign.

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Per an Eater article:  Kuller says "Doy Muuy" is the right pronunciation

Per the Post:  The way to pronounce the name of the Asian street-food inspired restaurant Doi Moi is not the phonetic "doy moy," or the French "mwah." It's a subtler "doy mu-uy," says chef Haidar Karoum, who comes to the new restaurant from Estadio, a few blocks away.  "If you think of the way to pronounce "˜pho,' you say "˜fuhh"˜. You pick up the vowel," he said.

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^ Thanks for posting these, cheezepowder. Did you dine there? If so, I would love to know about your experience. I've really been looking forward to the opening of Doi Moi; to my mind, it's the most interesting restaurant opening in some time.

Yes, I had dinner there (you caught me being lazy about posting :P).  I don't have time to post a lengthy description and only tried a few dishes, but overall, I enjoyed it.

I particularly liked the moo ping (marinated pork collar).  It's 3 skewers of tender pork with a spicy and sour dipping sauce (I know this sauce but don't remember what it's called).  It also comes with a small mound of sliced cucumbers and spicy peppers.

How do you pronounce the name of this place?  I keep hearing it as " Do Me" in my head, but I am sure that is wrong.  :P

Doi Moi posted a link here on how to pronounce the name.

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The Vietnamese food at Hanoi House wasn't anywhere close to "competent." I have great hope for this place.

Allow me to clarify. I'm referring to the Vietnamese restaurants outside of DC, mostly in Northern VA: Four Sisters, Viet Royale, Rice Paper, and the other restaurants that are good at their specialty dish.

I might stop by this weekend, will update the thread accordingly. But i'll admit, I'm pretty skeptical.

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The starters and skewers at Doi Moi are described as small plates which interrupt Thai and Vietnamese street food and are meant to be shared.  As is common practice with small plates these days the plates are indeed small"¦and overpriced.

The marinated pork collar (3 skewers $7) was worth ordering.  The pork is flavorful and succulent, but while marked from the grill they lacked the caramelization that one general associates with grilled meat bought on the Asian street.

The fried salt & pepper squid ($10) was aggressively seasoned to blow out your palette levels.  Which is not necessarily a bad thing.  Receiving a plate of maybe 7 body pieces and a scattering of tiny tentacles"¦well, your money is better spent on other parts of the menu.

The pan fried garlic chive and mushroom dumplings ($8) were also a miss.  Four smallish dumplings were under steamed, the wrapper undercooked.  Delivered to us right after the squid, any delicate flavors from the chives and mushrooms were lost to us from our seared tongues.

To recap, after $25 invested in the meal so far, we had received three skewers, a couple ounces of squid, and four dumplings. 

  

The highlight of the meal was the house made tofu and wild mushroom curry ($12).  A medium-ish sized plate, the tofu was lovely, the cubes held their shape but were custardy in the middle.  The accompanying mushrooms, tiny eggplants, bamboo shoots, snake beans, greens, lime leaf, and little incendiary green peppercorns instantly took me back to Thailand.  This simple sounding dish is on the short list for my personal Dish of the Year.  The kind of dish where you want to lap up the remaining sauce.  It was lusty"¦and they are not afraid to bring the heat.

   

Another solid order was the stir fried morning glory with garlic and fermented yellow bean ($8).  Fairly straightforward, but stir fried greens are an essential part of many S.E. Asian meals.

The jasmine rice ($2) was fine, seemed like it had been sitting around for a while.

We finished with the Thai fried bananas ($8).  A nice dessert that really could have used a small scoop of ice cream or something creamy and smooth to counter balance the crispy fried banana. 

Perhaps the surprise of the night was the dark lager Beerlao ($6 a bottle), which tasted like a darker, sweeter version of Chang beer.  A departure from the usual pale, weak tasting Asian beers.    

Overall, we had a fun evening.  Sitting at the chefs counter you are front and center to all the kitchen action.  Some of the cooking was exceptional (like the curry), and judging from some of the other posts on this thread, perhaps the curries are a strong point on the menu.  However, in my opinion, some of the starters/small plates need to be rethought.

Is it fair to compare an Asian restaurant on 14th Street to Asian restaurants in the burbs?   I'm sure the economics are completely different, but one has to wonder what kind of feast $74 (meal + tax) would have bought us at say Bangkok Golden, Nava Thai, or at Eden Center.  At Doi Moi, it barely bought dinner for two.  

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I ate here Friday night and was very pleased. The drinks are inventive and surprisingly complex though they have a small amount of ingredients (peanut-infused bourbon & tamarind soda; passion fruit & coconut in another).

We had:

  • Duck & Duck Liver Salad: so spicy! reminded me of LIttle Serow. Thank god for my coconut drink. The small grind of the meat is reminiscent of larb
  • Crispy Rice & Sour Chinese Sausage Salad: I liked this salad because it was well balanced and the crunchy chunks of rice were fun to eat. The chinese sausage was fresh, not dried, and it had little "tentacles" of what I guess were strips of tripe sticking out of it, so that was a little off-putting. 
  • Tumeric/Dill Sablefish - the fish itself was randomly very hard to chew/cut in some places. The exterior of the fish had good flavor, but the middle (most of the fish since it was a thick filet) was watery and bland. The scallions served with it were rough and were basically inedible
  • Rice Noodle & Vegetable Stir Fry: this was my favorite savory dish. The spices were nice and built up as you ate it. The noodles weren't as greasy as these type of noodles usually are (to prevent sticking) and they had a nice char flavor to them. The vegetables were tender and fresh.
  • Fried Bananas - this was my favorite dish. Drizzled with honey and roasted coconut chips, the bananas were the perfect level of ripeness. When I bit into it (after burning my mouth in my excitement), the texture was like custard.

It was a bit expensive, but in my mind when you purchase small plates, you pay a premium for being able to try several different dishes. There are definitely things I want to go back and try, especially the shaved ice dessert.

The space is loud and reminds me of a cafeteria. The kitchen, bar, and seating are all parallel to each other, and everything is white washed and a bit sterile. I think the open kitchen lends to this affect and gives the illusion you should be pushing a tray parallel to it. I'd like to see what it looks like at night.

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p.s. I also heard there was a speakeasy underneath it called 2 Birds, 1 Stone. Is this true?

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I've been looking forward to Doi Moi opening and really wanted to like it. It's literally around the corner from my place, so was hoping it might be a favorite new hangout. Unfortunately, after a first visit last night, we left saying it's doubtful we'd go back anytime soon.

There were a few highlights (with caveats), but outweighed by low points.

High

  • Service: Our waitress was excellent -- attentive without being intrusive, great energy, honest recommendations. But... She had not tried everything on the menu, which I always find odd especially at restaurants of this caliber and level. Not her fault at all, it's the responsibility of the chef and management to ensure the staff can speak to the food the restaurant serves.
  • Roasted Half Chicken (photo): Perfectly crispy, delicate skin, juicy-moist meat, good dipping sauce. 
  • Mango-Coconut Sticky Rice Swirl soft ice cream (photo): The coconut sticky rice soft ice cream in particular was delicious -- subtle with a nice coconut finish on the palate. But... if anything, the mango ice cream (which was good) overpowers the delicate flavor of the coconut sticky rice. If you order this, get a taste of the latter before you eat a spoonful of the combination. 
  • Salty Key Lime Gin & Tonic: Our waitress said customers either love or hate this cocktail, we loved it.

Mid

  • Pork Collar Skewers: Good flavor, but agree with Tweaked above, lacking in caramelization it should have.

Low

  • Pork & Shrimp Spring Rolls (photo): Reminiscent of the pencil-thin rolls at Rice (tho not as ridiculously thin), I found these just plain uninspired and clumsy -- clumsily rolled, too many layers of wrapper, not much flavor, not much there-there, period. And the dipping sauce was overly sour. If you want good Por Pia rolls (and other decent Thai) in the neighborhood, go to Thai Tanic and save a lot of money.
  • Crispy Curried Rice Salad with Sour Sausage (photo, with chicken): Meh... didn't really get much curry flavor, just fire from the chiles, the rice was chewy not crispy, mediocre overall.
  • Stir-fried Rice Noodles & Summer Vegetables: So very meh. Like the crispy rice salad, spicy without having much of any flavor. Looking at the kitchen and the fire under the wok, you'd expect this dish to have some pretty fierce and delicious "wok hei" -- not a wisp.
  • Lemongrass, Basil, Ginger & Cachaca: Sounded great on the menu, but this cocktail was (1) warm on ice when it should have been really nicely chilled; and (2) therefore just wrong.

Hopes dashed. Maybe it will improve over time. I hope so.

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Had dinner at Doi Moi last night with friends, and really enjoyed it.  I was apprehensive because I have celiac disease and can't eat gluten -- and worried the whole day before about there not being anything for me to eat other than sticky rice.  I was damn happy to have been proven wrong.  In fact, they have a special menu sheet for people who choose or medically have to be on special diets (gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian) and there were a lot of options for me in the gluten-free category (12+ dishes plus sides).

I ended up getting the following:

Kai Dao -- fried duck egg over jasmine rice with garlic, red chilies, and fish sauce;

Bo Tai Chan -- shaved raw beef (eye of round), lime, holy basil, cilantro, chilies, bean sprouts, and peanuts; and

Gaeng Ped Yang -- duck breast in red curry with pineapple, cherry tomatoes, sweet basil, and kaffir lime leaf.

Am I an expert on the nuances or traditions of Asian cuisine?  No.  Am I an expert on food with great flavor?  Sure, why not.   :P   I thoroughly enjoyed all three of my dishes, with the shaved beef and duck breast being the clear standouts.  The beef salad had a nice balance of crisp, crunch, and heartiness, and the duck breast in curry sauce had just enough heat for me (I can't stand uber-hot curries; they make me cough all night and I just don't enjoy my palate being nuked like that). Don't get me wrong: the duck egg was really good, too.  It's just that the other two were head and shoulders above and I was pleasantly surprised about that.

I drank an alborino/vinho verde, and it held up nicely to everything.  The only wine wish I have is that they'd offer a rosé (non-sparkling) by the glass.  That's what I was craving.

Our server, Jacob (I think that was his name), was very nice, appropriately attentive, and kept the water and wine flowing at a smooth pace.  The room was packed (even for a Wednesday night), and yet the food was well-paced, served at the right temperature, and the runners did a great job of clearing as we went so the table didn't feel crammed and messy.

I have a feeling Doi Moi will get added to my list of "favorite places for solo dining at the bar" because there's so much for me to choose from, and it would be fun to just take my time with it all (I'm not much of a sharer)   ;) .

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Fail!  My partner and I went to Doi Moi last night. We were excited to try it--love Little Serow and Bangkok Golden.  The reviews  of Doi Moi made me think this could be a new favorite---in town, and Tom Sietsema wrote "Little Serow without the line"!

 

After giving my name, I got an estimate of 20-30 minutes.   No problem!  Time to look around, check out the space, smell the food!   We waited at the bar.   And waited. 

 

After a while, a server came from behind  us at the bar and handed my partner a little bowl of nuts.  We both had the same thought--nice!--they recognize we have been waiting and are offering a little something to tide us over.  My partner ate one.  The bartender came over and in a stern voice demanded "did you order those!?"  Um, no. She took the little ramekin, sighed and said "well, you may as well keep it now" and put it back down, the shook her head in disgust.    Whoops--apparently they sell these little baby bowls of spiced nuts for four dollars.  She was pretty ungracious about it and made us feel slightly like petty thieves.  The server handed it to him, for Pete's sake.   Properly chastised, we resumed waiting (while sneaking cashews out of the bowl when the bartender's back was turned).

 

 After about 45 minutes I noticed another table for two being seated, and knew they had come in after us.   I went to inquire; the hostess looked for my name, said "we tried to find you" (somewhat accusingly) and said there were now three tables ahead of us.  Now I had been paying attention and noticed a couple of the host staff walking through the bar, not really looking around--apparently not finding people!

 

I told the hostess we had been in the same place at the bar and that I had been paying attention.   Certainly none of the staff came anywhere near looking for us. Reaction:  well, there are three tables ahead of you and some people were promised certain tables.  Mind you--they do not take reservations (except only at 5:30 pm or so on OpenTable--apparently a technique of some sort to draw people in?). 

 

Still with no table, and no immediate prospects for one, we decide to cut our loss and go somewhere else. We finished our beers at the bar and prepared to leave.  The hostess came over to say she wanted to buy us a drink.  We already had all we wanted to drink (for the moment). What we wanted was a table--and they seated another directly behind her while she offered that drink.   See you later.

 

Sorry for the rant. We eat out a lot and really just require a table, a couple of drinks and of course excellent and/or interesting food.   I don't know what I should have done differently other than perhaps just stay at the host stand at the outset.  I think their response, when their error was discovered, should have been to apologize and give us the next table.   I don't think I would have even been irritated--just hungry.   Instead the response was kind of "Blamey" toward us and "now wait your turn".   Bummer--it will be a long time before I will try Doi Moi again. 
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I was curious to read DCBills comment that the restaurant takes no reservations, as a friend and I walked in the nearly-empty dining room just after the opening bell last evening hoping for a table near one of the many windows and were told "we can seat you at the bar." Assuming that the restaurant was bracing for a flood of reservations, we moved to the bar (where the hostess attempted to seat me facing a brushed aluminum-wrapped column; I unilaterally moved down a bit so I could view something besides my own unappetizing visage as I ate) which we left an hour and a half later with empty tables still strewn about the dining room.

Aside from being a bit miffed in retrospect about not getting that window seat, we had a real good time.

Raw chilled scallops -- reccomended by our excellent and attentive server -- were served properly cooked (that is, raw and not "cooked" by the citrus as in ceviche), rich and assertive with lime, chilis, etc.

The not-free nuts (cf DCBIll above) were tasty enough, I suppose, as were the cigarette-width spring rolls, but we were keen to move on -- and rewarded for doing so.

You kind of want to hate the skewered hangar steak because it's like three different cliches in one, but it is unhatable.  Irresistible, in fact.

My friend, who eats quite a bit of Bun Xao, pronounced Doi Moi's (noodles with lemongrass beef)  "the best" she's ever had and I tended to agree, though I confess I've only eaten Bun Xao twice. A nice yin-yang of rich beef and umami-stuffed nuac cham on the one hand and bright pickled carrots and assorted crunchy raw things on the other. The roast chicken was simply quite tasty -- I ate mine like a Peking Duck, contriving to top the dollops of chicken and sticky rice with bits of crispy skin I'd sliced off and stolen from my companion, and dipping it all  into the jeeow sauce which --according to Wikipedia -- is Lao in origin.

One small thing I enjoyed is that the dipping sauces were all different -- no generic "one-sauce-fits-all" here.  Another is that, thanks to the fine print at the bottom of the menu, I learned the correct pronunciation of a phrase that I have garbled -- and yet, to good effect -- in the direction of Thai servers for many years: "Phet Mak."  Very hot.

As one of those diners who knows painfully little about Asian food (you've been warned) I obsess over those bits of etiquette I have mastered in an attempt to appear more knowledgeable than I am.  So there was a moment of panic as I debated the use of chopsticks or the very cool second-hand silver plate forks with random monograms that make you feel as though you'd been invited to dinner at the home of a moderately affluent widowed aunt.  Forks, of course, are the first choice of Thai diners (I am told that this is the result of the King of Siam's lady friend Anna's efforts to westernize the Thai court and, thereafter, the gentry.  Confirmation?) and sticks are the first choice of most Asians and of American yuppies trying to radiate sophistication.  I ended up alternating based on how sticky the rice was.

I recently ran into a friend who asked if I'd been to Doi Moi yet and I replied that I was sure that it was so damn crowded that I'd wait for a government  holiday when I could beat the mobs.  Perhaps subconsciously driven by a deep need for fish sauce, I found myself  enjoying Columbus Day (not so?)-randomly exploring the 14th Street region and thought thought "why not see if Malcom X Park is indeed a shortcut to Asia?" I think I came closer than Columbus did to finding it  -- and I'm already contriving to find myself back in the neighborhood again, soon, on purpose.

PS: I want a t-shirt like the servers have.

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One more thing: I know that Kuller is the genius behind the empire, highly marketable man-about-town, generous sharer of Pure Chatty Neuf and the recipient of glossy magazine adulation (and very tolerant of me, personally), but shouldn't Haidar -- now with 8 executive chef Washington Post Stars -- get a little more luv?

Also, should Haidar and Kuller have their next jaunt -- through, say, Central Europe -- be turned into a lightly fictionalized road movie? Kind of Tony Bourdain meets Bob Hope and Bing Crosby plus goulash and Czech supermodels?

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Forks, of course, are the first choice of Thai diners (I am told that this is the result of the King of Siam's lady friend Anna's efforts to westernize the Thai court and, thereafter, the gentry.  Confirmation?)

Forks and spoons: only the spoon goes into a Thai diner's mouth. The story, and I think it's actually presented in the famous musical, is that the King decided to westernize in order to avoid being colonized by a European power, and among the westernizing that Anna Leonowens helped with was the protocol of the dinner table, and that the fork and spoon were responsible for Siamese independence. I think there's some truth in there, but that last part seems pretty doubtful to me.

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I had two occasions to visit Doi Moi within a week's time and walked away happy both times.  This despite the fact that I am tiring of small plates.  On my first visit I was with a party of nine and it was difficult to order and share- even when we doubled up on some dishes.  But there were some standouts including sable fish, crispy whole fish, blue crab fried rice and grilled prawns.  I also enjoyed the stir-fried lemongrass beef.  My favorite of all the dishes I sampled at Doi Moi is the ground duck and duck liver salad.  It's labelled phet mak or really spicy on the menu, which it is.  But in a good way. I don't mind a dish that brings tears to ones eyes, as long as it doesn't burn so much that I can't taste anything that comes after.  This dish stopped short of blowing out the taste buds.

On both occasions service was lackluster.  We received little guidance on ordering and there was no fanfare when dishes were delivered.  I don't mind a bit of explanation from a server, if it's not too intrusive. But the food was delivered in a timely fashion and not all at once, which can be a hazard of small plates.

The soft serve ice cream is a nice touch.  I had peanut which I loved and Thai iced tea, which I wasn't quite as enamored with.

It's a nice addition to the ever-growing selection of restaurants on the 14th Street corridor.

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I must say I was a bit surprised by some of the negative feedback at the beginning of this thread, as I have been 3 times now and have enjoyed Doi Moi each time.  The staff has always been wonderful each time we have come in and I have found the food to be all around very good.

My favorites:

The Chiang Mai Chicken & Noodle Curry is the one thing that I have ordered each time I have been in to dine.  It has a really nice balance between the creamy, salty coconut flavor of the broth and the slowing building heat of the chili oil that I like to look for in these dishes, as I am a bit more sensitive to hot-spicy foods then someone like my wife.  I also like that the chicken swims in the broth on the bone and isn't chunks of white meat like you often see in similar dishes.

Thai Wok Tossed Marinated Beef took me back to the good old days of Thai Square in the 2007-09 timeframe when that kitchen was putting out some really great food.  This version comes out hot from the wok as opposed to the room temperature version at TS, and the housemade dipping sauce definitely has more acid, but I could eat either version once a week for the rest of my life and never get sick of it.

Our most recent discovery on the latest visit was the very well seasoned Sliced Raw Scallops, which is a dish that more restaurants would fiddle with a screw up than not.  This is a simple prep with very high quality scallops, sprinkled sparsely with cilantro, chilies, some fried garlic, and a little lime juice.  My wife and I might have set a speed record in polishing off this dish, it was delightful and a bit too easy to eat.

For full disclosure purposes, Haidar has been in the kitchen each of the times we have been and has stopped by to say hello each time.  I don't think this is the reason that we have gotten such good food and service but it's possible that his presence ratchets up what is coming out of the kitchen.

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Yummy deliciousness! We ordered the papaya salad, a side of the spicy green beans, the chiang mai chicken curry and the Thai sausage fried rice. DPop's description of the chicken curry is spot-on, and the sauce from the curry on the fried rice was a delightful combination. I have never had the slightly sour sausages before, but I really liked them and they create a very robust fried rice. I am pleased that here, spicy really means spicy. The papaya salad was quite spicy, and the rice arrived with a mound of slivered chilis so you can control the fire in that dish if you wish. We saw several orders of the whole fried fish going by and wished for second stomachs!

Our server was kind of spacey, though pleasant. He disappeared for long stretches. Tough to get the check.

Everyone eating here yesterday looked really happy. We lived for a brief spell on N just off 14th, and we never would have envisioned how 14UP has developed. Thai Tanic was basically the standard, and while a place like Thai Tanic served the neighborhood well when few others did, it's great to see places like Doi Moi succeed at a much higher standard. I wonder, though...where's the saturation point? Can that stretch of 14th support very many more restaurants?

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Had dinner at Doi Moi for the second time last night. The first visit was in mid-September and I left not knowing what I thought of the place, both food-wise and venue-wise, but certainly wasn't in a hurry to return, as evidenced by the 7-month separation between visits.

Decided to give it another try last night prior to seeing a play at Studio Theatre. We ordered 5 dishes to share:

Grilled Prawns: I'm going to come right out and say it: These were just awful. I don't know if the quality of the prawns was bad, or they were seriously overcooked, or both. They were virtually impossible to pry out of the shells and the result was little chunks of prawn which were really mealy and totally devoid of flavor. The dipping sauce was tasty, but couldn't do anything to resuscitate the DOA prawns. In retrospect, we should have sent them back and asked that they be removed from our bill. We didn't.

Papaya Salad: This was light and refreshing and had a nice kick of heat. Other than that, it was nothing special. We've had way better papaya salad at several venues.

Stir-Fried Lemongrass Beef on Vermicelli Noodles: This was served with fresh, crisp and refreshing sliced vegetables and had good lemongrass flavor, but we found the beef to be tough, despite being thinly sliced. We were also not served the nuoc cham that was supposed to accompany the dish, but didn't notice until it was too late. Overall, the dish was perfectly acceptable, but not memorable.

Thai Sausage Fried Rice: This was MrB's choice "“ if he sees a sausage on a menu, he's going to order it. The spicy preserved sausage added a nice sour tang to the dish and, like the beef dish, it was perfectly fine.

Chiang Mai Chicken and Noodle Curry: This was by far our favorite dish of the meal, but as I've noted above, it didn't have a lot of competition. The noodles were exquisitely made "“ very light. The sauce was a flavor treat "“fragrant from the coconut and a bit sour from the pickled greens. The chicken was cooked perfectly on the bone and was quite moist. Curiously, despite being labeled Phet (spicy) on the menu, it wasn't spicy at all. This did not detract from our enjoyment of the dish. We would happily order this again and it's the only dish I would order again. (I'm sure MrB would order the Thai Sausage Fried Rice again.)

Doi Moi was the new restaurant on 14th that I was most looking forward to last summer because there just aren't many restaurants in DC proper serving this kind of cuisine, and because of the track record of Kuller and Karoum. Sadly, we left the restaurant for the second time feeling kind of befuddled. It wasn't a bad meal (with the exception of the prawns), but it wasn't an experience that we're eager to repeat, and that's not just referring to the food. The service was competent, but certainly not engaging. The ambience feels cold and sterile "“ and I'm not referring to the temperature, it's the atmosphere "“ it's very stark. Thinking about it this morning, I concluded that for me, Doi Moi is a restaurant without a soul. I think that, had we been served the same food (with the exception of the prawns) in a restaurant that felt warm and embracing, as opposed to cold and hard, we might have felt differently about the whole experience.

I recall that Sietsema, in his review of Doi Moi, called it 'Little Serow without the line.'  All I know is, next time I'm craving excellent Thai food, I'll be standing in line at Little Serow.

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Oh, I've known about the construction and Hogo's limited lifespan for ages. I just wish its absence won't be so keenly felt. It was the kind of neighborhoody cocktail bar (like, say, the Grotto bar at Dino's Grotto) that didn't require reservations and was seldom so packed you could hardly breathe, a lovely place to sit at the bar and enjoy two or six delicious drinks over a couple of hours. As cool as The Passenger or the Shaw trio of Brown joints are, they're usually so crowded that they don't quite fit this bill. And, of course, I have a longstanding love affair with tiki in particular, ever since I stumbled on the dearly departed PKNY in Manhattan a bum of years ago.  :)

 

FWIW, Doi Moi just announced that they'll be doing tiki drinks all summer. And given who's behind their bar program I'm certain the drinks will be fantastic.

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Went for dinner tonight. Food was excellent. The service there is very good, food was excellent, and the prices were reasonable. The food here wasn't far off Little Serow at all and I think the dishes more consistently good than at Bangkok Golden.

Only two complaints were the single person men's room in the dining room, although I understand there is one upstairs. And, the place feels very cold and without character. The first two words that come to mind are white and plastic.

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Made it to Doi Moi tonight for the second time, and the first time under the new chef.  The six dishes we had were a bit of a mixed bag, but overall it was an enjoyable meal, and a step up from our first experience there.  I thought the appetizers were more interesting than the entrees -- highlights were small radish cakes with crispy fried garlic, very nicely deep fried zucchini flowers stuffed with crab and shrimp meat (dish of the night), and kind of a Thai version of scallop ceviche, thin slices of scallop in lime juice with lemon grass, chiles, and that same crispy garlic.  "Crispy duck confit with chili-basil sauce" wasn't all that crispy, but was delicious nonetheless.  The Khao Soi was a disappointment - bland and strangely lukewarm, as if they were reheating a dish that had been sitting at room temperature and just didn't heat it long enough (there was similar...laziness?...on display with a pineapple tart dessert, which was fine overall, but used room temperature previously-grilled pineapple chunks instead of grilling them to order, which would have made a huge difference.)

Overall dishes ran from mild to incendiary and it was kind of hard to tell from the menu which would be which, so you should ask if you're sensitive to heat.

The above mentioned tiki drinks were great, particularly a pina colada that was brightened with the novel use of a coconut cream soda, I believe.  I think the clock is ticking on their tiki menu, so head over soon if you want to try it before they move on to something else for the Fall.

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Marty, I haven't been to Thip Khao yet, and my last visit to Little Serow was in 2014.

Again, I didn't say it was the best crispy rice salad in the area (though I think it contends), just the best dish I've had in the 5 short weeks of 2015.

John, we also had the radish cakes - very good, but everything we had yesterday took a back seat to the rice. (also had the lamb shank curry and the sable)

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Finally went here last night. It took 35 minutes to find parking. The street parking signs are infuriating because different sides of the streets have different rules! GAH!

So, i felt so much better finally meeting our friends there, so my opinion of the place might be better than norml only because it was so satisfying to just......relax.

We shared 10 plates. It was fun.

I had a bizzy izzy to drink to start. It was fun, but too sweet.

The sliced raw scallops were really good, bt *expensive*. The fried salt & pepper squid was fine, but not enough pepper. There was a really, really good roast pork sitting on a top of cabbage and sweet hot peppers (I would order these again for sure). The ground duck and duck liver salad was wonderful, spicy, and I needed to eat a bit, try a few bites of other things and come back to it. It was quite good. The lamb shank curry was wonderful, but reminded me a lot more of an indian dish, but I was not complaining. The tofu and mushroom curry was tremendous. So good. And the crab fried rice was the other major standout. Light and complex at the same time. Delicious.  Everything else was fine and no major duds.

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My wife chose Doi Moi for Mother's Day brunch today, and we had a very pleasant meal on the (virtually empty) patio.  We ate at 11, and were 1 of 2 tables outside for most of the meal.  It looked like the inside was pretty filled by noon.  On a day like today, what were people thinking eating inside?

The fried chive and mushroom dumplings were merely fine.  Nice crispy skins, but the filling was on the bland side.  Nice "mushroom soy" dipping sauce though.  The crispy radish cakes were much better, served with a very spicy dipping sauce.  I could eat many, many plates of these.  At about 1/2 inch in thickness, these were crispy on the outside with a creamy center.  Any thicker, and the crispy/cream ratio would've been off.

Bun Bo Xao was great.  The thinly sliced steak was remarkably caramelized while still tender.  The vegetarian Bun Xeo was...ok.  I loved the fresh greens, mushrooms, and other goodies in the crepe, but ultimately there was very little flavor.  A pinch or 2 of salt would've done wonders.  Even with the accompanying sauce, this dish fell a bit flat.

The yuzu custard with whipped cream and chocolate pearls please both my wife and 2 year old.  The bite I had of the custard was light and refreshing...felt like kind of an Asian key lime pie filling.

Overall, this is a place I'd be happy to return to, especially for the Vietnamese dishes.  I'd also like to try some of the Thai dishes and compare to Soi 38.

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We had a reservation a few weeks ago for Doi Moi but I canceled it on the day of because the forecast called for an inch of rain.  As the menu looked very interesting, we rescheduled our visit for this past Friday.  It rained again, but I did not let the drizzle tarnish my manhood.

We ordered several dishes and didn't specify how we wanted them brought out.  Dishes then arrived in quick succession, which is what happened the last time we ate there.  So if you want a leisurely meal, remember to order a few plates at a time or tell them how you want dishes coursed out.

The first dish to arrive is Laotian Stuffed Lemongrass - lemongrass stuffed with ground pork, green onions & garlic.  We were told the lemongrass is tough, and the preferred way to eat the dish is to peel off the lemongrass first.  A few burnt fingers later, I was able to taste the pork meatball inside, which when dipped in the spicy, soy, fish-saucy, citrusy concoction, reminded of the brightly flavored dishes that I've had at the likes of Padaek, Thip Khao, and Chada Street (a place in Vegas that is now closed).

The second dish to arrive is Steam Buns w/ Fried Chicken.  The chicken itself was't properly seasoned, so it tastes especially bland in the bun.  The julienned carrots, not having been pickled, added nothing to the dish.

The third dish was Scallops Carpaccio - scallops drizzled with a Thai nam jim sauce and topped with fried garlic.  This could've been a great dish if they had just salted the scallops and used better quality scallops.  The scallops themselves had no flavor, and they didn't season them with salt.  So while I tasted the fried garlic and the nam jim sauce, which added a hint of spicy and acid, did not provide the necessary salt.  There is a raw shrimp dish that I've had at Thip Khao and Chada Street that uses the very same sauce, but done with much greater effect.

The fourth dish was Grilled Calamari - the calamari (it might've been squid) was righteous - super tender, slightly charred, and well seasoned.  But it gave me the worst aftertaste, especially when I tried to wash it away with Cava.  

The fifth dish was Sausage.  It was dry, and not very herby like the sausage you would find at Padeak or Thip Khao.  

The last dish is Char Kuey Teow Noodles - southeast Asian spin on chow foon, in this case with black garlic sauce,  prawns and Chinese sausage.  The prawns were mealy, and the Chinese sausage doesn't taste like any Chinese sausage I've had before.  But the noodle and sauce were pretty tasty.

Conclusion - a tier below Little Serow and Thip Khao.

I really wanted to have an Amsterdam falafel afterwards but I was stuffed.

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