Thip Khao, web site, 3462 14th Street NW, Washington, DC, 202-387-5426 (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Google | WaPo | Washingtonian | City Paper | Ylp | Don Rockwell | New Columbia Heights]
An offshoot of Bangkok Golden, they have now brought Laotian food to DC, indeed Columbia Heights. There is also an entire separate menu of “dishes we don’t have at Bangkok Golden,” which I can recommend. The soups here are very good, as are the ant eggs. Everything is fragrant and subtle, maybe more so than at the home branch. Prices are definitely higher, but not through the ceiling. What is lacking is heat, spice, and chilies, even though we asked for it. You will have to try harder in your requests than I did. This is an excellent place, but not yet perfect. And it gets very, very crowded. If you could put the best qualities of this branch and the mother ship together, you would indeed have a perfect restaurant. In any case you definitely should go, even if you think “Why should I? Bangkok Golden is already close to me.” This place is different, and in some ways better, though not all.