Sunday, March 03, 2013

Tonight's Awesome Laotian Pop-Up at Toki

I was lucky enough to snag a reservation for tonight's Laotian tasting menu at Toki Underground (2nd floor of 1234 H Street) tonight. First, I love Toki for the awesome ramen and dumplings, but tonight was something special. H Street is blessed with many terrific restaurants, and one of the fun things that many of them do is special dinners. The pricing for such dinners (tonight came to $88 with tax, pre-tip, once I added the suggested drink pairing) means that they are a rare splurge for me. But, in my experience, they are well worth it. This one certainly was. I love the fact that we have such a thriving culinary scene on H Street.
The area has changed so much since I first moved to the neighborhood in 2001. I can grab a quick bite at Shawafel, or Horace and Dickie's, or sit down for a different experience at Boundary Road, or The Atlas Room. I sometimes feel that everything I need is right here. Yet, I digress. Here's what I ate (with a friend, and neighbor) tonight (sorry for any blurry cell phone photos, but you get the idea):

DSC_0002 DSC_0005  food
This was a sausage served with a slight spicy dipping sauce. That stuff on the leaf is a tomato chili paste.
Crispy fried rice balls, coconut, peanuts, and maybe lime? You wrap it in a lettuce leaf to eat
A super spicy papaya salad with tomato and lime. I'm not a spice wimp at all, but I had to take a break mid-way through this one. Even so, we left not a bite on the plate. Oh, I think they said that fried thing was pig ear.
This was a delightful duck dish that you eat on top of a lettuce leaf. Like everything else we tried, it was full of flavor (but, thankfully, not spicy).
This is the pickled fish. Served with mushrooms, chilies, and crispy lime leaf. This was far and away my favorite dish of the night. Simply out of this world delicious. If I could only eat 10 or 15 dishes for the rest of my life, this would be among them.

Next up was a curried fish stew. This was excellent as well, but I was still reeling from the pickled fish delight. I worried about the dill (about which, I am generally iffy), but I was wrong. The balance was perfect.
Our dessert course was a most decadent coconut tapioca concoction with glutinous rice cake bites. Yum. But I had to box it up after a taste. I was stuffed.


Anonymous said...

Yum! I was really curious about this but missed the opportunity. Glad to hear it was good.

curmudgeon said...

This would have been right up my alley, but it sold out before I even found out about it. Blah. Glad it was great.

Peggy Fairchild said...

I'm not really sure what Laotian food is, but it looks like Chinese. Have you been to Panda Express? Their orange chicken is absolutely yumm-o!

Anonymous said...

Great another unfunny faux eager Polly Anna poster. DERP.

Unknown said...

thank you to everyone in the community for coming. Thank you frozen tropics for the love and support.


Wenonah Reona Erickson said...

This was my first experience with Laotian food... it was mind blowing food. not Chinese I can say.... the Laotian HOT spiciness was..... higher than Thai hot and it was great... I was tearing up!!! lol
I absolutely love... LOVE the coconut milk desert!!! OMG! LOVE!!!! also, the crispy rice and the duck was my favorite!!!! the wine paring was.... wonderful! I can't wait to get some more Laotian cuisine!!!