Laotian Restaurant, Thip Khao, opening early December – A Peek inside and at the Menu

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3462 14th Street, NW

Thanks to all who’ve sent emails about Thip Khao looking ready to open in the former Thai Thanic II space in Columbia Heights. They’ve been having some soft openings and will open to the public next week in early December. [Ed. Note: I’m told something came up last night and the chef will be traveling to Laos shortly for a family matter and they will open upon her return.] I was lucky enough to attend a preview dinner last night and I’m psyched to say the anticipation is warranted. Admittedly I am a wimp when it comes to spicy food but I have to say the Knap Pah (with Sea Bass) was one of the more delicious entrees I’ve had in a long time. It is super exciting for this section of 14th Street to get a restaurant of this quality. After last night I have no problem saying this a worthy neighbor to Le Caprice. Unfortunately my photos aren’t the best but have a glimpse inside and at the menu served last night – and more importantly when they open definitely be sure to check them out.

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More photos including the opening menu after the jump.

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24 Comment

  • What does “go to the jungle” mean?

    • +1 ….want to go, but no idea what that means!

    • In Thailand (and a lot of Thai restaurants) you can order “geng ba” which is often translated as “jungle curry”. Although a literal translation would be “crazy curry”. Whether jungle or crazy, it means that they throw all kinds of extra things into it. Like, if you have the choice of shrimp, pork, chicken or jungle; jungle would be all three.

      So, my guess is that jungle is Thip Khao’s version of “everything” and I’d enthusiastically order it!

    • It’s like doing animal style when you go to in-n-out.

    • I went to the soft opening last night and asked the server what that means, he said they include the innards of the animal (stomach, intestines, that sort of thing). They also have blood jelly for some of the items that have the ‘go to the jungle’ option

    • It’s that thing where you drop a midget into the Amazon jungle and give him a 30 minute head start before hunting him down with a pack of wild pack of house cats in bowties.

  • This is a rave!

  • Just after I move away from living on Meridian… sigh.

  • I was also lucky enough to attend a soft opening. Whoh. It’s all the best parts of Bangkok Golden. From the crisply rice salad (vegetarian) to the Lao sausage to the moak & orm. Yuuuuummm. This isn’t your run of the mill ethnic restaurant. There is a reason all the food critics rave about the chef. It’s amazing. Very similar to Little Serow.

  • do they have beerlao?!

  • justinbc

    Jealous you got to attend! I’ve always loved the food at Bangkok Golden, especially the spice levels they’re able to achieve while still maintaining great flavor. The prices here actually seem pretty reasonable too.

  • I really want to check this place out, but I’m actually a little scared of the amount of spice. I’ve never been to Bangkok Golden, and it sounds like Thai is meat and potatoes compared to Lao. I’m scurred! Also, can we get a new font for restaurant menus?

    • justinbc

      The spice levels aren’t mandatory, but for those who enjoy them it’s nice to know they’re actually available (as opposed to always getting “white people spicy”).

  • epric002

    am very excited to be going to their soft opening tonight! 😀

  • I’m going tonight also. Been to Bangkok Golden several times and one time I got something Lao hot against the server’s suggestion, and WOW! They did not dumb it down almost too hot and I do not shy away from heat. Chef Seng is great and I’m really happy to have this open a few blocks from my house.

  • I live right around the corner and am super excited for this! Wondering though – are there vegetarian / vegan options? I have a couple friends who would be interested if so.

    Separate note – does anyone know if there’s been any chatter to replace Getaway? Caprice is yum but so busy now that the neighborhood can’t get their mimosa on. I can never find a seat!

  • “Lao” or “Laotian” ??? When I was living over there everybody said “Laos” and I didn’t hear the word “Laotian” until I moved back to the US.

    • Hmm, interesting… maybe “Lao” refers more to the ethnic group (which extends beyond Laos into Thailand) and perhaps “Laotian” to the country itself? Not clear.
      noun \ˈlau̇\
      plural Lao or Laos
      1: a member of a Buddhist people living in Laos and adjacent parts of northeastern Thailand
      2: the Thai language of the Lao people
      First Known Use of LAO – 1808
      noun \lā-ˈō-shən, ˈlau̇-shən\
      Definition of LAOTIAN
      1: a native or inhabitant of Laos; also : lao 1
      2: lao 2 — Laotian adjective
      Origin of LAOTIAN
      probably from French laotien, adjective & noun, from Lao
      First Known Use: 1847

  • I got invited to the soft opening but was given a choice of days next week…was there an earlier one?

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