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Little Serow Makes GQ’s Top 12 Most Outstanding Restaurants of 2013

by Prince Of Petworth February 20, 2013 at 12:00 pm 26 Comments


1511 17th Street, NW

From GQ’s list:

“I don’t enjoy lining up for ninety minutes, required to get a table on a Saturday night.

Little Serow is transformational. The preparations are exquisitely focused. The spicing ascends and then descends, as harmoniously as musical scales. This was my finest eating experience of 2012.”

Congrats to Little Serow! Now we’ll be lucky if we only have a 90 minute wait :)

  • WREinDC

    I’ve been wanting to eat their for a long time but their wait in line reservation policy is too much to handle. I’d rather schedule a reservation a month in advance over the phone than waste 90 minutes standing in line.

    • WREinDC

      *to eat there for a long time*

    • John

      You don’t need to wait in line for 90 minutes. When I went we left our names, went back to my place (nearby), and they called us ~20 minutes before the space was ready.

    • Irving Streete

      On the other hand, you can spend way more than 90 minutes trying to get a reservation at a place this hip and this small. And all the reservations go to people who have their people call for them. There’s a certain democracy to lining up — I wish they still sold concert tickets that way, I might get a decent seat.

      • Anonymous

        Oh yes, that brings back fond memories of lining up outside Tower Records before a big show was about to go on sale.

      • I’m just not following the reasoning behind the comment that “there is a certain democracy to lining up.” Waiting in a queue is more democratic than phoning?

  • Anonymous

    Is this place that much better than Thai X-ing?

    • _

      They’re both great and actually quite different. Little Serow is a much more interesting dining experience and arguably even a better deal now that Thai X-ing is prix fixe only.

    • anonymous

      I bet the poor rural Thai people that came up with the Issan cuisine being served would REALLY be scratching their heads if they walked past and saw the line to make reservations.

      • Anonymous

        They might scratch their heads at a lot of things in Washington.

        But I suspect they might also be proud that their cuisine is being honored by a great chef and that people with a great deal of disposable income and a lot of options for eating different foods like it enough to wait in line for 90 minutes to enjoy it.

        Just because people are poor and rural doesn’t mean they don’t take pride in their culture and wish to share it with others.

  • Skadoosh

    I ate here a few weeks ago. The food was awesome. I got the pairing and was shitfaced by the end of the night (two hours of drinking at Hank’s helped with that). But I still don’t get this foodie-hipster culture, which is pretty pretentious in its own way. I mean, 2 hr wait and a couple hundred dollars for something that you’re going to shit a few hours later? It’s kind of obscene.

    • You are my new god. I will pay your bail.

    • Commenting about excrement is obscene, too.

      • Point of order, counselor. SCOTUS ruled in United States v. One Book Called “Ulysses”, 5 F. Supp. 182 [S.D.N.Y. 1933], aff’d 72 F.2d 705 [2d Cir. 1934] that writing at length about poo, pee, farts, and various scatalogical functions is not, in the opinion of the court, obscene. Lewd or indecent, possibly, but not obscene.

        • Like J. Potter Stewart wrote: “I know it when I see it.”

    • Best comment I’ve read on here in a while. Kudos.

  • Abby

    Not sure I understand the complaint about waiting in line for 90 minutes. They take you name and cell number, then text you when they have a table for you. There are endless options of bars in the area where you can grab a drink and wait for your text. Our favorite wait and drink spot is Hanks.

    • Anonymous

      Ok, but how is this preferable to patrons calling and making a reservation for some future date? You’re going to say “what about the no-shows?” And I’m going to respond “what about the people who went to Hank’s to drink away the 90 minute wait, saw their favorite thing on the specials menu and decided to stay there for dinner?”
      I absolutely loathe restauranteurs that make you jump through their control-freak hoops to eat their food. As if their (lousy) table management system somehow trumps the patron’s time. It’s a repugnant attitude. I rarely bother with restaurants that don’t take reservations.

  • Irving Streete

    I’ve been a couple of times and really enjoy it, but do wonder if the fame of its chef and the almost intolerable hipsterness of the joint (which, to be clkear, I enjoyed — country music in a grungy basement with Bianchi green walls and hipster-hot waitresses) have combined to elevate its reputation somewhat above the level of its cooking, which can be a little repetitive. Nonetheless an excellent place and a pretty decent bargain, considering.

    • The food was good, but clearly not one of the 12 most outstanding restaurants in the US. I think they have an awesome PR machine that draws hipsters and makes the place seem much better than it is. I enjoyed dinner there but won’t be going back.

      • When in doubt, just say “hipster”

      • RozCat

        A list of “12 best” is of course absurd, but I don’t see how any one else’s list is in less so.

  • mmm

    the food is easily the best Thai food I’ve had outside of Thailand (and honestly better than a lot of food I ate in Thailand). You might be turned off by the whole “scene” and hype of it all, but you can’t deny that 1) the food is fantastic and 2) the owners / PR team knows exactly what they are doing. Down to the aforementioned painted walls, soundtrack, and cute “uniforms.”

    • anonymous

      I would second this place as best Thai food outside of Thailand.

    • anonymous

      but if you thought this was better than most of the food in Thailand, I must ask how long were you there for, where did you go, and what kind of places did you eat at?

      • mmm

        didn’t say most, but I was there for 5 weeks and ate in a huge variety of places — street food, private homes, small town restaurants, city markets, train stations, and also more upscale restaurants targeting the tourists and expats. I was as far north as Pai, along the Burmese border, Chang Mai, Bangkok, Koh Tao, Krabi, Ayutthaya…I saw (and ate) a lot.

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