And the good news is, the food is great. The restaurant is Doi Moi, and of course it is located on 14th street, the street that never seems to run out of room for restaurants. Upscale Asian is hard to find in the city, but Doi Moi is here to solve that problem. The venue has a modern feel with a great menu that features separate vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free sections, an extensive drink menu, and friendly and helpful service.
Reservations are only available at 5:30 or 6:00 p.m., but the wait is usually only long on the weekends. Once you get a table, get your meal off to the right start by ordering garlicky chive dumplings, crispy radish cakes with an earthy mushroom soy sauce, and a fresh tomato and cucumber salad with fried tofu. If you have to pick just one, go with the dumplings. They are succulent and perfect.
For larger plates, get the stir-fried pineapple which is citrusy and surprisingly savory with garlic, ginger, peanuts, and cilantro as the other components. The crispy morning glory is equally as tasty, and the stir fried noodles are spicy and luscious. Hearty mushrooms and holy basil add texture and depth of flavor. The wild mushroom curry is one of the most famous dishes at Doi Moi, but watch out: it is really, really spicy. The housemade tofu, greens, and beans in the dish are delicious, but be prepared for the heat factor! The sautéed green beans are also good, but similarly spicy.
Clearly, it is hard to go wrong at Doi Moi: almost everything is delicious, and the food is ideal for sharing. If you are scared of how spicy some of the dishes are just get a lot of rice (white, brown, or jasmine) and that will help! Sweet soft serve that is available for dessert will also cool you down.
After dinner, head to the downstairs bar, 2 Birds 1 Stone, for a drink.
Doi Moi, 1800 14th Street Northwest Washington D.C. 20009, 202-733-5131