Neighborhood: 14th Street/Logan Circle
During my homeless stretch, among the houses where I crashed, was the lovely apartment of Official Friend of DCWD Madison. Needing something for dinner, we settled on Rice.
Rice sits in a patch of 14th St where strangely it's the only restaurant on the block, surrounded by a cute real estate shop and the remains of HR-57. Out in front is a small simple patio next to a tan brick facade. Inside is a dim dining area with wood floors lit by light fixtures that look vaguely by canoes. In the front window and the green-tea/brown walls are silver branch candle holders, contrasted on the other side by exposed brick. Seating is mostly two tops in combo, with half-bench seating on one side, and a bar and high tables in the back.
For a starter, we ordered ginger tempura which consisted of pumpkin, bean sprout, and papaya. I thought the choice of vegetables was inspired, but that the ginger portion was a little oversold. The dipping sauce was the only place the ginger flavor came into play, and it was faint at that. Enjoyable, but not crazy good or anything.
For our entrees, I ordered the red curry duck served with lychee, grapes, pineapple, and tomato, and with a side of black sticky rice. This was almost a duplicate of a dish I had from Teakwood
and similarly, it was amazing. Sweet with the right amount of heat, and nice fatty chunks of duck breast, it was in many ways better than the Teakwood version. One key difference? The black sticky rice which was just downright amazing. I would go back just to order that.
Madison on the other hand had sauteed vegetables and fried tofu in light soy sauce. Simple, though it lacked anything that made it super special. Still after the duck and the rice, why would you need anything else?
Solid Thai food with sometimes great moments. And seriously, don't sleep on the rice.
Food Rating: *** 1/2 (out of 5)
Date Rating: 3 Hearts (out of 5)
Dress Code: Casual
Bar Rating: Quiet Drinks
Cost: $$ (out of 5) ($25-$50 for two)
Pairing: Head up to Source Theater or down to Playbill Cafe for this month's Capital Fringe Festival (those two are among the non-Shaw venues).