As a freshman in college, trying to navigate the mundane dining hall can be pretty tough. There are only so many spoonfuls of nutella you can eat from the jar without feeling pretty gross. When I found out my mom and sister were coming to visit me for my birthday, not only was I elated to see them, but I was also able to finally take a break from the dining hall at Georgetown to explore the Restaurant City of the Year (according to Bon Appétit).I immersed myself in my Zagat book, Yelp reviews, and this Georgetown dining guide and came across Little Serow, a small Thai restaurant in Dupont Circle, not too far from Georgetown University. Little Serow is a family-style Thai restaurant hidden underneath Komi (another restaurant run by Jonny Monis). It seats 28 people at a time and does not take any reservations. Needless to say, the queue starts well before the restaurant opens at 5:30 pm and continues for the duration of the night.
#SpoonTip: The best times to go to avoid the line are from Tuesday through Thursday, before 6 pm and after 8:30 pm.
When we arrived, little did I know our journey with the some of the spiciest food we would ever eat was about to begin.
Pictured above is si krong muu, the swansong of the meal (pork ribs/mekhong whiskey/dill). Preceding this melt-off-the-bone dish were hints of mushroom, white turmeric, cashew, ginger, coconut, and more. Each dish is built on the flavors of the one prior, giving you a Thai feast suitable for royalty in a calm, cool, and trendy atmosphere
With a pre-set menu, the only selection you have to make at Little Serow is your drink of choice, a perfect restaurant for the indecisive. At $49 per person, Little Serow is not cheap but you do get a lot of food and a one-of-a-kind dining experience. While pork, seafood, and nuts are staples on every weekly menu, the other items change with the seasons, allowing for the greatest freshness and the boldest flavors.The menu for the week is updated every Tuesday afternoon.
Make sure to check the menu in advance because once you arrive, changes are not possible. Unfortunately, Little Serow is not an allergy-friendly restaurant. But if this is not a problem for you, go in with an open mind and leave your fear of spice at home, because the staff at Little Serow know exactly what they are doing.
Be prepared. The spice is real at Little Serow. So if spice is not your thing, this may not be the place for you. But if you're up for a the challenge and the adventure, these fresh veggies come with your meal to help ease the spice throughout. About halfway through, you will be ready for Little Serow's homemade rice milk to take the edge off. The spice is a little overwhelming at times but part of the experience, nonetheless.
Romantic lighting, turquoise walls, a communal booth, and quaint table settings, Little Serow is the perfect place to go for a fun night out that's as comfortable as being at home. Not too quiet, not too loud. Just enough people to fill the room without the chaos of hip overcrowded restaurants.
The waiters and waitresses were super friendly and explained each and every dish that they served. They did not judge when we needed a little extra rice milk to cool the heat and they paced the courses perfectly. Even though there is usually a long line of people waiting to get in, you don't feel rushed and have plenty of time to enjoy all seven of your northern and northeastern Thai courses.