First Impressions - I-Thai Restaurant and Sushi Bar in Georgetown
Last week, I had the pleasure of discovering the newest restaurantin Georgetown, I-Thai Restaurant and Sushi Bar, previously home to 30-year old M Street establishment, Garretts. As the restaurant name suggests, the specialties are Thai cuisine from four regions (northern, northeastern, central and southern) and sushi. Each Thai dish served is unique in that at least 3 to 4 of the taste senses are represented - sour, sweet, salty and bitter.
Upon arrival, along with an intimate group of bloggers/foodies, we were whisked away to the restaurant's design-forward glass encased rooftop where we were greeted with a variety of summery cocktails and mini-appetizers. I chose the Mango Topaz (rum, peach schnapps, mango juice, orange juice and a cherry for garnish) which was delicious and refreshing.
After some mingling, we were then escorted to one of the several modern Thai-themed dining areas and seated at a long table situated between a vivid yet warm red wall with tea light candles and the sushi bar ... and then our culinary feast began ...
First Course: An assortment of colorful sushi - maki, sashimi and nigiri - was brought to the table. Beautiful in presentation and unbelievable in taste. The sashimi were sizable pieces and the white fish (my favorite) literally melted in my mouth because it was that fresh. The nigiri ranged from salmon to unagi to squid. I adored the salmon and tuna but thought the squid was a little tough. Lastly, the maki rolls that stood out for me were the DC roll (mango topped with shrimp tempura) and the Sapporo roll (green soy paper with cucumber, avocado, and spicy crab). To. Die. For.
Second Course: Two meat-based dishes worth salivating over - the Crying Tiger (grilled Thai-style marinated flank steak, served with steamed vegetables, spicy fish sauce and sticky rice) and the Lamb Lover (grilled marinated lamb rib with a spicy yellow curry paste served with mixed vegetables in a white wine and garlic sauce). The Crying Tiger was a hit in that the combination of the flank steak (which was tender and flavorful) with the vegetables and rice made it a forkful of perfection. The Lamb Lover will excite your palate because nothing says summertime like grilled lamb. The spicy curry paste together with the lamb rib is a great example of a dish that mixes culture with cooking; and by the end, you'll want to drag your spoon through the sultry sauce.
Third Course: Two seafood-centric dishes that were aesthetically pleasing - Pineapple Fried Rice (stir-fried Jasmine rice with shrimp, egg, pineapple, tomatoes, onions, scallions, dry cranberry, cashews and dry shredded port in the Chef's sauce) and Aromatic Pumpkin Curry (prawns, bell pepper, red curry sauce). The fusion of ingredients in each speak for themselves. Yes, it's a bounty of food, but each bite is more delicious than the last.
Dessert: Finally, the sweetest part of the meal. We had the opportunity to taste the Green Tea Mochi and Mango Sticky Rice. Although I am more of a savory person, these desserts made me relish every bite. The mochi, pounded sticky rice that is a Japanese confection with an ice cream filling, was like a little masterpiece. My taste buds rejoiced. The combination of the warm sticky rice and velvety mango slices fed my inner child. Perfect finish to the meal.
For those who have not yet been, I highly encourage you to check out I-Thai Restaurant and Sushi Bar. I can vouch that it will please even the most discriminating palate.
Just as a side note, in addition to a full menu they also have gluten free menu. And as a special treat to mothers for Mother's Day, the restaurant has a special promotion running from May 9 - 11.
A big thank you to Damon Banks for the invitation and to I-Thai Restaurant and Sushi Bar for having us. An absolutely delightful dining experience. I shall return!
I-Thai Restaurant and Sushi Bar | 3003 M St NW, Washington, DC20007 http://www.i-thairestaurant.com/dc/home.php