Best No-Wait Restaurant on 14th Street

Baan Thai at Tsunami Sushi
1326 14th St. NW, (202) 588-5889
If you wait until the last minute to eat out on 14th Street NW, you’re pretty much screwed. An hour-to-two wait is the admission price at most of the restaurants worth visiting on the trendy corridor. Not so at Baan Thai, where you can always count on a seat and a satisfying, affordable meal. Credit the lack of a big name chef and hip decor, or the fact that people have yet to discover that some of the best Thai food in the District is served at a sushi restaurant. In addition to your standard California rolls, the menu focuses primarily on the pungent, spicy, and occasionally funky flavors of northern Thailand. Among the highlights: thin rice noodles with a ground chicken and shrimp peanut sauce and a tangle of greens fried tempura style as well as khao soi, a Burmese-style coconut-based curry with chicken, egg noodles, red onion, and pickled cabbage topped with crunchy fried noodles. Also don’t miss the northern Thai pork curry with strands of ginger and bright yellow pickled garlic. In the time you’d be waiting for a table at Le Diplomate, you’ll be full and happy.