Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What's Good In The Hood?

Columbia Heights PlazaA few happenings in the NoCo/SoPet area lately, mostly good.

The best: Thai Tanic II, in The Allegro building at 14th and Meridian. While one must question the wisdom of naming your business after the ship that infamously sank on its first voyage, I have to say, this is some of the best Thai I've had in DC.

I've never eaten at Thai Tanic I, the original vessel of spicy deliciousness, and honestly, I can't believe what I've been missing. Every since the demise of Thai Town in Woodley Park many years ago, it's been next to impossible to find any Thai in DC that didn't cater to the bland. But TT II does not hold back on the heat.

Praise the stars. I'm not saying this will be like really authentic Thai on the west coast or anything, but it's damn good and the flame is on. Beyond the fact that they aren't afraid to put a little hot pepper in there, the menu is a lot more interesting than the typical Thai place, with lots of inventive dishes I've never seen before. I've beeen twice so far and had the Bird Nest on Fire (stir-fried chicken with chili & garlic paste, topped with red pepper & surrounded by crispy kale) and the Nua Ka Ting (beef slices marinated with wine, stir fried in Thai garlic chili sauce, topped with deep fried basil leaves). Actually, I just ate leftovers of the latter for lunch. Delicious.

Park Place at Petworth Metro is finally showing signs of being finished, meaning that walking and/or driving around the Petworth/Georgia Avenue Metro is no longer a giant pain in the butt as the sidewalk obstructions have finally been removed. It looks fantastic and I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of the first-floor retail that's planned there, to include a new restaurant from check Gillian Clark of the now-defunct Colorado Kitchen.

Cohi PlazaThe New Plaza at 14th and Park - this thing is just so cool. Every time I've walked by it, there have been at least a half-dozen people hanging out on the grass or the seat-border, playing in the fountian, or just taking a breather. It's a really cool little space and I think the design came out wonderfully. Nice work.

Went to Social just up the street from Thai Tanic a couple weeks ago. Unfortunately, they were hosting some kind of event that evening and we couldn't even get to the bar to get a drink - it was packed. I hope this is a good sign for the place, because a lot of what I've been reading elsewhere is a little hit or miss. But I blame the mediocre reviews more on the classlessness of the reviewers, than on Social.

Without having tried their food or beverage yet, I hope they succeed. The space is definitely interesting and takes a different direction than most places in Columbia Heights, which tend toward the casual. Social is certainly not stuffy, but it's pricey and you just get a vibe that says "Smith Point" a lot more than "Wonderland." But quite honestly, while I'm not a huge fan of Georgetown-style pretension, there is absolutely nothing bad about having businesses that attract a higher paycheck of customer than the ones I generally frequent around here.

Because that can have only one consequence: In 20 years I will sell my house for three million dollars, and be able live out the rest of my days in Bali with a staff of three to prepare my pureed peas and change my diapers.

So keep 'em coming, and dammit, spend lots of money at Social.

New 4-Way Stop at 13th & Taylor Streets NW. I bet you didn't know about that one, did you? Well you have to get up pretty early in the morning to sneak one past this guy.

This intersection used to be controlled only by a stop-sign on Taylor Street. 13th
Street traffic did not stop. As I live nearby, I must drive through this intersection frequently. It is interesting that this happened, because I had become convinced that there was a home for people who are smart enough to get a driver's license, but too stupid to drive, somwehre nearby. More than any other place in DC, people attempting to cross 13th Street from Taylor never seemed to be able to comprehend that 13th Street traffic did not stop. I have had to slam on my brakes many times because of this. Apparently the idea of a two-way stop is mind-boggling to some DC drivers.

Anyway, my theory is that with all the new development in Columbia Heights, the resulting influx of population finally put enough pressure here that someone noticed and decided a 4-way stop was in order. I think it's a good idea. Taylor Street is the principal route into Rock Creek Park and points west from hereabouts, and there are so many other stop signs on 13th Street already down here, what's one more. It makes it easier to turn left onto Taylor into the park (especially in the morning during rush hour, with heavy southbound traffic), and it eliminates the possibility of some moron thinking you're going to stop even though you don't have a stop sign.

For the record I am not in favor of traffic signs that are installed to deal with the fact that some people are morons. In this situation, though, it was warranted. All hail the new stop sign. Cyclists: no worries, like every other traffic control device, it won't affect you in any way.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Hey, just found your blog via your comment on my blog, New Columbia Heights. Let's swap links, what do you say?