5 Places to Go When The Wait Is Too Long at These Other 5 Places

[ 0 ] August 27, 2014 |
Seafood Dumplings at Toki Underground

Seafood Dumplings at Toki Underground

It was on a freezing cold night that I had an epiphany about this post.  Where do you go when you cannot get in??  There are many, many places in the District to eat but there are those select few that you can almost never get in unless your luck has made you a lottery winner in the past.  Lucky for this town, there are also many places that offer comparable if not better alternatives when you cannot get into the “best of” of the moment.  Here’s my take on five places that are awesome but almost impossible to get into and their comparable counterparts that ease the wait game.

  1. Toki Underground Toki Underground on Urbanspoon:  The restaurant opened in 2012 busting open the ramen dining scene and still has a 2-3 hour wait if you decide to drop in on any given night of the week (*unless you get there promptly at 4:55 pm).
    1. Alternative:  Daikaya.  Daikaya on Urbanspoon Daikaya is a pretty good alternative because the wait is usually ranging in the 45 minute -1 hour wait.  Their miso combination soups won’t let you skip a beat from what you would get at Toki.
  2. Little Serow:  Little Serow on Urbanspoon So that place I froze my bum off for in February was, um, yeah, this spot.  I wish I could tell you about the food which I heard is phenomenal (*and spicy as all hell!), but I have not been back sincethathour long wait only to get on the waitlist for the waitlist.
    1. Alternative:  Doi Moi.  Doi Moi on Urbanspoon Now some (*those that have spent time in Southeast Asia) may disagree with me here, but this place was pretty darn good.  I don’t know if it was the way they welcomed me after my frost bites gradually wore off or the fact that their Laab Ped salad is one of the best (*and spiciest) dishes you will find in this part of town, but it won its position on this list.
  3. Thai X-ing:  Thai X-Ing on Urbanspoon Still impossible to even think of doing a day of reservation some odd number years later since its entry into the DC restaurant scene.  This is, however, the BEST Thai food I have EVER tasted.
    1. Beau Thai Beau Thai on Urbanspoon is absolutely the alternative.  Owned by the sister of Taw Vigsittaboot, Thai X-ing owner, it is hard to believe you would get anything but familiar flavors in these doors.
  4. Rose’s Luxury:  Rose's Luxury on Urbanspoon LOVE this place and it is well worth the wild goose chase for a reservation on their rooftop (*with the right group of folks that is…).  It can, however, be substituted on nights where the line wraps completely around the block.
    1. Compass Rose.  Compass Rose on Urbanspoon Donning the same floral name, Compass Rose has a couple of things on its menu that makes it worth the Uber ride across town if the line at Rose’s becomes unbearable.  The khachapuri has grabbed the attention of the food writers in this town.  Hot bread with a sunny egg, white cheese and melted butter on top, its hard not to see why all eyes are on this dish when one visits Compass Rose.
  5. Honey Pig Gooldaegee Korean BBQ:  Honey Pig on Urbanspoon Saved the best for last.  I say Honey Pig is the best because it is the best trap for a wait time if you have a craving for Korean BBQ.  For years Washingtonians have been trekking out to the Annandale location to try one of the best cheap eats in the area, but only after a 45 minute -1 hour wait.  This was probably one of the only and few times I initially waited this long for food. Alast, there is an alternative!
    1. Kogiya Korean BBQ.  Kogiya Korean BBQ on Urbanspoon One of my classmates at L’Academie de Cuisine put me onto this spot last Fall and I have not looked back since!  Comparable food and prices with more food (*come to think of it…), Kogiya ended the excruciating wait for my cravings.  Someone got word though…over the last few months I have noticed a bit of a wait.   Ten to 20 minutes, however, is much more bearable.

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Category: restaurant reviews, Reviews, VA, Washington D.C.

About the Author ()

Johnna French is a Harlem NY native with deep roots in Panama, Washington, DC and North Carolina. All four places have heavily influenced her life and the foods she loves today. After graduating Howard University School of Law and beginning her life as a young professional in the city she was led to start Johnna Knows Good Food in November 2007 to keep family, friends and colleagues updated on where to go and what to eat while dining in the nation’s capitol. French, who still practices law, leads a team of three writers to cover the ever expanding Washington, DC food scene. French has been featured in print and television, appearing in Washingtonian Magazine and is a regular contributor to various local TV affiliates including WUSA 9, FOX 5 DC and WJLA (ABC Affiliate) News Channel 8. During the 2016-2017 football season, Johnna aired on Comcast Sports Mid-Atlantic (CSN) show, Redskins Life, as the weekly tailgate host. Johnna is currently a regular contributor to the FOX Baltimore Weekend morning show.

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