It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize I've had less interest and time to devote to eating out and blogging about the DC food scene. Hopefully that changes eventually but can't make any promises anytime soon. There are two posts I'd like to get done with before the New Year and start fresh.
Taking the place of trying new restaurants all the time, I've spent more effort in just getting to know a few places I enjoy and can rely on. Doi Moi arrived on the 14th corridor with good buzz and has been quite busy since the doors first opened. Somehow I've managed to not only eat dinner twice, but I've also spent an evening in the cocktail lounge Two Birds, One Stone directly underneath.
I would say Doi Moi is exactly what I expect from an above average fun DC restaurant. It doesn't blow my socks off, but there are plenty of interesting dishes to enjoy. The ambiance is great with lots of people, not too noisy, a long bar for dining on right when you walk in, but also a drinking bar further down. The mostly white theme is also fun and clean. I don't love the floor to ceiling windows surrounding the restaurant. I personally would want to have more control over what diners see than just whatever madness is occurring on the streets and sidewalks. Plus, on top of that you feel like you're in a fish bowl as every passerby on the sidewalk gets to see what you're doing and what you're eating. Maybe I'm over reacting compared to others but I am rarely a fan of large expansive windows on restaurants.
The menu is plenty large for a variety of tastes and options. They let you know everything is share plate size (of course, right?!) - which is fun because you can order a lot of different things - but also not fun when you get the check. It's not cheap to eat there. Share plate size with full plate pricing it felt like.
This particular meal with photos is from so long ago that I can't honestly remember exactly what is each plate. It's not really important because a few were tasty with nice spices and heat, and others were duds (avoid the spring roll and the papaya salad only ok). I do give credit for offering items that you do not find most places and bringing an authentic feel to Thai/Vietnamese cuisine. It's also nice because there are many non meat or vegetarian choices. Just don't expect your standard pad thai as an option. I also have to admit I did not try anything from the cocktail menu - which is supposed to be a strong suit - and thus might be missing out on a nice part of the dining experience. Try it and let me know for next time.
Doi Moi is a nice and solid addition to the 14th corridor of ever expanding restaurants. It's large but fun with a diverse and interesting menu for everyone to explore. I like the decor and layout expect the windows, and found that our service was quite attentive and helpful with suggestions - but that the pricing is slightly more than I expected. I've already been a few times and I expect to continue that trend.