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First Look: Doi Moi Opens on 14th Street
August 26, 2013 | 11:00AM

all photos: Stephanie Breijo

While the 14th Street restaurant scene seems to be expanding at a rate that may appear almost worrisome to some, it is great to see the team behind a few of our favorite eateries in town open a new outpost there. This Tuesday, Chef Haidar Karoum and restaurateur Mark Kuller, the team behind Proof and Estadio, will officially open doors to DOI MOI, their Thai/Vietnamese themed concept.

The address is 1800 14th street NW and the restaurant spreads over 5000 sq. feet, spanning two buildings — one new, one historic. Designer Griz Dwight, of GrizForm Designs, who was also responsible for the Estadio interior, took a completely different approach here. The space is modern, light, bright, and positively glowing. No dark woods, exposed light-bulbs, exposed brick or moody colors here, using the direct translation of DOI MOI (new change) as the direct inspiration.

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The brightness continues in the kitchen. Haidar Karoum has seven years of Asian cooking (for Asia Nora) under his belt and while the menu is being still finalized you can expect South East Asian food that sticks pretty close to their origins. A selection of curries dominates what we’ve seen on the menu, as well as items like spicy soups and spice roasted chickens swathed in lemongrass. For those with a sweet tooth-expect Asian flavored soft-serve ice creams and more (for which our team is VERY excited for, we’re not afraid to admit)

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Adam Bernbach, who is in charge of the always outstanding cocktail programs at Proof and Estadio, is obviously having a great time with the beverage menu here: there’s talk of salt-cured key lime sodas with gin and peanut infused bourbons, as well as plenty of Asian beers and wines selected for their spice-friendliness. Nothing not to like.

After friends and family services this weekend, the doors are officially open TOMORROW. Reservations are available both via phone (202-733-5131) AND Open Table.

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