Thip Khao: Amazing Laotian Cuisine

thip khao featured-image

Whether you have a plan on which spots to visit or prefer to go off the beaten track to satisfy a craving for something unique, there is plenty to discover in the DMV (District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia). Virginia boasts an extensive array of restaurants and cafes featuring one-of-a-kind approaches to Southeast Asian cuisine. Fans of Vietnamese, Cambodian, Thai, Malaysian, and Filipino cooking will recognize the colorful palates. Then there is Lao cuisine, which stands on its own with a characteristic combination of smooth textures and deep, spicy flavor profiles. Step into Thip Khao by Chef Seng, and you will be in for a genuine treat.

Thip Khao Restaurant

Located at 3462 14th St NW, Columbia Heights, Washington, DC. Accessible to Metro bus route (52 , 53 , 54) 14th Street Line.

The first thing you absolutely need to know about Laotian food is the proper way to eat sticky rice. Thip Khao actually offers a step-by-step illustrated diagram <for dummies> on how to of about it. Sticky rice or ‘Khao Niao (ເຂົ້າໜຽວ)‘ is serious business in Laos!

how to eat sticky rice

The rice is contained in a small woven basket. No utensil required. Just use your hands and ball up some glutinous goodness!

sticky rice

The rice is so fluffy, moist and grainy, it melts in your mouth and so delicious. Especially, when dipped into some lao chili sauce. 🙂


Whether you decide on a traditional three-course menu or choose to stick with multiple appetizers and a dessert, Thip Khao’s selection is nothing short of tantalizing, covering everything from beef and seafood to alligator. We at Diostar Dumplings were blown away by such dishes as Piing Leen and Laab E’Kae.

thip khao menu

Piing Leen is a Lao classic of succulent grilled beef tongue with spicy and sweet sauce. The acerbic tang of the lime combines perfectly with the saltiness of the beef and the spicy hit of  chili peppers. We ordered the spice level of ‘Phete E’Lee’ or “Lao Hot”.

beef tongue

Laab E’Khae is a savory dish made of minced alligator tripe with green mango, toasted rice, scallion, cilantro, mint, and (of course!) chili powder… Anyone with an appetite for definitive, authentic cuisine will appreciate Chef Seng’s culinary prowess, especially her immaculate preparation of alligator meat. Anyone, who has yet to try it will have a memorable foray into funky flavors that seem both new and familiar.


laos dinner

Enjoy the savory, but be sure to save room for the sweet! You will be glad not to resist the sensational Khao Long, or pumpkin sticky rice. Sweet as honey and light as pudding, Khao Long is a fine balance of the rich and creamy rice in velvety coconut milk with refreshing, almost-juicy quality of the pumpkin puree. A delectable detour in Laos is one memorable way to top off the night.

pumpkin sticky rice dessert

Here is our complete bill, which wasn’t too bad for a there-course meal of authentic Laotian cuisine in DC. Well worth it.


Make sure you check out Thip Khao whenever you’re Washington DC. You won’t regret it. We definitely would  to revisit again! Stay tuned for the video footage…..

Comments (3)

  1. Alev writes beautifully. I could practically taste her choices. The photographs were amazing and of course, who would expect the price to be so reasonable? Whether we live in the area or not, it would be worth the drive to taste this menu. Thanks, Alev and Diostar.

    1. Alevtina Gefen

      Hey, thanks Joyce! Glad you enjoyed our post! We work very hard on our content. Stay tuned for more…Please feel free to subscribe to our blog updates. 🙂

    2. Jacke Hui

      Thank you for your generous comments! 🙂

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