I went to two Thai places in Georgetown fairly recently, Bangkok Joe's and Bangkok Bistro. Bangkok Bistro is the hip and happening place that recently had Gabourey Sidibe as a guest. Bangkok Joe's calls itself a "dumpling house" and is situated on the lovely Georgetown waterfront.
Friendly and efficient
Overall excellent quality. I appreciate their menu because they added vegetarian versions of traditionally meat-filled foods, such as "snow white soup" to replace the chicken or shrimp in the Tom kha soup, or tofu pad thai with the vegan or vegetarian option. I ordered snow white soup, tofu panang and tofu pad thai. The soup was absolutely delicious, probably one of the best I've had. However, the tofu in the tofu panang was distractingly salty, which I just couldn't get over. The sauce was excellent, though. The pad thai was pad thai, nothing to write home about but not awful either.
With the strange exception of the salty tofu, the food was excellent and worth what was paid for it, the service was attentive and the restaurant has a great vibe with huge walls that open so that the entire front of the restaurant is open to the street.
Efficient but not that friendly. They service tends to hang out in the back of the restaurant talking to each other and standing around. They're never smiling or friendly, either, even though they always get your food quickly. It's very strange. They've also brought out the wrong food before, and overcharged for what I've ordered.
The food is great! I got lemon grass soup, tofu panang and a "tomkhatini," which is a martini based on the coconut tom kha soup. The lemon grass soup was great, and the tomkhatini is a revelation. It's really the panang that I keep going back for, though. The curry sauce is thicker than those served in other restaurants, which gives it a truly creamy texture, and the flavor of the kaffir lime really comes through. My one complaint is that the dish typically comes with noodles, so you have to remember to request rice instead. The noodles have an unpleasant texture, almost like solid pudding or something. I really dislike that.
The service has always been strange here, but the food has always been absolutely the best I've had in DC. I have dreams about their panang sometimes...
In the end, if I have a choice I'll go to Bangkok Joe's because I love their food so much, but both are really, really good. You can't really go wrong at either one. Only note is, I'm not sure the price is worth it at dinnertime, when a basic entree can start at $15 - they're typically around $10 at other Thai places.
3251 Prospect Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20007-3243
3000 K Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20007-5109