As a big fan of Johnny Monis' cooking at Komi , I've often wondered what the chef's next project might bring. No more wondering: Monis is preparing to open a Thai restaurant called Little Serow right next door to Komi in the next week or so.
At the new restaurant, located on the lower level of 1511 17th St. NW, Monis will prepare family-style menus of Isaan cuisine from Northeastern Thailand. The communal meal will cost $45 per person for food, and the restaurant, with about 30 seats, will be walk-in only.
Little Serow takes its name from a breed of mountain goat native to the region — which seems appropriate considering Monis' katsikaki dish at Komi is one of the best goat preparations around.
The chef stressed that Komi is not changing. "We’re as focused as ever at continuing to improve with each service, without compromise."
The spaces are connected but have separate kitchens. "I’ve figured out how to be in two places at once and have surrounded myself with a group of incredibly talented individuals who I’m lucky to work next to and collaborate with every day," Monis says.
So why Thai? "Whereas Komi is a natural extension of my heritage and the food I grew up with, Little Serow is a passion project," Monis says. "Isaan food has a flavor profile that I love eating on our days off and have been cooking for our staff family meal and behind the scenes for the last few years. Traveling through northern Thailand with Anne (my wife and the other half of Komi) furthered solidified the fact that we wanted to do this."
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