Washington D.C. Restaurant

Pan-Asian cooking at Ten Penh

At Ten Penh, it's hard to decide what you want to do first--order everything on the pan-Asian menu or buy all the furnishings. Executive chef Jeff Tunks and owners Gus DiMillo and David Wizenberg, who are also in charge of the city's popular DC Coast, canvassed Bangkok, Hong Kong, Saigon, Macao, and Singapore and came back with an exceptional mix of objects--custom two-tone teak dining chairs from Vietnam, a 17th-century Buddha, hammered bronze flatware, Thai silk for walls and banquettes, oversized incense coils from Macao. It may be the most beautiful decor in the city.

As conceived by Tunks and his Philippine-born chef de cuisine, Cliff Wharton, the menu is sophisticated. Standout dishes include Vietnamese-spiced crispy quail with green papaya salad; hamachi and ahi tartare; and red Thai curry prawns. Only the tasteless and greasy tamarind-glazed five-spice baby back pork ribs disappointed. Pastry chef David Guas' desserts also have an Asian accent: warm chocolate five-spice cake and Thai black rice pudding. 1001 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., at Tenth. $78. 202-393-4500. tenpenh.com/main.htm