Editors' pick

Rice Restaurant

$$$$ ($15-$24)

Editorial Review

When the ultimate destination for a girls' night out is U Street, Logan Circle's Rice is a good place to know about. Low lighting lends a cool, loungey feel to the minimalist space. Exposed brick walls and cushy bench seats help reinforce the theme.

Common Thai offerings -- pad Thai, tom yum goong and penang curry -- are available here, but I gravitate toward the restaurant's more contemporary dishes. Squid ink lends a dramatic color and more intense flavor to one pad Thai dish. Green tea subtly scents some of the dumplings. A slow-burning heat lurks in a milky green curry. One-third of the menu caters to vegetarians, and the cocktail list will appeal to anyone with a flair for fruity. (Melon-cucumber mojito, anyone?)

-- Julia Beizer (Feb. 19, 2010)