A little "over the top" goes a long way. Sure, sometimes a restaurant's decor is so generic, so high-tech Asian or dark wood and green paint or replica flea market/tavern that you experience deja vu the first time you walk in. But there are restaurants that really earn the word "unique," for better or worse. Here are a few that push the envelope, at least in one way or another -- most, we're happy to say, with a sense of humor:
CLOUD DINING LOUNGE -- One Dupont Cir.; 202-872-1122. White faux leather beds and a canopy bunk bed.
FIREFLY -- 1310 New Hampshire Ave. NW; 202-861-1310. Full-size steel-frame tree with hand-carved and hand-painted composite bark in the dining room.
INDEBLEU -- 707 G St. NW; 202-333-2538. A miniature suspension bridge, ornamental staircase and a Parisian-style lounge whose curved mattress-like back arches up to the ceiling.
MIE N YU -- 3125 M St. NW; 202-333-6122. "Birdcage," hanging chef's table.
OYA -- 777 Ninth St. NW; 202-393-1400. Red crocodile-skin-topped bar.
LE PARADOU -- 678 Indiana Ave. NW; 202-347-6780. A 420-piece, 31/2-by-71/2-foot hand-blown glass chandelier by Robert Kuster that looks like a fiery man-of-war (or Ariel's coronation wig).
-- Eve Zibart