Hours: Lunch, Mondays through Fridays 11.30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; dinner, Mondays through Saturdays 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Sundays 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Also, brunch, Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and breakfast, Tuesdays through Sundays, 7 a.m. until maybe 10.30 a.m.
Atmosphere: Indonesian cuisine - an-off-beat treat for post-toddlers and parents.
Price Range: For the timid, there's a hamburger with fries for $1.95. Most dishes in the $4.75 to $5.95 range, with some fancier offerings.
Credit cards: American Express, Diners Club, Master Charge, Visa.
Reservations: Not necessary.
Special facilities: Steps in front make access by wheelchair difficult. Street parking was fine on a Sunday evening, but there's free dinner parking after 6 p.m. at 2135 P St. NW.
The District Weekly wizards who underwrite our family forays had a suggestion - and since we know full well how our bread is buttered, we were quick to agree with it. With scores of restaurants now under our belts, so to speak, how about revisting some of our early favorities?
At a hastily called summit meeting, our family of four took a grand total of maybe 45 seconds to pick our top choice. We voted 3 to 8 (our 9-year-old daughter abstained since she couldn't quite place this place after a year and a half to return to the Bali in the old Hartnett Hall at 21st and P streets just off Dupont Circle.
The Bali's claim, as some readers may know, is that it is Washington's "first and only Indonesian restaurant." Our claim, at the time we first visited, was that this was our first and only experience with Indonesian cooking.
Joining us this Sunday evening was a pal of our daughter - a bubbly little Arkansas traveler whose year-long stay in the neighborhood was winding up.
The room we had eaten in previously was now labeled "cocktail lounge," so we wound up in a smaller nook to the left of the entrance.
In here, under two large chandeliers, each cleverly covered by three jolly parasols, the decor was soft and almost homey: eight tables with bright red tableclothes and bamboo placemats.
With a round of soft drinks and margaritas, we set to ordering a sumptuous feast. This can be done easily by signing up for the rijsttafel - a fascinating bounty of house specialties from appetizer to dessert, at $9.95 for one, $19.45 for two and on to $38.45 for four.
But as we'd done before, we decided to mix it up our own way. Instead of a straight rerun of last time, though, we thought it best to explore anew among the selections numbered 1 to 40.
For appetizers, duaghter and friend proposed splitting an order of fried wonton (No. 3), at $1.45, and a bowl of egg drop soup (No. 8a), at 95 cents. My wife and our 11-year-old son saw merit in this proposal and ordered the same.
The peanut sauce, in case you're wondering, isn't peanut butter. There are equal measurements of herbs and culinary care; it first strikes tasters as mild and then, after six ministicks of meat with it, does a slow burn.
The chicken, lightly gingery, was extremely tasty. The fried lamb, too, was beautifully prepared, in a mildly spicy soy sauce. To complete the spread, there arrived a large platter with a mountain of rice that no one would sucessfully scale.
The children - by now on a definite Bali high - topped things off with chocolate ice cream at 95 cents, while my wife and I made do with coffee.
This entire marvelous banquet for five - efficiently served in an hour and 15 minutes, by the way - came to $44.57 plus tip, which one could trim by skipping those excellent appetizers.
In any event, the Bali seems to be a big hit with children over the age of, say, 7. Families we know have come away raving. We came away pleased that the Bali remains as fine a place as we had remembered.
I chose No. 1, meat crepes, at $1.50.
It was share-time, of course - and everybody won. The wontons were crispy, light litle chips, each with a dot of beef inside; the egg drop was amply egged, and the meat crepes, though not really crepes, were wonderful egg-rolls encasing bits of burger.
So this balance of trades was perfect, to be matched only by the next set of courses. In numerical ordering, here's how it went:
No. 20, the beef shishkabob with peanut sauce, at $4.95, for me. For our daughter, No. 25, chicken fried with soy sauce and garlic, at $4.95. Our good-natured young guest - who took to this cuisine from the first bite - chose No. 27, lamb fried with spring onions in soy sauce, at $5.25. So did my wife. To this, our son added No. 29, lamb shishkabob with peanut sauce, at $5.25.
To the delight of our amiably curious waiter, there proved not a loser in the bunch. Forks were darting every-which-way and my, how tines fly when the going's great.