Click the arrows to browse more stories.

“While you’re enjoying your iodized water, let me tell you about the menu,” says the lithe young server at Elizabeth’s Gone Raw, where none of the food is cooked to higher than 118 degrees and all of it is plant-based. Elizabeth refers to Elizabeth Petty, the owner of the Catering Company of Washington, while “Gone Raw” is her Friday-only occasion to introduce diners to her personal lifestyle. The evening starts with cocktails — good ones — and kale chips — spicy and addictive — at a marble bar in the foyer of a stately townhouse downtown. The night continues upstairs, in a dining room set off with chandeliers, gilt-framed portraits and soothing colors. Leave any earthy-crunchy preconceptions at home. Elizabeth’s Gone Raw is a formal, five-course experience complete with sommelier and price tag to match. Tonight’s menu (the spread changes weekly) is a tip of the hat to Thailand. A shot of pineapple juice snappy with cayenne is followed by a salad of green papaya and shaved asparagus moistened with lime juice and yuzu. I prefer curried kelp noodles with “roasted pork” (made with macadamias and walnuts pulsed with vegetable juices) to the pad Thai with “crisp chicken” (coaxed from cashew cream and miso), mostly because the portions are generous and filling and, honestly, I ate too much of the former, a tropical hit nestled in cool lettuce wraps. Celery-apple sorbet makes a lovely interlude between the bigger plates. If I have quibbles, it’s the overuse of nuts, and desserts that don’t always live up to their billing. Coconut “cake” translates to a dense white paste salvaged only by its rhubarb-beet “buttercream” frosting. But even meat fanciers can appreciate the creativity and thought that goes into this non-cooking by chef Jonathan Seningen, whose past menus here have looked to France and Mexico for inspiration, plus the fun facts the staff weaves into the restaurant’s narrative. The green mango for the salad, we’re told, turns out to be plucked from a botanical garden at the University of Virginia.