Count Tom Sietsema among the early fans of the highly buzzed-about Maketto on H St. Ne. Sietsema files a rave preview of the restaurant today.
The critic acknowledges the concept is quirky. "It's a retail stop! And a coffee bar with pastries! And — best of all — a Southeast Asian restaurant from the dude behind Toki Underground!" But he sings the praises of the food and the vibe.
A green salad with tamarind dressing is a modest pleasure. Pickled vegetables, on the other hand, deliver sparks: sour carrots, turnips fermented in buckwheat tea and butternut squash flavored with shrimp paste. Red curry soup swells with a whole baby chicken, shredded cabbage, a fistful of tropical herbs and julienned ginger. Waves of heat wash over the tongue as you take it all in. Whole fried red snapper looks like a float, festooned as the fish is with pickled peppercorns and both pickled and fried garlic slices. [WaPo]