Many people were surprised to see that Teak Wood Thai and Sushi was coming to the large open space on 14th Street between N and Rhode Island Avenue. There are quite a few Thai restaurants within the Logan Circle neighborhood... especially with Thai Tanic located directly across the street. However, Teak Wood offers a classier and more upscale environment than some of the other local options, and also combines Thai food with a large Sushi bar to offer diners a nice mix of Asian cuisine.
The restaurant itself is much larger than it appears from the street. I was surprised to see how far back it goes, but also was pleased that they had dedicated a lot of space to a sushi bar towards the back that allows customers to enjoy a quick bite while watching their meal being handmade in front of their eyes. Teak Wood is filled with... a lot of teak wood. The tables and chairs are made of wood, and there are numerous large ornate mirrors carved from wood as well as buddhas and other interesting adornments throughout the space. It could be over the top, but it's actually quite okay because of the warm neutral colors and the relaxed vibe. While the restaurant is still in the midst of their "soft opening", it was nice to see a lot of locals testing it out as it has the potential to be a great neighborhood spot for those of us who live a few blocks away.
Teak Wood has two menus- their traditional Thai dishes which also offer many vegetarian options, and their sushi menu which has lots of choices including basic rolls for very reasonable prices as well as specialty rolls that can get a little more expensive depending on what you decide to order. I wanted to be sure that we got to try from both menus so my friend Andy and I started with a Spicy Tuna Roll as our appetizer. We both were holding our breath a little as we are in desperate need of a local spot with decent sushi as there aren't a ton of great options in the area. Thankfully the roll was delicious and the tuna was fresh and seasoned well with a nice kick to it. Good start to the meal.
I ordered the Pad Eggplant with chicken for my main course which included oriental eggplant in spicy black bean sauce with chicken. My friend ordered the red curry with chicken in coconut milk with eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, and basil leaves. Both of us finished our plates completely and we were really impressed with the entrees. The eggplant in my dish was so soft and nicely cooked, and the sauce was just a touch spicy with a little sweetness to it at the end of each bite. The curry dish was aromatic and surprisingly light with a wonderful mix of vegetables in a pool of delicious sauce with hints of coconut and refreshing basil. I am anxious to try some of the seafood and beef options as well, but based on our positive first run of Teak Wood, I think I'll be heading back to round out my full taste test soon.
There were a few minor complaints that I had about Teak Wood including the discomfort of the chairs that are essentially wood slabs which will make it hard to enjoy a leisurely dinner, however, it is bound to do very well because of the Asian combination of cuisines and the light and airy space that it occupies. I think Teak Wood looks promising, and it might be one of the new post-gym dinner spots that I can add to the list along with Commissary and Sweetgreen. Let's see how the neighborhood responds, but I have high hopes.
1323 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20005