Eating DC: Bad Saint

Bad Saint has been on my “to eat” list since it first opened.  Last Friday I finally went, stood in line at 5:00 PM and got in for the first round of dinner.  It.  Was.  Amazing.  One of the best and most unique meals I have had in a  while.  I had never had Filipino food before so the dishes were new, exciting and filled with flavor combos that were foreign to me.

Since they don’t take reservations and the space is actually tiny- they don’t have the space for parties over 4 people- I would recommend heading over to get in line around 5:00 PM to be able to get in on the first round when the open at 5:30 PM.  The space itself is unassuming of the deliciousness that is inside.  The place is tiny (seriously, tiny).  The open kitchen and bar occupy the majority of the space with three seats on the bar, a couple seats at the high top bar along the front window and two booths that fit four people into each.  The kitchen consists of a small prep station, a small stove top with 2 burners and a single guy with a wok and a deep fryer- no plancha or anything.

We started our meal by talking to the super friendly server about what we couldn’t miss and he did a great job guiding us throughout our meal.  Between the 4 of us we got 5 items and I was semi full so I would definitely recommend ordering around 7 dishes for a party of (hungry) 4.

The Menu- the drinks looked awesome too!

 The first item we got was the Ensaladang Palapa which was reminiscent of a Thai papaya salad but with soooo many different flavors.  First of all it was gorgeous.  Second of all the cabbage and shaved coconut mixed with the spicy vinegary dressing was an unreal combo of sweet and spicy.  There were also shaved carrots and edible flowers that made the dish extra summery.

Ensaladang Palapa- coconut, purple cabbage, bird’s eye chilies

Up next we got the Lumpiang Sariwa which was outstanding.  It is sort of like a combo of a savory crepe and Vietnamese fresh roll.  The wrapper was like a super thin crepe and the stuffing had pork, shrimp, dried shrimp and cabbage.  It was topped with a peanut and sweet chili combo sauce.  I could probably eat these everyday.

Lumpiang Sariwa- pork, shrimp, red cabbage

Then we got the Kinilaw which was basically a mackerel fish ceviche served with grapefruit, raddish and all over coconut cream.  These again, had that combo of super sweet from the grapefruit and rich coconut cream and savory with the fish.  I liked this dish a lot.  It was complex and creamy but fresh and light all at the same time.

Kinilaw- mackerel, ruby red grapefruit, coconut

Then we had my second favorite dish of the night (my first being the lumpiang) and it was called Ukoy.  It was basically a basket of shaved sweet potato and pieces of soft shell crab that was deep fried so it looked like a basket.  It was served with a tangy vinegar and scallion dip and it was outstanding.  I think I told the waiter that I would go to more baseball games if I could get this there.  We just pulled it apart with our fingers and ate it!

Ukoy- soft shell crab, sweet potato, cilantro

The last dish we got felt the most like home cooking- and I mean like I could imagine being in the Philippines and having this cooked for me in a family home.  It was called Tocino and it was roasted sweet pork shoulder served over garlic rice and topped with a fried egg.  The ulitmate comfort food.  What is better than that?  The garlic rice was an amazing consistency and tasted so great and the pork shoulder was tender and had a sticky sweet outside.

Tocino- pork, fried egg, garlic rice

Overall I can’t stop singing Bad Saint’s praises and telling all my friends they need to go.  I can’t wait to return to try all the other amazing items on the menu!

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