Bad Saint is a Filipino restaurant that opened in the fall of 2015 at 3226 11th St NW, and which has been generating quite the buzz ever since. If you haven’t heard about Bad Saint yet, you’re quite possibly living under a rock. Be aware before you go that they don’t take reservations and don’t accommodate groups larger than 4 people. The place is pretty tiny, so you will wait a long time for a table. We put our name in at 7:30 pm on a Sunday and our table was ready at a little before 9. Fortunately, you can pass the time with some delicious cocktails at Room 11 next door, and they will text you when your table is ready.
Bad Saint is absolutely worth the wait. Between the delicious, complex, and flavorful food, the excellent cocktails, and the friendly service, everything is just perfect. We ordered most of the items on the menu, all of which was excellent. But before I recount the delicious things we ate, be aware that the menu items change frequently. One of the cocktails that we had included a delicious Filipino coconut liquor called lambanog. My bartender friend and I expressed curiosity about the liquor itself, so the friendly staff gave us each a free shot in addition to the cocktail. I also had a Red Horse Beer, which is a Filipino malt liquor that is pretty crappy. That said, Bad Saint gets points for serving the authentic goods.
The food was excellent across the board. We had banana hearts as a starter, which are the flowers of the banana tree. We also had a couple of ceviche-like dishes, including one made with octopus. Both were totally delicious. A standout, however, was the flounder, served whole, eyes and all. The very flavorful and reasonably tender (by goat standards) goat was excellent as well. Though we were pretty stuffed after the meal, we were talked into ordering dessert, which was a delicious, light concoction of fruit and syrup (no, not that heavy, awful kind of syrup), topped with flower petals. They also gave us each a small additional dessert on the house.
Simply put, Bad Saint absolutely lives up to the hype, and it is a must for anyone with a serious DC dining bucket list.