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Found 65 results

  1. Cathal Armstrong's new restaurant Kaliwa is opening possibly tomorrow at the Wharf (751 Wharf St, SW, DC) (via Laura Hayes' tweet). More info about the restaurant at Washington City Paper: "Kaliwa Brings Food with Full Funk and Fire to the Wharf when it Opens Next Week" by Laura Hayes on washingtoncitypaper.com
  2. My husband and I were walking in Clarendon Saturday night looking for a place to stop for dinner (we had planned to get a salad at Northside Social, but squatters who weren't eating were still taking up tables for work at 7:30 p.m.). We walked past Bar Bao, which we've been looking forward to trying once they opened, and saw activity inside. It turned out they were having a soft opening and it was their second night open. Because it was a soft opening, I won't report in any detail other than to say we enjoyed our meals thoroughly. (We liked the music, too - it was loud, but it was not EDM which can set off headaches for me, but rather a good mix of some '80s/'90s/'00s energetic music). They had a more limited menu than they will for the true opening, but there were still plenty of things on it and we were quite happy. It's mostly Asian-inspired street food / bar food (including several kinds of bao, steamed dumplings, and at least one vegetable side). We had one of the nicest and most attentive (in a non-annoying way) servers we've ever had, too. We definitely plan on going back and may become semi-regulars.
  3. I figured we need a topic for the rather interesting The Block in Annandale (Here's their Yelp since their "main" page is the Instagram account, as it is for most of these places.) Currently at The Block are: Snocream Company (Yelp) Pokeworks (Yelp) Balo Kitchen (Yelp) (Facebook) (might be out of soft opening) Roots Thai (Facebook) (I think is still in soft open) Block Bar Munch (ice cream topped donuts, not open yet) So far, I've tried the first three. Snocream is a veteran of Annandale with their shaved-ice-cream concoction (good!). Pokeworks is poke bowls and the one I've tried was good. I've tried Balo Kitchen and I'll say the Street Bread with sausage was yummy, and most of their menu looked intriguing. I'll probably go try Roots Thai soon. (As I don't drink, I can't attest to the Bar.) Now, every time I've gone here I'm fairly certain I might have been the oldest person there. And as it is a big concrete box with hard tables, it does get to "get off my lawn" levels of noise for me, but, well, I'm not the target audience. Anyone else out there have experiences to share? If so, we might want to break these up into separate threads.
  4. On this chilly snowy Saturday morning, I made my inaugural visit to the MGM casino in National Harbor. The blackjack dealers are mostly shitshows - slow, unable to follow normal procedures. I went to Ginger, because the online menu looked interesting. Yes, I would've loved to try their Sampan spicy Dungeness crab but not at $88 per order. Ginger looks nice, but it's just the pan-Asian restaurant that every casino has to cater to their Asian clients. The premium is completely not justified based on their food. Oily Vietnamese spring rolls, overcooked and flavorless shrimp wontons in a mediocre broth, and underseasoned dim sum spareribs. But which casino restaurant isn't overpriced?
  5. Just wanted to bump this thread and let people know that Himitsu had its official opening last night. I was lucky enough to attend a preview dinner on Wednesday; raw fish preps and the entire beverage program are absolutely going to be highlights. Not really fair to "review" or critique, as they weren't even really open yet, but multiple plates are priced substantially lower than they should be. Happy to post photos of the menus and / or food if helpful. A super talented young duo, and one that should do quite well in the space. Cheers!
  6. It looks like another new spot is in the works on Columbia Pike - Mongol Nomads Asian Fusion. It's located in between the psychic and City Kabob Curry House. I couldn't find anything online about them yet.
  7. PoPville reports that Rakuya (concept change for Dupont Raku) has opened. Rakuya's Facebook page lists the Raku website. Neither the Facebook page nor the Raku website have been updated to reflect Rakuya's opening.
  8. I'm guessing this will occupy the space where Great American buffet is (was?). "Restaurant Lease Brings Crossroads Place in Falls Church to Full Occupancy" by De Castillo on patch.com
  9. So, we've gone from zero to two "Fast-Casual Asian Bowl Places" on H Street over the past month or so. Last night I picked up carry-out from the brand new Pow Pow, which just opened this past Saturday. They don't seem to have a menu available online, so I can't remember the names of everything we ordered. This is refreshingly not a Chipotle-like concept, and instead has you just pick actual items off of a relatively small menu. They have bowls, with stuff served over rice, as well as gigantic, burrito sized fried egg rolls. We didn't go with one of the egg rolls, and instead got two bowls, Fugazi Osbourne (beef with hoisin sauce and a bunch of stuff) and something I can't remember the name of that had pork and a poached egg. Everything was solid, although I wasn't a huge fan of the coconut rice, in both flavor and texture. Between this and BAB Korean Fusion, I think I prefer BAB. But both are good, and I'm happy this is here.
  10. Mi and Yu Noodle Bar opened on S. Charles Street a few months back, and they are a welcome addition to the neighborhood. This is a non-traditional "ramen" restaurant in that you mix and match a protein (currently buttermilk brined fried chicken, roast duck carnitas, 5 spiced bbq pork belly, soy-miso braised short ribs, or seared tofu), noodle (ramen, pho, or udon), and soup (spicy kimchi, miso, or adobo duck) to create your meal. I've tried all of the meats except the pork belly, and they are all well-seasoned, flavorful, and tender, although there are some dry bites here and there. The ramen noodles seem to be imported and are pretty good, while the udon noodles are what you would except, but personally don't seem to work that well with the heaviness of the soups. The miso soup is lighter and more reminiscent of your typical ramen place, while the duck soup really packs a punch on your initial slurp, but gets a bit overwhelming with salt and umami as you work your way through. All of the soups come with a soft-boiled egg and a tasty bean sprout/cabbage/carrot salad. The end result is several different combinations of delicious flavors, although some work better together than others. The noodle bowls are $12-$14 for a LOT of food; I've never been able to finish the soup. This is the perfect meal for a cold day or a long week at work. The other thing that I love about this place is the online ordering system (using ChowNow) on Mi and Yu's website. Choose a pick up time, order your meal, pay, and they'll email you when your food is bagged and ready to go. Walk in, take it home, get a BIG bowl ready to go (remember, it's a lot of food), combine, and enjoy.
  11. The new market in the north part of Del Ray just opened (a small regional chain, I guess), and I went in this morning to check out the scene. First glance, it's a typical small, yuppie market with a small amount of good looking produce, limited meats, but has the other staples (canned goods, cereal, soups, condiments, baking stuff, etc.), as well as a good amount of fair priced to expensive wine. They have a small beer area, a deli counter, a baked goods counter. It's expensive, but not that crazy ($2.99 for a gallon of milk, but the produce is pretty pricey). The most interesting part to me was the cafe/restaurant/bar area. It's adjacent to the deli, and pretty cool - looks warehousey/loft style with a long bar, seats there, and tables. The menu had ... korean fried chicken made to order, three different types of ramen (I think shoyu, miso, and something else), and then various small plates. How strange! It wasn't lunch time yet, so they weren't serving, but I'm certainly interested in trying it. If there is halfway decent Korean fried chicken and ramen walking distance from my house, I may have to reconsider my feelings about a higher power. Curious to see how it will do, location is in those new apartment buildings on Mt. Vernon, north of Hume but south of San Salvador.
  12. Lady KN and I were attending the Virginia State High School Rugby Championship game in Nokesville (in which KN junior was on the winning team), after which hunger overcame us and we we found Asian Garden in a little strip mall in nearby Bristow. It apparently has a sister restaurant in Haymarket, so consigning it to the Multiple Locations category will cause no grief, because it is not really noteworthy. Pan-Asian concepts frighten me from the outset, because no one cuisine on the menu will be nailed to perfection. Such is the case here, where highly Americanized Chinese menu items like Egg Foo Young clash with pick-your-protein Thai dishes that run up against a reasonably extensive Japanese menu. Lady KN and I went mostly Japanese this evening....she had a salad and I had miso soup, both accompanied by a bowl of Edamame for nibbles, and then followed by Sashimi Deluxe. My miso soup was warm, not hot, and the miso-based glop on her salad was unappealing, but we both enjoyed the freshness and ample quantity of the Sashimi Deluxe. I counted about 16 pieces of tuna, salmon, yellowtail -- mostly choice fish, without tossing in any "filler" like octopus or mackerel. About a third full on a Saturday with a brisk carry-out business going on in the front lobby, this place may be the only option for Asian food in the general Nokesville-Bristow area. Not worth a detour by any means, but if you're in the area and you have a hankering for Chow Mein, this is your place.
  13. According to Robert Dyer, this will be a new concept at Montgomery Mall from Bob's and Bob's Shanghai: "Shanghai 66 Innovative Kitchen Coming To Bethesda"
  14. The space housing the failed DC branch of Mandalay has become "a 1920's themed Japanese Restaurant and Cocktail Bar" called Chaplin's. It offers an assortment of appetizers (gyoza, fried chicken, "adult dumpling shooters") and seven types of ramen, and a very long list of cocktails, wines, and beers. The place is dynamic; it was hopping on a Monday night, lots of young people drinking (some of them were eating, too), loud music, friendly servers bustling about. It seems like the kind of place you'd go to hang out for awhile after work, and maybe get a bite to eat, too, while you're at it. The ramen was perfectly acceptable but nothing to rush back for. The Chaplin ("sesame paste and tonkatsu flavour") was actually quite a tasty broth, the noodles slightly overcooked and lacking the springiness of truly great ramen. I had tastes of two other broths and liked them, but can't really describe them usefully. I'm not inspired to write more about the food. This is the kind of restaurant I'd go to if I lived nearby, if I was tired and hungry and didn't feel like cooking and just wanted a bowl of soup for dinner. Perfectly acceptable, but not a destination. Sorry for the vagueness, just wanted people to know it's here.
  15. The empire continues to grow. "Weidemaier Reveals Name, Chef For New Bethesda Restaurant" by Andrew Metcalf on bethesdamagazine.com
  16. How many people in the US work in restaurants? Millions maybe? More than 5 but less than 10? No idea. How many restaurants, in total, are in DC (including the suburbs or whatever)? A thousand? No idea. Of whatever number is right for the DC restaurant question, how many of those have no presence on this, gold-standard, DC food (and more) website? Here, I am sure I have the answer! A lot! This topic probably won't stay near the top of the DC restaurant forum for very long. But, in a small way, maybe it honors all those places where people toil and are largely ignored. This is about One Fish, Two Fish. What? You don't know the place? Precisely my point. First, I did check to see if it was here on dr.com. Found this from 2008: One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Bluefish ...but that has nothing to do with the restaurant now highlighted with this topic. So what? Why should anyone care about one of the kazillion Chinese American corn starch, MSG temples that crowd cities and small towns across the land? Here's why. 1. The longevity. It's been operating in the same Foggy Bottom location, with the same name, for about 18 years! 2. The Name. It has been sold a few times with the current owners only in place about four years. But never have any overseers messed with the name. And who doesn't love Theodor Geisel?! 3. The location. Right next door to Marcel's, one of our most revered, loved and refined restaurants. One that gets a ton of (deserved) love from Rockwellians. I bet 95% of Marcel's regulars have never stepped into this place, where a big bowl of soup can be had for just a couple bucks. 4. They actually say they don't use MSG so that's something. There are even vegetarian items on the busy menu which suspiciously merges Japanese and Chinese food (usually a bad sign imho). 5. The people are nice though some don't speak English. Lots of smiles. 6. They made an odd* childhood favorite for me without blinking. * As a child, long before I'd even heard of XLB, shumai, manti, pierogi, Kartoffelknoedel, dim sum, Banh bot lol, mandu, momo, gnocchi, samosa, gyoza, and even ravioli, I learned about magical dumplings. I learned to love them and went on to love that there are so many variations from all the continents. When dumplings started merging with newly discovered world history, culture and language, I was permanently hooked. Along this line, as a child, one of my first dumpling loves was the humble wonton. But I also loved egg drop soup. And, for awhile, I had trouble deciding between them during my later, single-digit years. Through childhood, college and well beyond, I've clung to my odd solution to childhood indecision: egg drop soup with wontons! Nothing refined or even healthy about that and not difficult for any Chinese American joint to do. Still, in my experience, most refuse when I ask. Not One Fish, Two Fish! :-) Great or even pretty good food? Not really. But cheap and I'm glad they're there. You should be too. In a world of high-falutin, farm-to-table and $30 entrees, places like this keep people employed, the rest of us grounded, and college students sustained. One Fish, Two Fish even has a website. What's not to like?
  17. Definitely hipster Asian joint (in the vein of Momofoku or Toki Underground). I had their steamed pork dumplings and pork bao. Their bao were just like Momfoku in that steamed bun with a taco type presentation vs traditional enclosed bao. Quality was decent. I'm definitely interested in going back and trying their house made noodles. http://www.nainaisnoodles.com/ 1200 East-West Highway Silver Spring, MD 20910 301-585-6678
  18. We visited last night for the first time. Really like it. We were at the bar upstairs, which has a much different look and feel than downstairs. From what I understand you can order food, beer and wine downstairs, but no cocktails. Loved the look and feel of the place upstairs, although it is small. While last night it was not crowded at all, I could see it being a bit tough to navigate on a busy weekend night. They have a good, although for me at times challenging to read cocktail menu, designed around classic drinks. It's hard for me to describe exactly how it's laid out, so just know that it's laid out exactly like this. In addition, on the board behind the bar they had a large section featuring different variations on the daiquiri. I'm not certain, but I believe that they will be changing that up periodically to spotlight a different drink. The drinks were well made, and service was fantastic. On the food, we ordered nearly everything off of the menu, and quite enjoyed it. I preferred the dumplings. In short, this is now, probably, the second best cocktails on H Street (behind the Atlas Room), and a great spot to go to get drinks and some relatively inexpensive food. Happy that they're here.
  19. Rice Pot Asian Cuisine is now open just below Little River Turnpike on Backlick Road: Website We were once having a discussion about Hong Anh vs. Pho Hong Anh and Springfield vs. Annandale I haven't yet visited Rice Pot but I am hearing positive things from friends and colleagues who are self-proclaimed foodies, FWIW.
  20. A great deal of buzz on our neighborhood listserv led us to check this new place out last Friday night. We got there early, as we like to do since we're dining with a toddler. The restaurant is in the Bailey's Crossroads shopping center on the side of Jefferson with Edy's (near CVS and Verizon Wireless). The décor really took me by surprise. They must have sunk a whole lot of cash into making this place shine. This is the kind of interior you'd expect to see in downtown DC. Very modern, clean, and sparkling. I really like the contemporary style and it was still comfortable and not too stark. The long menu offers a wide-variety of dishes, as you might expect from an Asian fusion concept. I was actually overwhelmed by the many choices, which never happens to me. (It might have been because I was trying to entertain the wee one, though.) We started with the Avocado Salad. It was unremarkable. We ordered a Stacy roll, spicy tuna topped with avocado. This was a huge hit with all three of us (the servers couldn't believe that our 14 month old loved spicy tuna), but was pretty pricey at $13. I am definitely interested in trying more of their sushi but the prices are pretty high for the neighborhood. We shared the Seafood Stir Fry and the Szechuan Chicken. Both were surprisingly mild (they never asked for our spice preferences). Not fabulous, but not bad. Everything was very fresh and the portions were good. They gave us free dessert (fried ice cream) which I found pretty poor but my husband liked). The service was average to above average. The waitresses were very accommodating to our son and didn't seem bothered by his presence. I want to love this place but I was underwhelmed. Still, I am tempted to try it again. However with Yamazoto equidistant from home I am indifferent. I think it would be great for a group or a night out with friends. They have a nice bar area. Website
  21. Well that was just brutal. Pei Wei is a new-ish fast casual restaurant from PF Changs which just opened a south Dupont Circle location, on 18th Street next door to Nando's. Mmmm...Nando's. Their menu follows all the fast casual asian trends..choose from noodles, rice bowls, lettuce wraps, etc, then add a sauce and a protein. http://www.peiwei.com/menu/menu.aspx?menu=s&sid=0506 Now I imagine the folks on this board aren't big fans in general of PF Chang, but I've found if you order carefully, you can get a decent meal there. That could also be the case here, but my first experience isn't likely to lead to enough visits to find out. I went with a "Pei Wei Spicy" with brown rice and steak. First the positive: the brown rice was fine. The steak was about the lowest quality you can use and still actually call it steak. Spongy, chewy, tasteless, the whole nine yards. The thick, goopy sauce had a slight hint of spice in the background, but the taste was predominantly sweet....so very sweet. The whole combination was utterly distasteful...I picked out and ate the inoffensive pea pods, tried another few bites of steak, then threw it away. To be fair, there are a zillion combinations to choose from, and I'm sure there are plently of things that are better than what I got. I like PF Chang's kung pao shrimp...maybe I'll try that at Pei Wei if I have a short memory and choose to give it another shot. But really, this meal made Panda Express seem gormet. Now for the good news...a Coke Freestyle machine! Can't go wrong with Fanta-free Grape. Finally, I don't care a lot about nutrition when it comes to eating out...I generally try to turn a blind eye and accept that I'll have to balance out any restaurant meal with a few days of fozen yogurt...but the small amount I ate at Pei Wei was sitting so heavily in my stomach that I called up the nutricional info when I got back to the office. Had I eaten my whole bowl, it would have been 1690 calories, 53 g fat, and 2310 mg of sodium. Zowie. Again, they have a really big menu with many healthier options, but still. Incidentally, the only reason I went here was because Newton's Noodles was still closed. I blame you, Newton's Noodles and DC inspectors!!!
  22. My daughter returned late last night from a trip to the grandparents, she had a long day yesterday w/ little food, so she was famished this morning & I decided it was a good time to try a place I'd heard about, but had not visited yet-Miso. It's in Annandale, across from a bowling alley, in a shopping center, so no parking issues. Specialties are katsu & udon, so that's what we tried-Lizzy got the chicken katsu/ udon combo, while I got the flounder & shrimp katsu/ mini udon (so I got a small bowl of rice, too). It was quite a spread, we had a small salad (iceberg w/ ginger dressing) & a chawanmushi (steamed egg), then a tray w/ the katsu (on a tiny rack, which it didn't need, it wasn't greasy at all), shredded cabbage w/ dressing (I also had a scoop of potato salad, which wasn't good), small bowls of cabbage kimchi, radish cubes, tonkatsu sauce (I had pinkish w/ my seafood, hers was brown & sweeter, mine was better). Lizzy got the large bowl of udon, while mine was smaller, w/ a side of rice. Katsu was good, but not particularly memorable, just fried stuff, but the udon was definitely the star for Lizzy, she was slurping & saying how it was the best thing she'd had in a week. Mine was good, but I'm not really into noodles. For dessert, we were offered a choice of coffee or mini yogurt, $10.95 for the set lunch was a deal, although Lizzy said she'd go back just for takeout udon.