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Found 113 results

  1. For me and my dear aged mother, the main casualty of Friday night's storm was the cancellation of today's matinee performance of Don Giovanni at the Barns at Wolf Trap (well, actually, my mother's house in Fairfax was without electricity from 10:30 pm Friday to 4:00 pm Saturday; I suffered no such tribulation in the Kalorama Triangle). We had planned to have lunch before the opera at Plaka Grill in Vienna, which is right on the way. When we learned of the cancellation, we decided to have the lunch as planned. Plaka Grill is in a dreary little strip mall on Lawyers' Road just off Maple Ave, next door to a Papa John's. It's quite a bare-bones sort of place. You place your order at the counter, and they give you a little stand with a number on it to put on your formica-top table so they'll know where to deliver your food. You fetch your own plastic forks and knives and paper napkins. But the service is friendly, cheerful, and efficient, and the food is delicious and inexpensive. We split an appetizer of dolmadakia, which was five grape-leaf rolls with a filling of lamb, beef, and rice, drizzled with a lemony sauce, served hot. They were actually very hot, and tasty beyond my expectation. Then we had "Chicago Gyros", which resemble every gyro you've ever had, but taken to a higher level. The pita wrapper was chewy but tender, the pressed meat stuff was tender, moist, and flavorful. The gyros were rounded out with lettuce, tomato, and tzatziki, and I'd have to say that these were the best gyros I've ever encountered. The one order of dolmades, two gyros, and two bottles of Bass ale came to just over $29. No wonder this place is popular. I wouldn't go a very long way out of my way to eat here, but gosh, what a good lunch I had at such a trivial cost.
  2. Northern Virginia Magazine reports on Liberty Tavern's plan for the old Murky Coffee space: Chef Liam LaCivita will oversee the kitchen. The article also has info on their new restaurant, Lyon Hall.
  3. Ericandblueboy

    Fava Pot

    Fava Pot apparently started as a food truck. It then spun off a restaurant in Falls Church, in the same shopping center where my daughters take their swimming lessons. I first became interested when I noticed they served beer/wine (the owner was raised Christian). Hmm...that's a nice spot to chill while the kids flounder around in water. Then I found raves by Tim Carman, Tyler Cowen, and Washingtonian too (I think). Anyhow, we tried the pickled eggplant with garlic, gollash, and breaded veal escalope. The eggplant was neither hard nor smooshy, but it was pungent - reeking of garlic. It's a wonderful dish, especially if you want to go stake out vampires afterwards. The gollash is a "beef pie made with buttery layers of flaky phyllo dough and stuffed with ground beef, onions, and spices." It too was wonderful, but I have a nagging feeling lots of butter is a major contributing factor. The breaded veal escalope is basically a wiener schnitzel, and it came with a side of macaroni bechamel ("pasta baked with a house-made creamy béchamel sauce and stuffed with ground beef with a little bit of tomato sauce"). The pasta is similar to moussaka. I thought the veal was a little bland, and I don't really care for moussaka. I give this place a half-hearted thumbs up. On a scale of 1-10, maybe a 6 or 6.5. I will give it at least one more try, because the menu is interesting and they serve booze.
  4. Liberty Barbecue, the newest enterprise of the Liberty Tavern/Lyon Hall/Northside Social folks, had its Grand opening last night in Falls Church. Located In the space most recently occupied by Famous Daves on Broad Street. The schedule for the rest of December is unclear, but they say in January they will be serving both lunch and dinner 7 days a week. Full bar with a small but adequate wine list, and, of course, a nice selection of beer. Wi-Fi is also provided. I had a quarter slab of ribs which were very meaty, perfectly cooked, but could have used a touch more smoke. The sauces need some work -- appeared to be commercial rather than house made. They had a band, but I didn't stick around to hear the music (I arrived at 5 when the doors opened, and the music wasn't starting til 9 -- call me a light-weight, but I had to go home). The place is totally concrete so if you're sensitive to noise, better bring ear-plugs. All-in-all this is a welcome addition to central Falls Church, and I expect they will have as much success as their other ventures have enjoyed. Wishing the best of luck in the New Year!
  5. I almost always go to the Arlington FM but was thinking about trying the Falls Church FM one Saturday, mainly to try the bakery items by Kendall. Does anyone know how the produce compares at Falls Church FM vs. Arlington? And has anyone tried the bakery items by Kendall, and if so what did you think?
  6. A quick intro to a great new neighbor of mine--Clare and Don's Beach Shack. This is exactly the kind of place I was searching for when I rushed over to Hank's on its opening day--cheap, fun, laid-back, quirky and for the most part really good (don't get fried clams until colder weather comes). Crab Cake Sandwich, Fried Oyster Po' Boy, Fish and Chips are all first rate, and they have a whole section of vegetarian/vegan options. No raw bar, but they do have desserts (a really good key lime pie). They are right up the street by the Clarendon Metro. Maybe it's not worth a trip all the way across town, but if you're in the area it's definitely worth it, especially after a day at the pool.
  7. In a fit of hubris... I left the map at home figuring that I knew exactly where Fortune was and, having read the map quickly, could get us there. At the risk of alienating all northern Virginian's, we were stuck in Dante's 8th level of hell (reserved for those stupid enough to drive in Virginia on a Sunday, or during rush hour, or during not rush hour, or, say, any time except 3:25am and 3:27am on certain Tuesdays when there is actually only a small traffic jam at every light) we spent an hour getting from 495 to Bailey's crossroads. Wound up at Peking Gourmet, which isn't. Maybe tonight is a two negroni night as well. Ah well...
  8. Having gone to Kaz Sushi Bistro countless times over the years, I was interested in seeing what Sushi Chef Jay Yu, who spend 13 years working alongside Kaz at the sushi bar, would be up to in his brand new restaurant in Falls Church, which opened just last Thursday, Dec 10th. It's located right in-between Smashburger and the under-appreciated Meat in a Box. An important note to diners: Takumi will not have a beer and wine license "for about a month," so do not go there expecting to have a Sapporo with your sushi just yet. Another thing: they are currently using a temporary menu which they stress will be changing in about a week. "It's full of typos, and it's embarrassing," a server told me. So please keep those two things in mind if you go anytime soon. I took a seat at the sushi bar Tuesday evening, and ended up feeling like I was at a Kaz Sushi Bistro family reunion: My server works at Kaz, the girl who told me about the menu worked for Kaz, Chef Yu worked next to Kaz (on the diner's right), and - this is possibly the most important thing I'm going to tell you - the Kitchen Chef at Takumi was the *other* sushi chef who worked next to Kaz on the diner's left (I've never known his name, but he's an older gentleman called Taka-san - he has chosen to switch over to being a full-time kitchen chef due to the rigors of endless standing). I was told that for now, Kaz is sending out one different employee a day to help them get started, and Kaz himself stopped in to wish them well on opening day. Isn't it heartwarming to see such a display of generosity and gratitude? And for those worried about the future of Kaz Sushi Bistro, have no fear: he will soon be signing another long-term lease, and is training some younger sushi chefs, as well as working on bringing over some people from Japan - although we've only written each other, I could "feel" an obvious energy and enthusiasm in his notes to me that I haven't felt from him in quite awhile. His biggest concern seems to be the impending arrival of Nobu, which will be located somewhere around 25th and M in quite a large space. Have no worries, Kaz-san - you're a DC institution. I started my meal with a pot of Caffeine-Free, Yellow and Blue, Herbal Tea ($4.50), a chamomile and lavender tisane by Harney and Sons, a very reputable producer of upscale teas, and this carried me through the meal. Browsing through the menu, I noticed some definitely influences and a few very similar dishes than what I've seen at Kaz Sushi Bistro in the past - I was determined to try some of these to compare them, and to see what Chef Yu could do untethered from the mother ship. Sitting next to a woman I correctly guessed was a Yelper, she had ordered the Flounder Carpaccio with Wakame and Yuzu Sauce ($12), and when asked how she felt about it, she came right out and said it wasn't to her liking. This was one of the things I was thinking of ordering, so I told them (nobody else was within earshot) that I'd be glad to take it, and for them to just put it on my bill. This was five fairly thin slices of flounder sashimi, topped with a thick, almost nutty, paste of wakame and yuzu. I thought there were a couple things about this dish that could have been improved upon, and when Chef Yu asked me, I answered him politely, but candidly - this was probably the one dish I had that needs a mild tweaking, but it doesn't need much: The issues I pointed out could be fixed in five minutes. My first dish was a Consommé of Asari ($6), asari being baby clam, sitting on the bottom of the bowl of clear broth, in-shell. This was a delicious consommé, and one that I would happily get again. It was just the right thing to start off a meal with. In something of a contrast to the consommé, I also ordered the Agedashi Tofu with Mushroom ($5), the definition of comfort food: soft, silky cubes of tofu, barely dusted, and wok-fried with plenty of enoki-like mushrooms, and a hot, thickened brown sauce on top. I loved this dish, and highly recommend it to anyone trying Takumi - the only thing I can think of that might improve the dish is if the amount of sauce was dialed down just ten percent; other than that, it was a gift at five dollars. This is one dish that I would strongly urge people to order. Having had the bird's nest at Kaz several times, I had to get the Bird's Nest ($14) here, and it did not disappoint while at the same time being noticeably different than the one at Kaz. Made with sea urchin, calamari, a very light application of truffle soy sauce, and topped with a quail egg, this dish is made to be mixed together before attacking it, and no soy sauce is needed, although this particular rendition was intentionally light on the soy, so I can easily see diners sneaking a few additional drops into the mix. Although there was nothing fattening in here, it came across as almost decadently rich, and despite its moderate size, was quite filling - sea urchin and egg yolk as thickeners in sauces have a tendency to do that. I was pretty full at this point, but I hadn't had a bite of sushi rice, and wanted to end my meal with a maki, so I ordered the Negitoro Roll ($8), made with fatty tuna and scallion, and I'm delighted to report that the sushi rice here is outstanding. I've always thought that Kaz consistently had the best sushi rice in the city, and this rice is a worthy contender. Sushi rice is such an important component of great sushi, yet it often goes unnoticed or unappreciated; not with me - this was first-rate sushi rice, and those many, many years of experience certainly showed up here. Highly recommended. Stuffed, I asked for the check, but Chef Yu offered me a dessert (I think he was pleased that I didn't waste the carpaccio, and that I seemed to have some degree of appreciation for what he has done). I had mentioned before that I liked yuzu, so he sent out a tulip glass of Yuzu Sorbet ($4) which I didn't think I wanted, but right after the first bite of that ice-cold, citrus-flavored sorbet, I knew it was the perfect digestif for this ample-but-healthy meal. When the check arrived, neither the sorbet nor the carpaccio were on it - I protested, saying I wanted to pay for the carpaccio, but they insisted that it was on the house, so I tried to make up for it with a generous tip. Although you can tell that this is a brand-new restaurant, only a few days old, Takumi also shows great promise, and is already one of the best sushi houses in Virginia (if not the best). It will improve a lot as the next few weeks pass, but I also fear that in the long run, Chef Yu may grow frustrated at serving nothing but California Rolls (I mentioned this to him, and he just laughed it off). Takumi is absolutely influenced by Kaz Sushi Bistro, and I believe that, with time, this restaurant will make the master proud.
  9. Funny name. Funny...but not so great...place. Six of us tried this new "local food" spot in Woodley with a bit of hesitation. It's the 2nd outpost of a Vegas based concept centered on crawfish, a product of the Gulf Coast. It's half bar, half restaurant. The tables are all covered in plastic. Most of the food is served in plastic bags dropped onto the tables. Crawfish: this is what drew us. The crawfish were a bit overcooked and not really in season quite yet. Steamed Shrimp: best item tried. A plastic bag full of decently spiced and sized shrimp cooked correctly. Chicken Wings: ok as far as deep frying can take a wing Sausage: also served in a plastic bag. forgettable. sweet potato fries: thin, oily OK, it's a bar and this is all meant to be bar food...I guess? All in, it came to $35/person including roughly one beer/person in our group. Ah, and top it all off: bad table service. We were there early before a crowd formed and still waited a long time for food from a confused waiter.
  10. Peking Gourmet Inn is out in Falls Church/Bailey's Crossroads. IIRC It was a favorite of Pres. Bush (41). I have mostly had lunch specials there, which are usually not too bad. The Kung Pao is not too oily and not overly sauced. We do carryout for lunch from there fairly oftent - Some of my coworker's favorites include the Szechuan Beef Proper, Jade Chicken, and Fresh Garlic Chicken. Based on my semi-recent meals at both City Lights and Meiwah (neither one was very good - City Lights was horrible), Peking Gourmet is the better choice. That being said, I prefer Full Kee (Bailey's Crossroads location).
  11. The somewhat, erm, "unkempt" Happy Family closed, and the space is now a sparkling clean Silk Road - a somewhat more interesting pillbox of a restaurant. Make sure to look under "Chef's Specialties" if you visit their website. I thought sure I wrote about Happy Family once, but I can't find it anywhere. Silk Road is directly across Route 29 from Ramen Factory 42.
  12. www.bangkokgolden7corners.com 6395 Seven Corners Center Falls Church, VA 22044 Tom Sietsema did a piece on this small Thai place back in November ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/18/AR2010111805045.html ). I am happy to report that the secret menu is secret no more. When we entered the small place this afternoon, we were handed two menus, one Thai and one Laotian. I never had Laotian food before, it was like Thai, but more rustic. Like other southeast Asian cuisine, Laotians make heavy usage of fresh vegetables and herbs as evident by the numbers of salads on the menu. We ordered the Laotian sausage, orm beef, crispy rice salad, and an order of chicken satay for the kiddo. My favorite dish was the crispy rice salad, consisted of herbs (probably cilantro and lime leaves), coconut, onions, scallions, julienne pork skin, ham, peanuts, and crispy rice in a refreshing spicy lime dressing with large lettuce leaves served on the side. You are suppose to eat it like a bulgogi by wrapping the salad inside the lettuce leaves. It was a prefect balance of savory, sour, and spicy, with bites of crispy rice and peanut for textural contrast. The flavor was incredibly complex and words do not do justice in describing this dish.
  13. This place is in Bailey's Crossroads near the Peking gourmet restaurant. It had a soft opening this week with an official opening this weekend. The menu is still a work in progress I spoke with the owner and his intention was to have both traditional Mexican tacos and Korean Fusion tacos. The corn tortillas in the tacos are handmade and you can watch the cooks making them. Yum! The only Korean taco on the menu was bulgogi, it was good but not amazing. Of the Mexican tacos my favorite was the lengua the tongue was cooked perfectly. 6017 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041
  14. Big change to report. Caribbean Plate is under new ownership. The new owner is the Muffin Man from Maryland (La Plata? Lanham?). ( He was very nice.) The menu is totally different - more Jamaican offerings. No more saltenas. No more black bean soup. The owner said he plans to add his famous muffins to the menu,
  15. The aforesaid JV's "Live Music Room" was not there when we went there in late October/early November of 2014. They sure could use it though, because prior capacity was about 50, and that included people having to sit in booths with their backs to the stage. I grew up about a mile from this place, played Little League baseball at a field directly adjacent to this strip mall, and I always felt like (with no real evidence) that this was a "locals" bar that you did not want to enter if you did not already belong to the group of regulars. I was not one of said regulars. When I entered for the first time, a couple of months ago, I think I was probably right had it been 10 or 20 years earlier. Now, it seems very welcoming, but the décor is stuck in the past, a la Vienna Inn. We only had beers (no draft beer at the time), so I cannot comment on the food, other than it looked like a somewhat limited, standard dive bar menu. The live music seems to be the real attraction, so hopefully the addition of the "Live Music Room" will allow them to book some slightly bigger acts. To that end, the strip mall and the size of JV's kind of reminds me of the original Birchmere down at the back end of Fairlington, in a similar strip mall t0 JV's that I think was razed and subsumed into what is now the expanded (over the original) Shirlington shopping/eating district.
  16. I'm meeting up with an old friend from high school. We were hoping to grab drinks somewhere between my place (Fair Oaks) and his place (Shirlington), so I'm thinking Falls Church. This would be Saturday night around 7:30. Just low key beers or something. Any ideas?
  17. I'm surprised Brinkley's in Falls Church wasn't mentioned on here unless I didn't see it?
  18. Facebook page. Read about this place on Chowhound so I went to check it out today (a Thursday). They do in fact have carts on weekdays but the selection wasn't great. I didn't see any turnip cakes. On the other hand, the dumpling soup (ordered off the menu) was a good deal for about $5 - lots of tasty hong kong style wontons or dumplings. The dim sum quality was good, not great. I tried their chicken feet, lotus wrapped sticky rice, fish balls, and fried yam dumpling. Their seasoning are on the light side, and not oily at all. Now you have even more options for Cantonese food around 7 corners.
  19. Did not see a thread on this new addition to the Eden Center. Went there yesterday for lunch with a group of Chowhounders. We had a delicious meal with a ton of food. We ordered: Grilled shrimp and pork skewers with steamed vermicelli Whole crispy flounder with mango salad and ginger sauce Baby clams baked in clay pot with rice Grilled pork chop and sweet Chinese sausage on broken rice Marinated quails Garden rolls (called steam rice paper rolls on the menu) Baby clams with pork served with rice cracker My favorites were the whole fish, which was a huge, but really good dish. I lived the difference between the crispy, flaky fish and the tangy, sour salad. It was really nice. I also really liked the broken rice dish, the sausage and pork chops on it were marinated well and really tasty. The baked clams in the clay pot were preferable to the rice cracker ones, I think a bit moister, or maybe it was just the sauce with the salty clams and crispy rice. The shrimp were also good. All in all there weren't any misses, although the garden rolls could be skipped they were fine, but normal. It is a very pretty little space, and we really enjoyed the food. It was also nice to hang out with some very nice and cool people from this area with such great food knowledge, always a plus. I know some are on here too, and it is always so nice to put a face with a name.
  20. I was walking out from Baja Fresh when I noticed this place, which is relatively new. I popped in quickly to see what it was all about, and it reminded me of the schwarma places like they have in Jerusalem. I stopped by for lunch the next day (nothing says "I love you" on Mothers Day like takeout Schwarma), and got chicken in a pouch with yogurt sauce, hummus, pickles, onion, and tomato/cucumber mix. It was solid if unspectacular. The chicken was flavorful and it appears they have new fancy cookers (rotating, gyro style, with auto cutter), so it had moist and crunchy parts. There were at least a dozen choices for toppings, and they looked good, if nothing else. The pita they gave me was stuffed, so they don't skimp out on the meat or toppings. The side of fries were terrible (limp and tasteless). The side of hummus and pita was huge, given the price, tho I never got around to tasting it alone (it was unremarkable in my sandwich, but there was a lot of other stuff in there, too). There are clearly service issues to be worked out, but nothing that can't be solved with time and experience (that is, nothing egregious happened).
  21. Hong Kong Palace has been a wonderful source of Hong Kong-style Chinese food for the last couple of years. But the restaurant of last week is no more. In its place is Hong Kong Palace, a place of the same name but with some major changes. The kitchen is now staffed with a pair of Chengdu-trained Szechuan chefs (part owners!) who seem to know what they are doing. Yes, the restaurant has some rough spots that might be expected in any place that has just changed hands in the past week, but it appears to be very promising. We stopped by last night expecting typical HK fare, but were surprised by all the new faces for the staff. The real change came we asked for the Chinese Menu, and we were handed a total different menu from the one we had seen in the past. It was brimming with all manner of Szechuan-style dishes. Speaking with our waiter then made things clear. The previous owners had sold the restaurant and the new owners were heading in a different direction, cuisine-wise. As we continued to speak with the waiter we considered that this new place might have promise. We decided to share the Chengdu Spicy Cold Noodles for appetizer and ordered the Ma Po To Fu and Sliced Pork with Dried Bean Curd for dinner. What we received were very fine renditions of classic Szechuan fare! If there were any complaints they centered around our inability to convince the waiter (and chef?) that we wanted the food spiced authentically. While there was some heat and numbing character in the entrees, it was just a little short of what we had come to expect from the best of the local Szechuan restuarants, such as Joe's Noodle House (in Rockville). We will be definitely be going back, and I suspect that with a little effort we will be able to get the kitchen to pull out all the stops and make the dishes with the bold flavors that is the hallmark of classic Szechuan food. I would be interested to hear reports from others. Vince
  22. Very sad, I noticed last night that the neighborhood indie ice cream shop on Wilson is hightailing it to Falls Church. I guess David and Rebecca Tax are consolidating their foodie interests (they own Clare & Don's as well).
  23. With the closure 3.5-years ago of Dale Music, classical musicians in the DMV are left with one obvious choice: Foxes Music in Downtown Falls Church. For me, it was always an easy choice: I grew up and lived in Maryland for the first part of my life, and always went to Dale Music in Silver Spring. Since I moved to Virginia over 25-years ago, I've gone to Foxes Music - they have been virtually interchangeable for me in terms of sheet music, and when Matt switched from piano to clarinet, he always got his reeds at Foxes. I can really only vouch for their sheet music selection, but I don't think I've ever needed something that they don't have in stock; if they don't, they'll be able to order it to arrive in about a week. Their selection of sheet music is terrific, and I've never gone to another music store in the area, other than Dale or Foxes. I miss Dale, and because of the internet, I admit that I fear for the long-term survival of Foxes as well. Don Rockwell
  24. Edan Macquaid, long-time pizzaiolo at 2 Amys, is partnering with the owners of 2941 to open a pizzeria in downtown Falls Church. The name is to be determined, and the location is best kept off-the-record for now. This has been in the works for some time, and, at least on paper, has the potential to be one of the most exciting restaurants to open in 2008. Look for Macquaid back in action as a full partner, serving up wood-fired Neopolitan pizza - possibly with DOC status - antipasti, a full selection of beer and wine, possibly a liquor license, an exhibition kitchen, and seating at the bar. Not all details have been resolved, and I don't wish to overstep my bounds, so this is all I feel comfortable saying for now. Congratulations to everyone involved, and we'll see you soon. Cheers! Rocks.
  25. Our go to Pho 88 is somehow closed on Tuesday (!), so we gave Pho 50 a try. While they provided an uneven takeout meal last night, if we ordered more judiciously, we could have ended up with all hits. Of course, you need to limit yourself to only a couple items on the menu, but it's a small selection anyway. I really liked the broth that formed the base of the soup. It was aromatic and flavorful, with a some good cooked in spice, so I didn't even feel the need to add rooster sauce. Toss in an ample portion of basil, cilantro, plum sauce, sprouts, and noodles to get a full-flavored pho and a filling meal. I got my order with the meatballs, which were terrible. Unidentifiable and inedible meat compacted into a tasteless, hard and yet somehow also spongy ball. Given that I didn't want what ended up being plain pho, this was a cruel twist. My wife got the chicken, which looked fine. We also got an order of each of their rolls. One version (spring rolls, I'm assuming) was fried and quite tasty. That was due mostly to the hard frying and the taste of the oil they use, as opposed to the ingredients in the roll. Whatever, tasty is tasty. The other was their soft roll in the clear wrapping, which didn't appear fresh and were bland. You're only tasting the dipping sauce at that point, and even for me (a sauce hound!) that wasn't enough.
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