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About belowparallel

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  1. You know, if you measured this place among the echelon of dim sum places across the DMV area, I'm certain it would not end up anywhere near the top. However, if you put it up against any of your choices in the direct, very easily metro-accessible DC area, this is the place to be for a real dim sum experience. Is it excellent in any regard? Probably not. But if you're craving dim sum, it will absolutely make you smile. From the discourteous bully of a hostess, to the shiny red and gold decor, to the alternatingly pushy or disinterested cart ladies, this immediately rang my bell. It felt like home. You could do far, far worse than China Garden, and frankly, I never leave unhappy.
  2. I don't think I can do anything here but add to the chorus of good things to say about Rice Paper. Inexpensive, extraordinarily flavors, lots of interesting dishes to try you would not get at an ordinary Vietnamese restaurant. Everything we had here was excellent, although the Gí Xí o Xí£ á»št [Chicken sauteed with Lemongrass & Curry Chili] was easily the standout. HIGHLY recommended.
  3. Not 100% sure but I did see the chef put an order in a plastic take-out type container, but I wasn't really watching too closely. I think so though!
  4. I didn't see a thread on this so I thought I'd start one. This place serves one dish, Donburi, a Japanese comfort food - basically fried something over rice with egg. Donburi DC is in Adams Morgan next to Meskerem, and opened a few weeks ago. Seats maybe 15 people, sushi bar style in front of the prep area. Modern Asian atmosphere, lots of nice wood and blacks everywhere. I went last night, and it's clear they're still working the kinks out, so I would DEFINITELY withhold final judgement until they get everything in gear. Service was a tad slow, one of our orders got maybe lost? (I actually think someone else claimed our party's bowl as theirs, but either way, there was definite disorganization), and it was one guys' first time operating the cash register. They were very apologetic about all the issues, but I'm sure it'll get going soon. Finally I will say I am no expert on Japanese food, let alone donburi. This would be a first for me. Appetizer You order before you take a seat, and have a small variety of drink options, some Japanese ones included. There's also a free chilled tea to drink.They have 3 appetizer options, we got the sashimi and chicken karaage (fried chicken) ($6 each). Both were good, the sashimi was 4 hefty portions of salmon, the chicken was a little overbattered but overall quite juicy and tender with a crispy exterior, but then again I am a total sucker for fried chicken. Entree I only tried the katsudon, the fried pork cutlet option (forget price, but around $10+?). It's served with a fried egg ontop, with onions simmered in a dark, sweet soy sauce. It also came with pickled spicy peppers and pickled daikon(?) It was good. It was not great. The pork was a little flavorless and it could have overall used a bit more sauce. I think it may have a sat out for a little (could not have been long though as party turnover was high) and lost a bit of its luster after being fried (as I said, there were technical difficulties). The gooey, savory egg however, was doing some fantastic work and really brought the whole dish together. I don't feel like the pepper or daikon lent much to the whole dish, but they added a little variety to each bite. Anyway, it was good, and totally hit the comfort food spot for me. I think, given a months time or so, I'd definitely consider returning to see what's improved. As it is now, its a pretty good price for some pretty good food. I wouldn't destination dine there though, at least not yet. For now, I'd give it 7/10.
  5. Came here with 3 others for restaurant week. Turns out it was the perfect amount of people as we got to try everything on the restaurant week menu so I have a pretty full number of dishes to talk about. Let me preface this by saying I was expecting this to be a sort of upscale-gastropub-with-a-predictable-affection-for-pork type place. And it is. The decor confirms this frankly, as did the general beer-obsessive vibe of the place. I was expecting to overpay and for them to underachieve. I was happily mistaken - the food here was much better than expected, and definitely worth talking about. Also, the portion sizes were generous, which is quite uncommon. The beer list is solid, and the service was good, although there was a strange 20 minute sojourn between entree and dessert. Onto the food, hope I can remember accurately. Appetizers: Lambneck gravy with ricotta and crostini - hearty, full flavored, and rich, this was the standout of the apps. Basically braised/stewed lamb in a tomato sauce with a dollop of ricotta in the center. Like any dish ever involving crostini, they could have used about twice the amount. Definite recommendation. Baby kale green salad with pomegranate seeds, figs, shaved parmesan, walnuts? - not sure of the dressing - something creamy but light. This was a totally serviceable salad, well balanced flavors and the kale was tender. Didn't blow my hair back but can't complain in the least, definitely an enjoyable, a solid salad. Crab hushpuppies with old bay remoulade/aioli - above average hushpuppies due to inclusion of crab and old bay (they didn't skimp on the crab either, not that it was a ton but this is an obvious place to cut corners, and I would say they did not). This or the Kale would not do you wrong, depending on what you're feeling. Caesar salad - totally unremarkable Caesar salad, which is probably why it's offered. Entrees Duroc Pork Collar with cheese grits, collards, and jus - I rate this highest purely for the grits, collards and jus. The grits were great - very defined cheddar flavor that did not overwhelm - creamy but still kept the consistency and texture of grits. Combined with the jus or a bite of the very delicious collards (w/bacon), this was a highlight. The pork itself was good - tender, and substantial. It was a tasty hunk of pork, but did not taste of anything else but a hunk of roasted pork. I'm not sure it set out to be anything else, however I thought it was worth noting that it was nothing else but that. I would happily eat this again. Rabbit bolognese - I was totally surprised that this was actually good. Perfectly al dente pasta + tender, generous portions of rabbit, and a rich, savory ragout all infused with the sharp, salty bite of parmesan. Medium dice vegetables throughout, it was a very solid pasta dish with balanced flavors. I would have been happy to eat this at another Italian restaurant. Monkfish osso bucco - sort of a silly name, it's monkfish with the bone in. I didn't really taste much of this dish, so I'd rather stay quiet on it, but what I had was a piece of fish that was cooked properly, so there's that. Steak frites - ordered medium rare but received very rare. The owner or manager stopped by and asked how our meal was (once at apps and once at entrees), we told him about the steak, and he apologized and gladly comped the meal, despite our protests. Seemed like he was truly interested in hearing our feedback and told us this was an ongoing problem he was aware of and was working to correct. Dessert - Pot au creme - unremarkable, would not really recommend Apple crisp with cherries and citrus? and caramel ice cream - way too citrusy, not very crispy. The flavors were totally out of wack on this. Definitely would not recommend. ----------------------------------------- So there you have it. I was pleasantly surprised by this place.
  6. Hey all, My name is Keith, I grew up around NY and with a family with a passion for food. My parents gave me some incredible opportunities to eat and learn about food at an early age. I very nearly went to culinary school but I ended up going in politics instead, thus the past few years in the District. I was initially crestfallen when I moved here and started eating around DC, and am was crushed when I saw what passes for Chinatown. Over the years, I've come to appreciate the gems that do exist (Daikaya being my new favorite), but still feel that the DC's biggest problems are that it's overexpensive, trendy (tapas?), and generally aims for the most common denominator instead of trying to be the best at whatever it is. It's painful to waste time, calories, and money on middling food. As a result, I've become increasingly dependent on this website for food recommendations. The Dining Guide is a great resource and I hope I can contribute.
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