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funkyfood

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  1. our friends who live in Alexandria took us to the location there and it just felt so d-a-t-e-d in the windowless dining room, and the menu and cooking seemed like it was delivered from a time capsule from 1997.
  2. Loved this place last night. I, too, liked the gyro better than the cheesesteak, which was too salty and greasy for me. Shouk's old mushroom pita (before they got rid of it) was a better cheesesteak play, in my opinion, though also too salty. We saw a few tables get pizzas, but we did not. What's the deal with those? Are they only for early reservations? Are they served in addition to everything else or instead of one of the courses?
  3. The Arlnow story undersells who the owners, Hac and Di Dang, were as poker players. Not just any "big during the poker boom" players, they are two of the top 10-20 online poker players ever, crushing the highest and toughest games in the world for years before mostly retiring after making millions and millions of dollars. EDIT: As an example, Di Dang is estimated by an online poker tracker to have won $7,411,127 (yes, that's profit) over his career.
  4. I like and regularly eat very spicy food, but that papaya salad was absolutely inedible to me a few years ago
  5. Seven Reasons disappointed me a little bit. The drinks were excellent but the entrees were just decent and the appetizers were bland. I had extremely high expectations though because my meal at Alma Cocina was incredible. Pretty restaurant though.
  6. Looks a lot like the bomba at Arroz but i highly suspect it is not unless this is an old picture
  7. Definitely but I figured I'm overdue for a change of scenery. To Seattle I go, at least for a few years. I'll miss DC, but will definitely still read this forum to see where I need to go when I visit.
  8. Short review: really enjoyed this place, but kind of over tasting menus and don't feel any desire to go back in the near future. The cooking is good, but I just felt...constrained by the small menu and lack of choices.
  9. Inspired by Anne Limpert's praise of the restaurant in her chat last week and heeding her call to visit now before it gets too popular (plus, wanting to go before I move from DC in a week (!!)), we checked out Queen's English in the old KBC space last night. In what seems to be common with good restaurants these days, it is run by a man and a woman pair (ala Himitsu, Espita, Seylou, Bad Saint, Rooster & Owl, etc.). Similar to Rooster & Owl, Seylou and Espita, in this case the pair are husband and wife. We walked in at 6:05 to a mostly empty restaurant (it filled up later but was never jammed) and our party of four was seated by the gracious, knowledgeable and likable Sarah Thompson, the aforementioned front of house maven. The place is beautifully redecorated with bright colors that fit the Hong Kong theme. The wine list (available online) is replete with natural wines (a focus of Sarah's), but we went for cocktails instead. All of them were funky -- in a good way -- either bitter or brightly citrusy without being too sweet. They struck me as drinks that Tiger Fork's imo terrible drinks aspire to be, with less gimmick. I enjoyed two pours of zucca, which is one of my favorite amari. Onto the food. As you can see, there are about 16 menu items, and they recommended 3 dishes or so per person. So we decided to make it easy and order basically the entire menu, skipping only the "PB&J" and the chicken. We were then treated to a parade of deliciousness, with the cucumber/trout roe dish standing out from the first batch. The combination of roe with fresh cucumbers thinly sliced and a vinegar-based sauce hit the spot. In the next group, the twice-cooked lamb rib and daikon fritters are two of the best things I've eaten in a long time. I would highly, highly recommend these as must-orders. I liked the twice-cooked lamb rib more than the one at Tail Up Goat, though I haven't had that for more than a year. The daikon fritters have a perfect texture and a great mix of sweet and salty. The shrimp were massive and tasty, but not incredible. I don't remember much about the steam water egg and dumpling, but I'm sure I enjoyed them. For our mains, I loved the bok choy and young pea greens, which were both on the bitter-veggie side, but they are quite similar, so I'd recommend getting one or the other. The star of this course was definitely the sweet & sour branzino, which came in a sauce that reminded me of a much better version of buffalo sauce. Super tender fish and briny cabbage made it a great dish. Unsurprisingly, the crispy rice was also a hit. More than just fried rice, this is like burnt rice that hasn't been charred, so it is...crunchy, hence the name. Same flavors as fried rice, just a new texture. I liked it. Shockingly, the biggest miss of the night was the hand cut noodles, which we were all so excited for. They come buried under a mix of what seemed to be bell peppers, reminding us almost of fajitas. The flavors didn't compare to the other dishes we had. On another note, we saw the chicken when the waiter walked by with it for someone else--and it looked great. For dessert, the house treated us to the only dessert on the menu, which was a caramel custard that was incredibly sweet and caramelly--but not in a bad way. Two bites of it was plenty, as enjoyable as those bites were. Afterwards, chef Henji Cheung came out to our table to ask us how we liked everything! We almost wonder whether he thought we were professional reviewers, but our lengthy conversation likely dissuaded him of that notion. He spoke to us about his background (grew up in HK and NY) and how they found the spot here. They live around the corner and say this restaurant has been a true labor of love for them, working constantly to make it as good as they hope. Both him and Sarah were incredibly nice and appreciative of our patronage. Honestly, we were full by the end but not overly stuffed--if going with a party of four adults, I would recommend doing much as we did, but adding the chicken, dropping the noodles, and dropping one of the greens dishes. This place is going to be a hit and doesn't take reservations, so go now while you can.
  10. I'd definitely recommend checking out the new menu. We went last night. The place was busy but had a number of open tables, but when we walked in they said they were fully booked and welcomed us to sit at the bar. This is a recurring theme at Hazel (open seats; saying they're booked) and I never understand it. Anyway, we asked if the patio was open, and it was. They happily turned on the heatlamp because it was a bit chilly. That patio is such a great and lovely space, I'm glad to hear they're making better use of it with Hazelito. The food itself was very good. There were a few boring misses (e.g. charred cabbage), but we LOVED the chicken liver mousse on rye toast with citrus--though I love most things on rye toast. Still, it wasn't too livery and was well-executed. The made to order laffa bread was delicious. It comes out in a huge puff ala the scallion pancake at Peter Chang's, and we enjoyed all 3 of the sauces we ordered with it (catfish, carrot, and shug). Upon request, they gave us another piece of bread for free. Other highlights included the delicate gnocchi and beef tartare with turkish coffee mixed in (though it was a bit wetter than I would have wanted). Annoyingly the menu online hasn't been updated since March 16th, so I forget a few other items we ordered. Drinks were good (any negroni riff is good by me). Service was friendly and attentive. Overall, we left quite full for $60 per person including tax, tip and a drink each.
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