I hadn't been to North China in 10 or 15 years. The last time I had been there, it was a better-than-average Szechuan place, but nothing terribly out of the ordinary.
About a month or two ago, I got a menu from North China in the mail, and I saw that they had a lot of more traditional dishes listed. We decided to try it.
We were in for a surprise when we arrived. The restaurant used to have two rooms; now it was down to one. And whereas the decor had been sort of upscale suburban, now it was much more bare-bones.
The food was outstanding. We had first-rate ma-po tofu, a very spicy shredded pork and chili appetizer, a sauteed squid dish with shredded pork and finely chopped greens, and a more conventional beef & mixed vegatables dish that was very well prepared. We didn't delve as deeply into the menu was I would have liked, because there were only three of us, one of whom was my son, who is more limited in his tastes than my wife and I. But there was lots of unfamiliar (to me) stuff to try. Fish stomach, anyone?
Although one visit isn't enough to base a comparison on, based on what we ate it wouldn't be outrageous to put North China roughly in the same ballpark as Joe's Noodle House. It's certainly a closer-in alternative if you're looking for non-Americanized Chinese food.
The address is 7814 Old Georgetown Rd.