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About sweth

  • Birthday October 13

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clam (28/123)

  1. Add another endorsement for this place. Stopped by last night, and had a great meal: Spanish cod cheek ni-oroshi. Fried cod in a dashi. Very nice. Otsukuri. Sashimi of conch, bluefin, spanish mackerel, salmon, and one or two other fish that I've forgotten but that were all some of the best quality fish I've had in a long time (and I've spent much of the last year on pacific islands gorging on seafood.) Special bonus--I almost always ask for ponzu sauce w/ sashimi because I find that soy overwhelms really good quality fish, but I didn't have to here, as the fish was accompanied by a very nice and light ponzu jelly. West Coast Oyster Eggplant Dengaku. This was my favorite course. Perfectly fried meaty oysters with charred sweet eggplant. Maine Lobster Miso Ramen. My least favorite course, but it was also very good; shiro miso, butter, and corn made a rich and creamy broth that turned the entire thing into kind of a New England-style clam & corn chowder gone upscale, but I honestly would have preferred a nice pork ramen and then some lobster w/ butter on the side. Cantaloupe ice cream, which turned out to actually be cantaloupe ice cream, red bean(?) ice cream, chilled cantaloupe, and rose water jelly. The kaiseki menu is $48 + tax/tip; they also have a few a la carte items in the $6-20 range, although I think I saw a note saying that they don't offer those until after 830pm. Service was a little off just because it appears to basically be a two-person show--Chef Yuh, and what appears to be a relatively new waitress, Vera--and I arrived just before they were closing down, but they were both very attentive and I'm sure as they get settled in, the (very tiny) kinks will get ironed out. Alcohol runs from $7 (for a suntory highball or a beer) to $25 for some of the higher-end sakes and wines (per glass; per-bottle prices were ~$40-150). Just in terms of quality of food, I'd put this place easily on par with Kaz and Makoto (or at least my memories of meals there, since it has been literally years since I have been to either of them).
  2. So, I'm back in the States for a few days and (for reasons) am staying in Oxon Hill. I'll probably head to Old Town [1] or into DC proper for most meals, but is there anything in the area worth trying? I see the mentions of Succotash above, but everything I've heard makes it sound a little underwhelming (plus I'm from Louisville originally and would rather just go to 610 Magnolia when visiting the parents if I'm looking for kimchi in my collards). Or do I just use Nando's as my "in case of emergency break glass" spot? [1] Slightly off-topic for this thread, but: my instinct is to just do Lickety Split lunch at Eve every day this week, but I've been gone for years, so--do they still do that, and is it still good? Anyplace better within, say, 15 min drive of National Harbor that is worth doing instead for lunch?
  3. Thirded re: booking lodging directly w the hotel (for some chains that means directly w the chain); I've never had a hotel not be willing to match an online price, and even sometimes beat the online prices if you have a AAA or other discount that the online sites don't take into account. Hotels definitely allocate rooms based on desirability vs profitability, but there are a few ways to get around that. One is to join any reward club for a hotel chain you are staying at (before you check in, so that you can put your reward number on your reservation in advance) even if you will never stay there again; the person who checks you in usually just sees what level of reward member you are but not how often you have stayed, and so as a 0-nights-stayed untiered Marriott Rewards guest you look the same to them as a 9-night untiered guest, and will get better room placement (modulo availability) than someone w/o a Rewards number (though not as good as a Silver/Gold/Platinum member, obviously). The second trick is actually just to ask *when you check in*. If I see a wedding party or something else when checking in, I've almost never not had success after politely asking the front desk to put in me a quiet room away from the wedding party if possible. If there is no obvious noisome event, I often just ask for a quiet room away from the elevator. (Some rewards programs also let you specify prefs like close to/away from elevator in your online profile, but mentioning it again at checkin doesn't hurt because it reframes the room assignment decision for the clerk as being about finding you a good room rather than just getting you on your way.) The third, slightly risky, trick is to try to check in a little early or fairly late. If you get there a little before official checkin starts, they often will have turned over all the rooms from the night before and thus will have a full range of rooms open from which to try to accomodate your request for a better room; the downside is that if there are a lot of late checkouts from the night before, or a fully booked house for the coming night, then the clerk might panic and, trying to be helpful and let the early-show guest have a room at all, give you whatever room happens to have been turned over even if it is a mediocre one. (Reframing by asking for a quiet room away from the elevator as above helps mitigate against that--often if there is minimal selection but you are an early-show guest wanting a quiet room, the clerk will tell you that there is a room that doesn't meet your request, or that if you can wait, they can probably get you what you want by normal check-in time.) Late checkins are also sometimes good for getting a request for a good room fulfilled because by that point, any vacant "nice" room is probably going to stay vacant, so the probable marginal cost to the hotel of giving it to you is zero; at nicer hotels, you also stand a small chance of getting bumped up to a very nice room because they have allocated the last of whatever class of room you paid for to someone else, and when possible in those situations they try to bump you up rather than down. But the downside is that there is also a chance that they will be fully booked and either only have a crappy room left or (rarely in the US except at smaller non-chains) have no rooms left at all (in which case they will refund you but then you still have nowhere to sleep). Once you are in the room, dealing with noise all depends on the staff. The only trick I can offer there is to be unfailingly polite to the staff when asking for the noise to be dealt with, and if you have to veer off that path, err on the side of tired and miserable and needing their help rather than righteous anger (even if justified). Same thing for if you end up having to talk to noisy guests yourself, and always try to include some reason for why you want them to quiet down--a "hey, sorry to bother you but I have a kid trying to sleep/I have an early flight to catch/whatever" is IME more effective than just a "hey, keep it quiet".
  4. Does "access to" the wine tasting just mean entry to the building? The mention of "half-price on all wines" implies that the wines at the tasting aren't actually part of the ticket price. Is that the case? Ditto for the preview of the bar menu, actually--are the small plates part of the $20?
  5. It's only deceptive if it's violating people's common understanding of the meaning. Most people don't even know that Champagne or Chablis are regional descriptors, so they wouldn't think that using them for products from other locations was deceptive, any more than, say, a layperson would consider using "PC" to mean "Windows PC" (even though Macs are PCs, too) to be deceptive--it's only the (relatively small) group for whom those are terms of art rather than generic adjectives who get outraged. I'd wager that most people who encounter "Maryland crab cakes" don't have any specific expectations about getting MD blue crab meat vs. Japanese horse crab meat--they are just expecting to get "the local speciality", and if the vast majority of that speciality is made locally w/ horse crab meat (which it definitionally is given the differences in harvest sizes) then they aren't really being deceived. Basically: we (as foodies) get a lot more worked up about certain of these sorts of things than most people do; if we were to try to apply the same sorts of standards that you'd prefer for food advertising to everything else, most advertising period would be outlawed.
  6. I wasn't aware anyone actually thought "Maryland Crab Cakes" meant anything other than "Maryland style; at least, if I'm not somewhere on the Bay itself, I assume that it's Asian or S American crab meat. This may also be why I almost never actually order crab, or lobster; most of what you get out there is flavorless filler.
  7. Rather: 2, maybe 3, as I suddenly have to bail for annoying work-related reasons. I PM-ed DanielK, but thought I'd post here in case anyone was on the fence about joining who might be more motivated now that we're one more person short...
  8. I think we're 2 weeks out now; are we taking names yet? If so, count me in.
  9. Or, sadly, 20 for lunch and 13.5 for the tour; I'm going to have to bail because of work. I might have to make an emergency lunch trip to HKP, and then a trip up to Baying Hound once Paul's India Brown is ready...
  10. The problem isn't whether it can do well; it's whether it can do well enough to support a rent high enough that for the owner of the building, continuing the lease is the "highest and best use" of the property as compared to redeveloping it as condos or something else. Unfortunately, as the potential value of the condos increase, that "well enough" tipping point moves higher, so that only places w/ very high traffic and relatively low overhead (e.g. fast food franchises) or moderate traffic and higher prices can survive; the moderate traffic/moderate price places tend to be the ones that get priced out of the market.
  11. Granville is on par w/ Beck in terms of quality, but is a little pricier.
  12. Can you put me on the list for lunch and waitlist for the tour? I met Paul last week and was the one who suggested he post something here inviting people to tour his "nanobrewery"; I was actually going to post something myself but have been out of town and just got back today.
  13. On the coffeehouse front: Ebenezer's, SOVA, and Sidamo.
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