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jm chen

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About jm chen

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    http://www.intrepidmedia.com
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  1. Never been in person, but we had takeout from the Tenley location within the past month and everything was excellent. I didn't place the order so I don't know exactly what we had, but remember enjoying the lamb meatballs, tofu garam masala, saag paneer, and dal makhni.
  2. We went on Saturday around 6 and were pleasantly surprised to find no wait whatsoever. The setting is bright and lively, service was excellent, and the ramen was out of this world. We took Marty's advice and got a bowl of shio chintan to split. Slurped up every last drop of broth and every last noodle. Highly recommended. The fried chicken with fixings, honestly, was disappointing. The chicken itself was good -- a breast, leg, and thigh all nicely crispy on the outside, moist on the inside -- but there wasn't one of the fixings I was tempted to finish. Granted, we were pretty full from the ramen and a late lunch, but I expected better. Biscuits were cute and satisfactory, but the mac and cheese was too cheesy (yes, I was also surprised to find that was even possible, but especially when the dish is not hot and the cheese is congealing, it's true), the potatoes with gravy were too good a facsimile of that nearly-liquid KFC-style puree, and the corn on the cob was wet and tough (granted, I am from Iowa and a fiercer-than-average corn critic). Can't opine personally on the cole slaw though my dining companion said it was in line with the other fixings. So would we go back? Absolutely, in a heartbeat, assuming we could get in again once the crowds discover the place. Just not for the chicken dinner.
  3. Gotham West (link in Eric's post above) is the best bang for your buck near there. Highly recommend the counter at Ivan Ramen & the Seamus Mullen place is very good too.
  4. Their Italian hoagie is often available through UberEats, for those who are in the downtown or Georgetown area around lunchtime on weekdays. Planning to give it a try as I miss the Philly style (oh, for a trip to Sarcone's.)
  5. Also there last night. They're releasing very limited reservations on OpenTable in addition to through their own system -- when I checked last week, there was a 6:15 for last night and something at 5:15 one night the first week in December, and that was it. So Tuesday night it was. Promptly seated at a table for two against the inside wall. Wouldn't want to sit on these chairs for a long time, but not an issue with the speed of service at this point -- we were completely done in under an hour, and as you'll see below, we didn't exactly skimp on the ordering. The Pork Buns are one of my favorites at Ssam Bar in NYC so I wasn't leaving without an order of those. They tasted and looked exactly as remembered. Yum. The Shrimp Louis was solid (seemed out of place on this menu, and was thoroughly classic except for the jalapeí±os) and my dining companion seemed happy with the Egg and Pepper (I don't like eggs, but the pepper was tasty enough.) Entrees were both stellar. The cold noodles with sausage and cashews lived up to the waiter's advance warning of spiciness. Korean Fried Chicken turned out to be crunchy fried cubes on a bed of quinoa with some lettuce for wrapping, and really well done, piping hot. We got a compost cookie for the road and ordered Brisket Buns as our dessert. This was the only dish I didn't love. The meat was a little firm and chewy for my taste in this format -- it didn't melt away like the pork belly does, and since the meat was tougher than the bun it didn't quite all meld together. I love classic meat and horseradish but the bun may just not be the right delivery system for me (though I see above others loved them, so very much YMMV.) Was concerned about drink prices from the discussion above but they now serve 16oz of the DC Brau Corruption IPA for $7. Went well with everything. As we arrived just after 6:15 we heard the wait quoted as an hour and a half, and the front entry was absolutely packed. By the time we left an hour later there were only a couple people waiting. Whether everyone had given up or it's easier if you don't go right after work, I don't know. The place was hopping.
  6. We've gone a few times for special occasions, and it is a knockout space with incredibly fresh seafood. I also find it breathtakingly expensive, and the service sometimes feels more condescending than welcoming. Other than the bar lunch special, which is an excellent deal, I'd honestly rather go to Blacksalt.
  7. We walked in Friday night at 9:30 intending to get a drink. Upstairs bar was standing room only, but lo and behold, bar seats opened up downstairs, and we were able to have dinner. Warm welcome, amazing food, everything delightful. We'll be back -- late.
  8. Order the coast-to-coast and everyone wins. Both the East Coast and West Coast versions are delicious. Not large, but tasty, each with its own version of remoulade to kick things up. It really is as much like the SF original as they can make it; they brought out the sourdough starter from SF and bake their house bread from that, and of course the dungeness and sand dabs are not things we see often on this coast. If you sit at the bar on the right side of the restaurant, as we did, it's a near-copy of the same spot out there. The dining room on the other side has a completely different feel, more formal, if you prefer that.
  9. We ate there Saturday night as walk-ins at the bar. Obviously had not seen the article above at that point. As fans of the San Francisco original, we've been waiting and waiting to take it for a spin. We hit some of our favorites from the SF menu (sand dabs, Louie salad) and an unusual opportunity to compare crab cakes (the "coast to coast" crab cake app with one dungeness and one lump cake.) Excellent food, excellent service. Seeing that the carrot cake was pre-sliced and waiting under shrink wrap in the fridge should probably have deterred us from ordering dessert, but it didn't, and no regrets.
  10. When we lived in Brooklyn Heights, Iron Chef House was our neighborhood place. And for a neighborhood place, it's solid (my kingdom for a monkey roll!) but they weren't doing anything extraordinary.
  11. jm chen

    Washington Post Dining Guide

    He specified today in his chat that the Top 10 in the Dining Guide this year is "favorites" and not "bests", and rightly so, because otherwise Komi at #9 is an outrage.
  12. jm chen

    Criticizing the Critics

    I've generally scoffed at repeated complaints that Sietsema is too quick to recommend Rasika over and over in his chats, because his opinion is what the Post pays him for, and if he likes the place, why shouldn't he say so? But then today when someone asked for a dinner recommendation and specifically said they'd already been to Rasika, his response was to recommend Rasika West End, and I'm done scoffing.
  13. Looking to celebrate a birthday with 4 adults on an upcoming weeknight. Not too many constraints, just need great food at any price -- but must have a la carte options (no tasting-only) and must take reservations. Places we love but might hit too often for this occasion: Central Michel Richard Chez Billy Sud Le Diplomate Blue Duck Places we've been and enjoyed that might fit the bill: Mintwood Place Corduroy Vidalia Zaytinya Red Hen Places we've never been that sound intriguing: Ghibellina Rural Society Kapnos Cork Estadio Fiola Thoughts?
  14. They also deliver nationwide. Very expensive, but I've ordered them as gifts. Chocolate chocolate chunk and chocolate peanut butter are mind-blowing.
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