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Night Owl

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  1. I second that bánh xèo emotion. A friend and I order it every time we're there. Have also enjoyed the baby clams. Getting hungry just thinking about this...
  2. (and while it's not lasagna, if you're there you can't miss out on his pillowy light, delicious gnocchi, too! )
  3. Not a traditional lasagna, but the lasagnette at Roberto Donna's Al Dente is yummy and very comforting. Definitely more about the sauce and noodle...
  4. When it's on the menu, the tuna watermelon salad is a must-order. It's reminiscent of Michel's wonderful sleight of hand -- when you spear a red cube with the lightest blanket of delicious dressing, you don't necessarily know if it's tuna or watermelon until it's in your mouth and popping with flavor, and the combo of the two together is luscious. Also, the coconut sorbet... it's delicious, but more because it was his favorite.
  5. Michel just passed away. There are so many and yet no words all at the same time...
  6. Convivial -- lovely array on the HH menu, great service and mix of people, wonderful to stay after HH is over.
  7. Unsure if it's a franchise, seems like it. We've been to both locations with my parents recently. Both have excellent fried shrimp rolls, their specialty. Each has a few worthwhile dishes unique to it. The Rockville one has something the Gaithersburg does not: fresh cloud ear mushrooms. They use it in a chicken dish they call "fresh fungus with chicken" on the menu. My parents say they will also sell the fresh cloud ear mushrooms themselves customers. They also do a meltingly tender beef tendon. My dad can no longer eat spicy food, so we get the "beef tendon in soy sauce" and it's delicious. The Gaithersburg one does a delicious version of "la jiao shiao chow" (sorry for my embarrassing Chinese American pin yin) -- pork with leeks, dried bean curd and hot peppers -- except theirs is chicken instead of pork; haven't seen that in other restaurants. It's A15 on the menu. We order it as an entree size. One small note about the Gaithersburg restaurant, which we've been to a number of times... the staff there consistently gravitated to using English with us upon seeing my caucasian husband and stepdaughter, immediately bringing forks and iced water only to them and responding to my parents in English even though my parents asked them questions in Chinese. It's a bit of a bizarre experience when you're in the middle of it. But the food's good, so we continue to keep it in our rotation of places to go to here and there.
  8. I'm with Deac on Sushi Taro's seared kobe/wagyu stuffed with uni. At the same time, there's nothing quite like uni in solitude - and Sushi Taro's omakase offers East and West Coast varieties to your heart's content, which is perfect.
  9. fresh"¦ you should be fine to go next weekend. others may know how long they're available here, not sure -- a month or two?
  10. It's that wonderful time of the year again -- mangosteens are available at Eden Center"¦ at Song Que, other stores and a lady on the sidewalk. So delicious...
  11. It's that wonderful time of the year -- mangosteens are now available here and other places at Eden Center (including a sidewalk lady).
  12. No restaurant sends out perfect food 100% of the time, and we happened upon one of those instances. I have had delicious experiences before at Ghibellina (hello, olive & carciofi pizza, for starters) and I'm sure I'll have many more there. Jonathan reached out to me as soon as he saw my post and was great about the whole thing. It says a lot that someone as busy as he is with the real work in the line of fire at the restaurant also keeps his finger on the pulse of what people are sharing about their experiences in real time. That shows true dedication to quality and excellence.
  13. Was here last Wednesday with friends at the bar and had a strange, un-Ghibellina-esque experience. We started with cocktails and the fritto misto. Being a tentacle girl, I reached first for a crispy tentacle morsel -- as soon as it hit my tastebuds, there was a very strong, distinct ammonia taste. I thought, OK"¦ give it another try. Calamari ring. Same undeniable taste. The other fried bits -- polenta, lemon -- were fine. I was puzzling over it silently when my friend looked at me oddly and said, "I hate to say it, but this tastes really bad -- my calamari had a really strong"¦ ammonia taste. Does yours? What is that?!" We asked the bartender to bring it back to the chef and ask him about it. She returned and said the chef didn't taste anything wrong. But she kindly took it off our bill. We were so turned off by the calamari-ammonia and chef denying it, we decided to have dinner elsewhere. Sorry to say"¦ because I've always had very good and enjoyable experiences here before. An off day that won't happen again, I hope...
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