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lotus125

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  1. I know this isn't about a particular restaurant, so apologies if this is out of place. Any suggestions of restaurants with outdoor dining that still have heaters (many restaurants sent theirs to storage) and that allow corkage? Thanks!
  2. We've had R&O carry out twice -- once the $75 multi-course, and once the weekday a la carte option. The food is quite good (save a sadly undercooked pasta we got -- well under al dente, but with a great filling). It's a little harder to say whether the carry out is "worth it." The portions are not large, and it's not necessarily better than Bresca's or Albi's less expensive multi-course meals, or many of our other regular go-tos (Happy Gyro, Etto, Bad Saint, etc.). But they're putting out good food. And especially in these times, I can't begrudge their pricing if that's what it takes to stay afloat.
  3. Different style and location, but we had good carryout from Mama Chang's. I've heard Peter Chang's in Arlington is doing carryout too.
  4. The celeriac ruben gives these a run for their money. I'm thankful to have the Komi/Happy Gyro takeout option right now.
  5. For anyone in need of change of pace, Komi is going Happy Gyro to go: https://komirestaurant.com/happygyrotogo.html
  6. Erik Bruner-Yang's new Italian/Asian mashup. With an exciting menu and some good initial review-ettes, I decided to try it one week into service. While our meal was perfectly fine, I'll give it some time and keep an eye on further reviews before I go back. So far, not as good as his other places. But it may get there. -Service was solid. The hostess was efficient and, in contrast to many places this day, willing to seat our reservation before the party was complete. The waitress was nice, albeit not able to describe some of the complex cocktails in much detail. -I'll start with the drinks. The cocktail list has three classics and three fusion-y options. From the classics list, a New York sour was solid. From the modern list, our favorite was lemongrass gin, togarashi-sesame syrup, and yuzu. The texture is surprisingly thick. But the sesame, togarashi spice, and yuzu meld well together. A clarified whiskey, OJ, and miso was fine; a bit too much OJ flavor for my taste but well clarified. Tequila with lime and gochujung tasted like a spicy margarita: perfectly good but no obvious difference from other spicy margaritas. A few mocktails were quite good. -As for food, the collective favorite was Artichoke with Broken Pesto and Wild Greens. Not very Asian, but a well constructed, tasty artichoke salad. Our second favorite was Spaghetti with XO Sauce and Gemolata. It's very salty and fishy (think tons of anchovies), and therefore is likely to be polarizing. But we enjoyed it. The next rung down was Egg Drop Soup with Celery Root, Pecorino, and Jalapeno (some found it dull, others thought it was a homey chicken soup with spice); Eggplant, Straciatella and Fried Capers (just a bit bland but not bad); and Mochi Fried Shrimp Fried Diavolo (Fried shrimp covered in mochi. I really liked the use of mochi but wanted a better fra diavolo sauce. Others disliked the mochi. I wonder if a better sauce and pasta would improve it). There was unanimous dislike of Lumpia with Burrata and Meatball (inherent to cooking with burrata is that it gets watery), and Sweet Potato Agnolotti with Taleggio Fonduta and Apple (heavy sauce, covered in dried shavings that taste like Terra chips). I'm a fan of the chef, and I like the concept. The place is only a week old. Fingers crossed that the food improves.
  7. Anju opened in the old Mandau space, and we went to try it. Cool space with exposed brick, rough surfaces, and multiple levels. Food ranged from ok to very good. Our favorites were charred kimchi pancake, korean sweet potato with honey butter, and many "panchan" -- little side dishes with various kimchis, marinated veg, etc. A salad was so-so. Seafood noodle stew was solid. Korean rice cakes were tasty, but one of us thought the setup was a bit bland. Bibim bap with tofu was disappointing; no crunchy bits in the rice and not much flavor other than chili sauce we added ourselves. The biggest disappointments were beverages and service. We had several disappointing cocktails. Our waiter disappeared for long stretches. He repeatedly got one person's drink order and walked away before others could give theirs. He dripped red sauce on someone's white shirt. And while he was often good about refilling water, he was nowhere to be found while we ate our spiciest dishes. The place has its charms, but I'll give it a little while to mature before I go back.
  8. New Laotian restaurant in NoMa. After several visits, I'd rate this place as "ok." First the good parts: Big outdoor space; beautiful dining room; Laotian food is interesting and -- other than Thip Khao and related restaurants -- uncommon around DC; and the crispy rice salad is delicious (even if not as good as the one at Thip Khao). Unfortunately there are many downsides. Service is spotty at best. I've had several meals where we desperately tried to flag down servers, dishes were forgotten, water was never refilled, etc. The cocktails are so-so and often taste quite watered down -- maybe too much use of quickly melting ice? And other than the crispy rice salad, the food has been mixed. I've generally liked items on the vegan menu. A whole branzino was solid. Grilled beef and pork were both overcooked. Steamed catfish was so so. I love having another Laotian option in DC, and I hope this place improves. But it needs a lot of work.
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