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Social Oyster Bar is apparently a new restaurant in McLean. The menu looks somewhat interesting. I'll probably take the kids there tomorrow night to check it out. Anyone else been?
Scenes from this weekend: Enchiladas con mole de pollo - sauce of chiles, chocolate, nuts, shredded chicken, tortillas, onion and queso fresco. Tacos de carnitas - two tacos of braised pork, orange, bay leaf, milk, cinnamon, beer, jalapeño, onion, cilantro and tomatillo salsa. Nopalito 306 Broderick Street (Oak Street) http://www.nopalitosf.com/
So, we've gone from zero to two "Fast-Casual Asian Bowl Places" on H Street over the past month or so. Last night I picked up carry-out from the brand new Pow Pow, which just opened this past Saturday. They don't seem to have a menu available online, so I can't remember the names of everything we ordered. This is refreshingly not a Chipotle-like concept, and instead has you just pick actual items off of a relatively small menu. They have bowls, with stuff served over rice, as well as gigantic, burrito sized fried egg rolls. We didn't go with one of the egg rolls, and instead got two bowls, Fugazi Osbourne (beef with hoisin sauce and a bunch of stuff) and something I can't remember the name of that had pork and a poached egg. Everything was solid, although I wasn't a huge fan of the coconut rice, in both flavor and texture. Between this and BAB Korean Fusion, I think I prefer BAB. But both are good, and I'm happy this is here.
Nava Thai is at the back of the Hung Fat Thai Market on Fern Street in Wheaton. It is closed on Wednesdays. Our first visit did not register much and we have not been back in a while. But recently I have heard good things so we gave it a try! Sunday after Thanksgiving, and wife & I needed a good lunch to get the juices flowing before going into the restaurant for a long day of accounting issues & running the restaurant for dinner. Soup was in order. We first thought about a run to Bob's Shabu squared but it was too far. Sergio's for pupusas & chicken soup sounded perfect so we drove there. When we parked around the corner I saw Nava Thai across the street. So despite our so so first meal there we returned. Good move! We had a couple of bowls of soup & a plate of Som Tum. I had the market noodle soup with pork. My only quibble was the sweetness level of the broth, but I fear that this may just as likely be an issue of the sweetness level being proper and my just not liking it that sweet as any other reason. But since it was corrected with the addition of a little vinegar with hot chiles, what the heck. The nonrubbery and surprisingly flavorful mystery-meatballs were particularly good, the pork abundant and flavorful. Kay had the roast duck stew soup and it was fine with a lot of spice from the duck. The Som Tum was wondrous! Fiery hot, with a thicker dressing that made a more complete whole of the dish. It wasn't a simple salad of papaya in a dressing but a complex whole. I loved the use of the green beans and the squished grape tomatoes added flavor, a little relief from the considerable heat and a nice texture contrast. Unlike the recent som tum at both Ruan Thai and Thai Square, this one lacked the tiny dried shrimp but the dressing had lots of the powdered crustaceans in there. Simply the best Som Tum I have had in ages (since the hole in the wall in East Hollywood or the joints on sherman way in the San Fernando Valley of LA). Based on a small sample size, I think that Nava is now equal to Thai Square and for many dishes, ahead of Ruan Thai. But Ruan Thai has some stuff I have never had before and does such a superb job on their veggie components of their dishes that much careful consideration will have to be given to both. But for general eating, Nava is now ahead of Ruan, but I will go to Ruan when I feel like their wonderful eggplant dishes (which is often) or the steamed bun mi and chicken in red curry at lunch. Superb food, cheap ($36 for three beers and 3 dishes served by a wonderfully sweet server who was so concerned that we like their food. The heat kept me going all day and long into the night!! I am sure this will be a first of many visits back.