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Meiwah, Downtown and Chevy Chase - Restaurateur Larry La's Gloppy, Americanized Chinese - Downtown Location Closing May 14, 2019


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'Bella said:

I stopped into Circle Bistro one night, decently dressed, and not looking like a hoodlum from foggy bottom. Since I know Notti Bianche does carry-out (execpt on fri and sat.) I was hoping they could do the same since my friend was working and I was sent out to bring food back for the both of us.

Meiwah is a block away from CB and they do carry-out and delivery.

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Meiwah is a block away from CB and they do carry-out and delivery.

thats actually where I ended up going! The lines were long so I grabbed a delivery menu and left, but my friend, by the time I got there, decided to order One Fish Two Fish, which is almost as good!

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The downtown Meiwah was packed on a Tuesday night, with a private party upstairs, and a bustling carryout business at the register. I took a lap through the restaurant, glancing at everyone's plates, and confirmed that this food remains firmly in the "Americanized glop" category, much like the sauce-ridden plates I saw coming out of New Beijing's kitchen on a recent visit. Plus, Meiwah is expensive, with no meat dish costing less than $10.95.

They do have a section on their menu labeled "Atkins Friendly," which contains dishes that are batter-free, not deep-fried, and available with sauce on the side. I instead opted for something from their "Chef Specialties" section: the Meiwah Special Noodles ($12.95), specifically because the menu said the noodles were home-made. These semi-thick, rice-based noodles weren't particularly distinctive, but that's probably because they were woked into submission - they came mixed with shrimp, roast pork, cabbage, carrot and bean sprouts. The overall impression was slightly better than the over-oiled versions we've all had, and this might be something I'd order again as carryout, especially after I'd knocked back a few drinks.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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I hit the one in Chevy Chase yesterday, having picked up some bitters from a friend and suddenly realizing "You know, I haven't eaten yet today, and it's RIGHT HERE."

Meh-way.

While I thought the steamed meat dumplings were tasty, they had a very tough outside and were very sticky. The twice cooked duck was, to steal a term from DonRocks, "glop", so heavily sauced it was hard to distinguish the components.

So I'm still craving good Chinese food. I might have to hit TNR or Asian Kitchen...

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I hit the one in Chevy Chase yesterday, having picked up some bitters from a friend and suddenly realizing "You know, I haven't eaten yet today, and it's RIGHT HERE."

Meh-way.

While I thought the steamed meat dumplings were tasty, they had a very tough outside and were very sticky. The twice cooked duck was, to steal a term from DonRocks, "glop", so heavily sauced it was hard to distinguish the components.

So I'm still craving good Chinese food. I might have to hit TNR or Asian Kitchen...

And that answers that. I was just thinking the same thing when I drove by there yesterday, having gone by about a million times. Thanks!

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For Chinese in the D.C. area, I think Meiwah is hard to beat. As you may know, the owner, Larry La, founded and ran City Lights in the 90's before selling out. After a few years off, he opened Meiwah. If you have any complaints, let him know and I'm sure he will address them (he is usually at either the NH or CC locations every night).

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For Chinese in the D.C. area, I think Meiwah is hard to beat.

Really? In the relative wasteland that is Chevy Chase, Meiwah is the only decent Chinese within walking distance, but if you're willing to drive to Rockville, or even Bethesda, you can find much much better.

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Meiwah is only so so - some glop but some tasty Americanized-Chinese items too. I really like their Eggplant in Garlic sauce and there black bean sauce dishes are pretty good.

Somehow, even though most of their food is glop, an order of Meiwah's Szechuan Beef and an order of the Steamed Meat Duplings has become my order-in staple. I know that neither is authentic, but they satisfy me when I am tired and really just want some chinese delivered to my Dupont circle door. Should I be ordering from somewhere else? I live really near Great Wall, but had a really bad experience with their twice cooked pork once. Are their other dishes better?

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Somehow, even though most of their food is glop, an order of Meiwah's Szechuan Beef and an order of the Steamed Meat Duplings has become my order-in staple. I know that neither is authentic, but they satisfy me when I am tired and really just want some chinese delivered to my Dupont circle door. Should I be ordering from somewhere else? I live really near Great Wall, but had a really bad experience with their twice cooked pork once. Are their other dishes better?

I work very close to the Chevy Chase location so usually I don't do delivery, but over the weekend the family really wanted some chinese so we had delivery for the first time from the Dupont location. The food was ok - but boy was the delivery wait a bitch - 1 hour and 20 minutes and this is when my house is only about 20 minutes in traffic from the restaurant. I will give the delivery guy credit for a first - I've never had one call in advance to apologize for running late and then apologize profusely upon delivery. Anyways, I had my usual eggplant with garlic sauce that was very good. We also had serviceable/standard-seeming beef in broccoli and vegetable lo mein (it's what the wife likes).

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According to CNN

Washington (CNN) - Huma Abedin was spotted having dinner Monday night with Hillary Clinton's spokesman, Philippe Reines, in Washington.

The two were seen sitting outside at Meiwah Restaurant, a bustling area located between the neighborhoods known as Dupont Circle and Foggy Bottom.
Meiwah is a favorite spot of Reines' and is considered a place to see and be seen. (emphasis added)

Seriously, CNN are you putting Meiwah on the same level as Capital Grill, Cafe Monaco and Old Ebbitt??!!??

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On 4/17/2019 at 8:50 AM, cheezepowder said:

Downtown DC location is closing on May 14 (Washingtonian).

Worth reading for the backstory on Larry La.  My relatives are huge fans of Meiwah and Larry's from the City Lights/Dupont days and I've eaten there (mostly the Chevy Chase branch) a lot as a result.  My take would be that it serves the market that wants what it serves - and that place is never empty or even half full.  It's packe - and the delivery/takeout area is constantly humming as well. 

About a year ago, I sat next to Larry at a Peter Chang/ChiKo Chinese New Years dinner and heard his backstory for the first time.  Pretty amazing.  What was even more interesting was the conversations between Peter Chang and Larry, who seemed to really respect each other despite the very real contrast between their restaurants.

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