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Now that the Washington Post has done a full profile on Mr. Bruner-Yang and most media outlets have already broken this news, makes sense to start a thread here.  This is yet another really ambitious concept for the area with $300K of the startup money crowdsourced, a chef from Lyon Hall and plans for it to include a full retail mix of apparel, a donut shop, specialty coffee and Range-like stations simulating Asian markets/hawkers with all day/all meal coverage . Great to see and wish it well. If it works, this is big time for DC. Really fantastic the amazing amount of food-related development activity for a city that's relatively small.

From the Post here

City Paper coverage here

Eater's renderings of the space here

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I've been following Johnny Spero since the two meals I had at Suna during its short lifespan. I really wanted to check him out during his time at minibar. Alas, he left for Mugaritz about a month befo

I had a great family birthday dinner here tonight. We are so totally spoiled that this can be our wander in without reservations with a baby and a toddler neighborhood joint. The menu is substantial

I don't know if this is the place for a random Eric story, but I was at Honeycomb a few months ago looking lost and he asked if he could help.  I had just bought some short ribs at Harvey's and told h

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I'm particularly looking forward to seeing what this ends up being (I'm hoping for fried scallion pancakes with a fried egg):

As for the food, my recent trips to the night markets of Taiwan and Cambodia have heavily influenced the specialties we will be reproducing daily and seasonally.

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Four of us had dinner here tonight.

I'm not going to write a ton about the experience here other than to generally describe it with some specifics as best I can.  Not fair to judge or opine about this since it's:

- a semi-permanent pop up (Maketto has taken over Hanoi House; no more Hanoi House menu available here, following the few months planned with Maketto running the kitchen, not yet clear what the Hanoi House space will become given it's location at ground zero of the city's most valuable commercial intersection)

- experimental.  As Erik explained to us, they'll be changing the menu here frequently to test may different ideas.  A "take on a papaya salad" was described as a "pillar" meaning near certain to appear on Maketto's ultimate menu but most of the other dishes to be determined.  They're emphasizing fresh, local, in-season as I guess near every restaurant now does. Tonight's menu was largely Cambodian inspired but that won't always be the case.

- really inexpensive. Maybe the most surprising thing about this to encourage traffic?  We paid only $40/person for a 7-course tasting menu, 4 or so glasses of wine (just one red and one white offered; the white was a vigonier), one beer (maybe a dozen or so beers offered) and a few extra dim-sum style items ordered with upcharges from carts ($2 each!).  So, calling this great value probably understates the case.

----------------------

Asked for a menu but they don't have anything printed.  Erik offered to email what the dishes were but I forgot to follow up on that before we left.  So, as best I can recall, some limited descriptions in case helpful to others:

- Two crisp, fresh Asian salads started us off. One was the take on a papaya salad with white cabbage, thai chilies and crispy pig skin. The other had cold rice noodles, carrot, bean sprout and served with crispy spring roll and charred pork belly slices. .

- Large sweet/sour soups to share with prawn, tofu, maybe chicken, herbs and not sure what else. Stock done with basil and cilantro stems along with whatever protein scraps.

- From the dim sum style carts, we tried a steamed pork bun that also had egg and a cold eggplant with chili tofu

- Squid stuffed with pork sausage

- A take on chili crab using prawns

- A sweet BBQ style pork meatball

- Baked oval ramekin type dishes with sea bass, coconut milk and collards

Forgetting what else though dessert was shaved ice with a touch of coconut milk and fresh seasonal fruits including peach and blackberry served in a jar.  Mix and go.

I'll be interested to hear what others experience if they try this. Maketto will be manning the kitchen for at least a couple of months and, as best I can tell, reservations aren't too tough to book at least for now.  Erik couldn't have been any nicer talking with us and answering questions. I still haven't been to Toki and rally need to go. Daikaya got me off track there becoming my more regular ramen stop since it opened.

I'm particularly looking forward to seeing what this ends up being (I'm hoping for fried scallion pancakes with a fried egg):

Sorry cheeze!  No sign of any scallion pancakes tonight but, as Erik explained, the menu will be switching over next by Friday and regularly thereafter so you should check from time and time. They'll be offering different Asian cuisines with different menus.  They're doing all their own butchery buying whole animals and fish. Erik shared that they have 40 or 50 ducks that are currently being cured so those will likely be a prominent part of the weekend's menu.

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^We had almost the same menu (same dishes but maybe a few different ingredients in some of them) on a different night.  The soup had no prawns, but did have pineapple, wood ear, and tamarind; it was funkily sour and sweet and quite delicious.  With the exception of the steamed pork bun, I thought everything was excellent.  Interesting contrasts of flavors and textures.  The chili sauce on the prawns was out of this world.  Like darkstar, I won't comment on the other things given the nature of the place.  But anyone who likes southeast Asian cuisines and likes to be surprised should have a good time at Maketto.  I'm looking forward to going again when the menu has changed a bit.

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Got a call yesterday cancelling our reservation for Friday because of some sort of equipment damage in the kitchen? No more detail than that. Apparently we will get priority for reservations before they open them for the month of September, but still disappointing. Was really looking forward to trying it out.

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Got a call yesterday cancelling our reservation for Friday because of some sort of equipment damage in the kitchen? No more detail than that. Apparently we will get priority for reservations before they open them for the month of September, but still disappointing. Was really looking forward to trying it out.

Me too for my reservation that was supposed to be yesterday.  Pretty annoying to have to remember to call back to find out if they've opened their September reservations calendar (and, if they haven't, to have to keep calling back) -- I would have preferred being able to give the person a September date on the phone and have them slot me in there.

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Me too for my reservation that was supposed to be yesterday.  Pretty annoying to have to remember to call back to find out if they've opened their September reservations calendar (and, if they haven't, to have to keep calling back) -- I would have preferred being able to give the person a September date on the phone and have them slot me in there.

Hmm, they didn't say that I had to call back. They took my preferred date and time as well as my phone number and said that they would call me.  Was that not the case for others?

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I went last Thursday and thought it was some wonderful food and an absolute steal at $30. Maybe better than my last meal at Little Serow

Course 1: duck breast and heart larb with cicharron
Course 2: green papaya salad with tomato, peanuts and cabbage
Course 3: rice stew with duck confit, fermented soy beans and blood sausage style tofu
Course 4: whole fried prawn with a delicious chili garlic sauce and sautéed morning glory greens
Course 5: rockfish in coconut curry and saffron on a bed of banana leaves (tasted like collards)
Course 6: squid stuffed with sour sausage (their interpretation of a dumping they said, definitely looked like one)
Course 7: Taiwanese shaved ice with coconut milk, ginger, mint, and fruit

Did the $20 pairing which included your choice of cocktail, followed by a Vietnamese beer, Riesling, and a honey apricot dessert wine from NC. Got 2 items from the dim sum cart to go: hoisin meatball and steamed pork bun ($2 each). They had a special of a fried rockfish head with the same sauce as course 5 for 8 bucks but I was way too full for that.

Erik was there and soliciting feedback on all the dishes. He was particularly interested in what I added to the soup: it came with a little dish of sugar, sliced chilis and lime wedges. I added all the chilies and both limes with a little bit of sugar. Guess he's still trying to hone that flavor as overall the broth was a little bland, but the citrus brightened it up considerably. Definitely go if you get the chance before it closes in the next few months.

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Hmm, they didn't say that I had to call back. They took my preferred date and time as well as my phone number and said that they would call me.  Was that not the case for others?

It was not the case for me.  I specifically asked whether I could give him preferred dates, and he said I needed to call over the next two weeks to find out when they had available dates.

Sigh.

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Well, they're now taking reservations for September and October and I did not get a call, so that answers that question. I'm booked for September 5. 

I also haven't received a call (and my res was cancelled too), but just did a little poking around on Open Table -- seems like they are taking reservations up until September 16, and then don't start again until Oct 1.

Maybe they are holding back those two weeks for people who had their reservations cancelled?

I called but no one picked up, so clearly this is wild speculation...

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Maybe someone affiliated with Maketto could chime in here and let everyone know what's going on?

A response from Maketto chef/co-owner, Erik Bruner-Yang:
--
 
Hey guys,
 
Thank you for everyone that has showed up and also shown so much interest in the pop-up we are doing at Hanoi House. It was been a wonderful time to experiment on our dishes. We have already tested 48 dishes and look forward to accomplishing our goal of 120. 
 
We apologize for the inconvenience the temporary closure caused everyone. We were closed for almost nine days, which resulted in over 600 canceled reservations. Needless to say it has taken sometime to go through the list while trying to get reopened. There has been some miscommunication on my end with Opentable about when we would reopen the reservations and I hope that has been resolved today. 
 
By Monday we will have the entire cancelation contacted via phone or email depending on what information was obtained during the reservation. All Opentable availability will be on hold from September. 17 to October. 17 to try to accommodate everyone's needs. Naturally this will take some time but we will work as fast as we can. Feel free to contact me directly via email erik@tokiunderground.com if you have any questions, concerns, comments, feedback, or if you just want to talk about the USMNT upcoming world cup qualifiers.
 
bests,
Erik Bruner-Yang
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Still haven't heard anything by phone or by email.  I went ahead last week and just booked a new reservation on OpenTable, although the time isn't ideal and I would prefer to reschedule.

I got a call about an hour ago -- they are definitely working through the list.

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This sentence caught my eye in the Tasting Table e-mail featuring a Fall Preview of food related events that arrived in my in box this morning:

WASHINGTON, DC:From the Toki Underground guys, Marketto is a partially crowd-funded Asian marketplace and street food space.

No further info and a Google search provides nada.   Anyone know anything about this?

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This sentence caught my eye in the Tasting Table e-mail featuring a Fall Preview of food related events that arrived in my in box this morning:

WASHINGTON, DC:From the Toki Underground guys, Marketto is a partially crowd-funded Asian marketplace and street food space.

No further info and a Google search provides nada.   Anyone know anything about this?

It's "Maketto" (you had me doubting the spelling and double-checking) -

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This sentence caught my eye in the Tasting Table e-mail featuring a Fall Preview of food related events that arrived in my in box this morning:

WASHINGTON, DC:From the Toki Underground guys, Marketto is a partially crowd-funded Asian marketplace and street food space.

No further info and a Google search provides nada.   Anyone know anything about this?

If you're asking about the crowd-funded element, this ought to clear it up for you.

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We went last night, and I'm now extremely pleased that I also have another reservation for September 19 (the menu will change on September 17). Just fantastic across the board. The papaya salad reminded me very much of my meal last week at Pok Pok in Portland, and was just as good.  The fish curry was great. We also loved all three items we ordered off of the dim sum cart (for $2 a piece), the pork bun, the eggplant and the corn with coconut.  I can't remember the specifics on all of the courses, but I have the menu at home so I'll post that later. It is definitely different now than what people on this thread had earlier.

I strongly recommend this place to everyone.

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We went last night, and I'm now extremely pleased that I also have another reservation for September 19 (the menu will change on September 17). Just fantastic across the board. The papaya salad reminded me very much of my meal last week at Pok Pok in Portland, and was just as good.  The fish curry was great. We also loved all three items we ordered off of the dim sum cart (for $2 a piece), the pork bun, the eggplant and the corn with coconut.  I can't remember the specifics on all of the courses, but I have the menu at home so I'll post that later. It is definitely different now than what people on this thread had earlier.

I strongly recommend this place to everyone.

Thanks for this post - is it really "Asian Street Food [sounds like it] with a Fashion Market?" That always sounded odd to me - well, maybe not odd, but quirky.

Are you as much of a fan as you are of Pok Pok in Portland? That's pretty high praise.

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What I had last week was comparable to Pok Pok, based on a single visit. I'd have to visit more to state that definitively. I'd say that much of the food was street food-like, particularly the dim sum options. The market pieces are definitely not around at Hanoi House, as they're just working on the menu at this point. I'm very excited to see what the final product looks like.

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Thanks for this post - is it really "Asian Street Food [sounds like it] with a Fashion Market?" That always sounded odd to me - well, maybe not odd, but quirky.

Are you as much of a fan as you are of Pok Pok in Portland? That's pretty high praise.

As DCDuck notes, there's not fashion component at the residency (pop up) at Hanoi House.  They do plan to have a coffee bar (from Chris Vigilante whose beans we've been buying for a while and who roasts locally) and a retail component (from Durkl) when they open Maketto on H Street.  So it will be part retail, part coffee shop, part place to eat/order street food.

As for the residency, we've been twice now and loved it both times.  We've never been to Little Serow, but our friends who joined us this weekend have been there twice and said they preferred their meal at Maketto.  We liked it as much or more as we did Pok Pok when we were there a few years ago.  Erik is a tremenously talented chef and it's fun to see him doing more varied items that he gets to do regularly at Toki Underground.  Maketto offers an excellent value, some very good food, and something pretty unique. I highly recommend folks who enjoy spicy and Asian food check it out.

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We went last night, and I'm now extremely pleased that I also have another reservation for September 19 (the menu will change on September 17). Just fantastic across the board. The papaya salad reminded me very much of my meal last week at Pok Pok in Portland, and was just as good.  The fish curry was great. We also loved all three items we ordered off of the dim sum cart (for $2 a piece), the pork bun, the eggplant and the corn with coconut.  I can't remember the specifics on all of the courses, but I have the menu at home so I'll post that later. It is definitely different now than what people on this thread had earlier.

I strongly recommend this place to everyone.

Interesting.  When we went back in July, we enjoyed it and stayed open-minded since clear that experimentation was the coin of the realm.  Your comparison of the menu to Pok Pok (a place in PDX I know as well) wouldn't have occurred to me but sounds like they've evolved.  Looking forward to trying this out again post-residency.

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We snuck in right at the wire, and had dinner on Monday night.  I would enthusiastically put Maketto on the same pedestal as Little Serow. (I unfortunately haven't eaten at Pok Pok yet.)

We had the menu posted by Porcupine above, with 3 additions: a spicy tripe dish with crispy rice dumplings, 2 skewers of grilled duck hearts, and a steamed bao with braised pork shoulder.

The entire meal was a hit from start to finish.  I loved the combination of the Okonomiyaki with the heat of the Thai chili paste aioli.  The tripe was absolutely delicious, and my only complaint was that there was so much of it, and it was so good, that I filled myself up and had trouble finishing the rest of the meal.  It was perfectly soft, with no rubbery texture, and played well with the crispiness of the dumplings.  The sauce had a sweetness in addition to the spice, which was nicely cut with acidity from the pickled bok choy.  Definitely a winning dish.

The Cambodian dishes were great as well, with the fermented whitefish paste edging out the simple but flavorful soup.

The closest dish to a "miss" was the ma po tofu.  I'm admittedly a purist when it comes to my beloved ma po, and this is anything but a traditional take.  Maketto's version is made with both fresh and fermented tofu, which lends a healthy "funk" to the entire dish that was off-putting at first.  I did come around to enjoying it, but it wasn't a favorite.

I absolutely cannot wait for this to open closer to home.

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This is apparently in a soft opening phase right now.  I just talked to someone who knew people who had been to a soft opening event and he was planning a trip there soon.

Not sure it was a "soft opening" event -- more like a private party, from what I hear.  The space is not quite ready and they're shooting for "end of March"; but they've been saying "soon" for a long while.  Whenever it opens, I have little doubt that it will be among the most enticing places in town, if James Wozniak's offerings at Union Market are any indication.

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Not sure it was a "soft opening" event -- more like a private party, from what I hear.  The space is not quite ready and they're shooting for "end of March"; but they've been saying "soon" for a long while.  Whenever it opens, I have little doubt that it will be among the most enticing places in town, if James Wozniak's offerings at Union Market are any indication. 

Any idea when they'll shut down the operations at Union Market?

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I'm looking forward to checking out Maketto when it opens. Word has it that it should be open in a matter of weeks.

I chatted with James for a bit at the Cochon555 event last Sunday - he expects Maketto to be up and running by the first week in April. So excited.

I've also heard good things about Honeycomb, including that there are limited numbers of specialized products brought in from Japan. 

Place really is outstanding - I'm in here once a week for something or other. Ton of house-made kimchis, miso pastes, noodles, nuoc cham, soy sauce, fish sauce...you name it. Sarah is always tinkering in the back room, and couldn't be more helpful in guiding you through some of the more interesting ingredients they have on hand. Lots of pantry items and cookbooks, as well. And Pocky sticks! This place rules - should be even bigger inside Maketto.

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E-mail just came through from Maketto - finally opening!!!

MAKETTO HOUSE WARMING PARTY
APRIL 4, 2015 
DOORS OPEN: 7PM,  FIRST ACT: 8PM

PERFORMANCES BY
CHUCK INGLISH  |  AVERS  |  M.I.L.F.  |  BOND ST. DISTRICT 
HOUSE DJ GAVIN HOLLAND
CO-SPONSORED BY 
ALL THINGS GO  x  JAMES RIVER DISTILLERY  x  ROCK & ROLL HOTEL

TICKETS $25

BUY NOW: WWW.DURKL.COM

MAKETTO'S OFFICIAL OPENING WILL BE
FRIDAY, APRIL 10, 2015 AT 7AM

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Friday night, enjoyed a private dinner party in the Maketto space.  For those familiar with the tastefully busy decor in TU, you may be struck by the stark minimalism.  There is a gorgeous tree in the courtyard area of the space, splitting the front Durkl market/bar area from the open kitchen/dining area in the back of the property.  Upstairs is the coffee bar.

Dinner was purportedly the opening menu:

Pork dumplings

spicy waygu tartare

oyster pancakes

scallion pancakes

Cambodian rice salad

sweet/spicy fried chicken

seared steak with pickled veggies, served with steamed buns and hoison

spicy coconut curry pork pate dish (served with rice)

housemade sausage

crispy whole fish

stir fried veggies

wok fired noodles

Spicy, indulgent, fun!  This place is going to kill it.  Really excited for it and Sally's Middle Name to open, will edge H St closer to be a destination for thoughtful food options.

EDIT:  Add photo of dishes taken by my talented dinner guest.

post-4702-0-04070700-1427842298_thumb.jp

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Any idea when they'll shut down the operations at Union Market?

Chef Erik says you'll know when Maketto is open on H St. when you don't see the Union Market space anymore.  Honeycomb will be staying, though.

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It's probably good for my waistline, however, as I'll often find myself ordering food from Maketto after I've already eaten lunch at Rappahannock. Really glad Honeycomb is staying, as that place is awesome. 

FWIW, lunch at District Fishwife is much better, and more reasonable, than at Rappahannock.

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Tried to stop by Maketto on opening night last night.  Was quoted a two-hour wait at 10:00.  Sigh.  I wonder whether I'll ever partake of dinner there.  Did pop in this a.m. for coffee (a delicious flat white) and pastries.  The pastries were rich, and a bit overpriced ($4-5), but among the best I've had in DC.

The space and design are really intriguing, and assertively eclectic.  Art books, body lotions, and much more for sale.  A vending machine with headphones, nori rice crackers, those "lucky cats" one often sees by the register in Asian restaurants, phone chargers, Sharpies, candies (including tamarind), condoms, band-aids, toothpicks and more.

As of now there are about 70 seats, mostly at various bars on both floors, and in the kitchen, with one long communal table and a few two-tops.

Am told that there will be some effort to offer lunches akin to what had been available at Union Market, i.e., soups, buns.  Dinner is a very different menu.  It's obviously a work in progress.  Very exciting; I only fear that snagging a table for dinner will be a Toki-like adventure in patience and/or frustration.

Can anyone offer information/reactions to the dinner menu?

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FWIW, lunch at District Fishwife is much better, and more reasonable, than at Rappahannock.

Hmm. I love the Fishwife, I was the first investor on her Kickstarter, and I shop there at least twice a week on average. I don't disagree that it's cheaper, but I really question that it is "much better" than Rappahannock.

I've been a big fan of both places but hadn't before considered them relative to each other. Have also been to both....maybe too much. After all, Fiona runs a superb seafood market, which also serves some good food on site. Rappahonnock, on the other hand, is really an oyster bar with tons more seating reflecting that. Probably a slight preference for District Fishwife, for lunch, but really not apples to apples...or clams to clams. I had an interesting experience with both places last week but will try to post that on their threads soon since this one is for Maketto, where I don't think I'll be going very soon either.
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Coffee here is really good, I was a bit surprised to tell you the truth. One of the better espressos I've had recently, actually.

We came back for lunch. My wife took a bite of her Cambodian pork soup and was, "whoa, this is much better than the Union Market kind. Richer. " And she was a fan of the UM soup. But Chef worked with portable butane stoves there, and now has a monster kitchen here. World of difference.

I like Frenchies pastries. She's using Trickling Springs butter, I understand, so the price is higher? Like you said, they are very good, and huge. Share them.

Attached is the opening menu. As I described it upstream, can be really spicy! Waygu tartare and rice salad are personal faves for now.

post-4702-0-90201100-1428782713_thumb.jp

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Is that six dollars for one bao?  If so, are the lunch prices similar -- that is, roughly twice what they were at Union Market?

Coffee here is really good, I was a bit surprised to tell you the truth. One of the better espressos I've had recently, actually.

We came back for lunch. My wife took a bite of her Cambodian pork soup and was, "whoa, this is much better than the Union Market kind. Richer. " And she was a fan of the UM soup. But Chef worked with portable butane stoves there, and now has a monster kitchen here. World of difference.

I like Frenchies pastries. She's using Trickling Springs butter, I understand, so the price is higher? Like you said, they are very good, and huge. Share them.

Attached is the opening menu. As I described it upstream, can be really spicy! Waygu tartare and rice salad are personal faves for now.

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