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Sal's Italian Kitchen (Formerly Indigo House), Italian Concept from the Owners of Persimmon and Wild Tomato

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I stopped by this weekend to pick up a to go menu, but haven't had a chance to order yet. Thought is was a good sign that on Sunday afternoon, around 4:45 pm, the place was about 1/2 way full. Cabin John is kind of a food desert so excited to see this opening.

Menu covers a pretty wide variety of Asian cuisines from a limited sushi menu ($8-14); numerous starters (miso, calamari, satay, pork buns, lettuce wraps, dumplings, etc $5-12); the rice/noodle dishes look pretty standard (fried rice, pad thai, pho, chicken teriyaki, etc ($8-18); and entrees (tea smoked duck, whole crispy fish, seasame salmon, tuna, $19-24). Unfortunately I am too dumb to upload the menu images.

 Happy hour is from 4-6 pm which is excitingly an hour later then the Wild Tomato. Its going to be a wild 50m pub crawl here in Cabin John.

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We live really close so gave it a go last night.  Had the sticky calamari, kapow chicken, salt and pepper fried shrimp, pho and a California roll with real crab.  It was generally pretty average.  Though the ingredients seem good and fresh, execution was just OK.  The batter on the calamari and shrimp was not particular crisp and not very flavorful.  The flavor of the pho was fairly tame and the noodles were not authentic.  On the plus side, thought the kapow chicken was very good. They also provided some interesting a sauces to help spice things up---- I liked the shallot vinaigrette (nice shot of fish sauce in it) that came with the salt and pepper shrimp.

It's very early, certainly, and for what it is, a pan-Asian neighborhood place with decent prices, it seems pretty close to the mark.  Maybe my expectations from getting the authentic stuff at more specialized restaurants colors my views.

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Re-opened Wednesday (5/4/16) as Sal's Italian Kitchen.

"Conversion of Indigo House to Sal's Italian Kitchen Now Complete in Cabin John" by Andrew Metcalf on bethesdamagazine.com

Stopped into Sal's last week for dinner with wife and son.  Arrived around 7:00 and place was packed - a good sign?  Grabbed a drink at the bar (3 beers on tap) and table was ready in about 10 minutes.  Interior appears to be the same as when it was Indigo House.

The boy had the meatball sub ($8) which he devoured but the two medium sized meatball looked a little dry to me.  The wife had the branzino ($18) which came highly recommended by our waitress.  The wife thought it was perfectly seasoned and cooked.  I opted for the chicken parmesan ($16) - it was just flavorless and the sauce did not help at all.  Only ate half of it but waitress never inquired if there was a problem - only asked if I wanted a to go box, which I declined.

We are always seeking options close to home and away from the nightmare parking in downtown Bethesda.  Unfortunately, I don't think this will make it into the regular rotation.

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