Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Tweaked

Dolan Uyghur Restaurant in Cleveland Park, in the Former Sorriso Space

Recommended Posts

I was walking past the old Sorriso space in Cleveland Park and saw that it was open for business.  

I popped my head in to see what was up - Dolan Uyghur Restaurant

Things looked to be bare bones with no decor. I saw several plates of fat noodles with stir fried stuff on top going by.

If I hadn't just picked up a bunch of Thai food I would have stuck around and ordered something to go.  But the menu looked pretty extensive so I'll have to return with some neighbors to order a bunch of stuff.

i've never had Uyghur food before but looking forward to trying it out.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I studied in China for 6 months in 1993 and used to frequent what the foreigners called Uyghurville in Beijing for Uyghur food. 20+ (!) years later I don't remember too many details, but I do remember a lot of lamb. I'm surprised there's not a lamb section of the menu (but there are some lamb dishes). Nevertheless, I'm very excited to try this place!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, dracisk said:

I studied in China for 6 months in 1993 and used to frequent what the foreigners called Uyghurville in Beijing for Uyghur food. 20+ (!) years later I don't remember too many details, but I do remember a lot of lamb. I'm surprised there's not a lamb section of the menu (but there are some lamb dishes). Nevertheless, I'm very excited to try this place!

Stopped by for carry-out yesterday.  All of the food looks delicious, both on the large menu and coming out of the kitchen.  Alas, in the 20 minutes or so that I waited for my food, several different seated parties walked out, having been waiting an hour or more for their food.  It's a very small kitchen, and they simply haven't yet figured out how to keep up with the demands of a full-service restaurant.  And that was with the place only half-full.  (Seeing that others were still waiting who had been there far longer than I, I cancelled my order, which they had not yet begun preparing, in order to ease their burden.)  

This is a shame.  They must have paid a fortune for the space; and the (extended) family running the place seems lovely and very hard-working.  I hope they do figure out how to operate--which would probably entail consulting with others who have done this sort of thing before.  (I don't know if more prepping is what's required, or if there are simply some things on the menu that are unrealistic given the logistics of the kitchen.  Or something else.)  As I said, if the food is as good as it looks, this could be a wonderful addition.  For now, however, you might want to tread gently--go, if at all, at non-peak hours, until they've figured it out.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In case you are wondering about the name Dolan:  The Dolan people

looks like Dolan is a popular name for Uyghur restaurants,  I've found at least 6 other Uyghur restaurants around the world that use Dolan as a name.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/11/2016 at 7:29 AM, Marty L. said:

Stopped by for carry-out yesterday.  All of the food looks delicious, both on the large menu and coming out of the kitchen.  Alas, in the 20 minutes or so that I waited for my food, several different seated parties walked out, having been waiting an hour or more for their food.  It's a very small kitchen, and they simply haven't yet figured out how to keep up with the demands of a full-service restaurant.  And that was with the place only half-full.  (Seeing that others were still waiting who had been there far longer than I, I cancelled my order, which they had not yet begun preparing, in order to ease their burden.)  

This is a shame.  They must have paid a fortune for the space; and the (extended) family running the place seems lovely and very hard-working.  I hope they do figure out how to operate--which would probably entail consulting with others who have done this sort of thing before.  (I don't know if more prepping is what's required, or if there are simply some things on the menu that are unrealistic given the logistics of the kitchen.  Or something else.)  As I said, if the food is as good as it looks, this could be a wonderful addition.  For now, however, you might want to tread gently--go, if at all, at non-peak hours, until they've figured it out.

I had a similar experience during lunch here. The service was earnest and the food good, but there was a single, clearly overwhelmed waiter scurrying between seven tables on two floors. It wasn't enough to detract from the quality of the cooking, probably because delays were minor, but I imagine the confusion could lead to exasperation at busier times. That being said, I haven't been to any other restaurant in the DC area that offers this type of cuisine, and I can easily see Dolan entering my carryout rotation in Cleveland Park.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Rextopher said:

I had a similar experience during lunch here. The service was earnest and the food good, but there was a single, clearly overwhelmed waiter scurrying between seven tables on two floors. It wasn't enough to detract from the quality of the cooking, probably because delays were minor, but I imagine the confusion could lead to exasperation at busier times. That being said, I haven't been to any other restaurant in the DC area that offers this type of cuisine, and I can easily see Dolan entering my carryout rotation in Cleveland Park.

So what did you eat and like? I live nearby and haven't had a chance to get it yet but will likely try it for lunch this week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just got back from lunch at Dolan. I had great service and delicious food. It was about 1/3 to 1/2 full and they had at least 3 waiters. I had scoped out the menu in advance and knew I wanted the Mom's Lagman (hand-pulled noodles with skinny stir-fried lamb strips and chopped vegetables). I quickly ordered after being seated and my food came out in 10 minutes. It was a large portion of lo mein shaped noodles but slightly thicker and with more chew to them - really good.  It comes with a thin but flavorful brown sauce with a good amount of cumin flavor.  The dish was similar to Chinese cumin lamb (one of my favorites) but slightly different seasoning and the really good noodles. My guess is the earlier services issues are new restaurant kinks that are being worked out. They also had a sign that they are still hiring staff.  Also, they now have clearer hours - 12-3pm and 5-9 or 10 (sorry can't remember) - the key thing is they take a couple of hour afternoon break in service but are open everyday - including lunch (yeah more options for me in my neighborhood :-)).  I would recommend checking it out and I'm looking forward to trying some of the other dishes. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, KeithA said:

I just got back from lunch at Dolan. I had great service and delicious food. It was about 1/3 to 1/2 full and they had at least 3 waiters. I had scoped out the menu in advance and knew I wanted the Mom's Lagman (hand-pulled noodles with skinny stir-fried lamb strips and chopped vegetables). I quickly ordered after being seated and my food came out in 10 minutes. It was a large portion of lo mein shaped noodles but slightly thicker and with more chew to them - really good.  It comes with a thin but flavorful brown sauce with a good amount of cumin flavor.  The dish was similar to Chinese cumin lamb (one of my favorites) but slightly different seasoning and the really good noodles. My guess is the earlier services issues are new restaurant kinks that are being worked out. They also had a sign that they are still hiring staff.  Also, they now have clearer hours - 12-3pm and 5-9 or 10 (sorry can't remember) - the key thing is they take a couple of hour afternoon break in service but are open everyday - including lunch (yeah more options for me in my neighborhood :-)).  I would recommend checking it out and I'm looking forward to trying some of the other dishes. 

Looks like I was too late in my response, but I'm glad you liked the food. I also had the Lagman, which was as you described a flavorsome variation on lo mein with a satisfying "QQ" to it. I also had the steamed beef buns, which were unexpectedly (though perhaps traditional in Uyghur cuisine? I neglected to ask) served without any sort of sauce. Nevertheless quite good. The weakest dishes were the lamb and chicken kabobs - bit overcooked and while the lamb had a pleasant spicy bite, the chicken was bland. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tom's take.

The lagman pictured looks like the lagman I ate in Beijing back in the day, except that the lagman I ate was always made with cuminy lamb. I'm anxious to try this place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, dracisk said:

Tom's take.

The lagman pictured looks like the lagman I ate in Beijing back in the day, except that the lagman I ate was always made with cuminy lamb. I'm anxious to try this place.

In light of the problems that plagued them early on (see upthread, discussing waits of well over an hour for food), this passage is downright shocking:

"Like greyhounds out of the gate, the food at Dolan Uyghur races to the table. Order a few dishes at a time, then, to prevent your entire meal from showing up in minutes."

If true, good for them for figuring out how to fix what might have been a fatal failing . . . .

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was in Munich in December, there was a Uyghur restaurant called Taklamakan in the next block from my hotel on Bayerstrasse, but it looked like too much of a dump for me to walk in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/26/2017 at 3:51 PM, Marty L. said:

In light of the problems that plagued them early on (see upthread, discussing waits of well over an hour for food), this passage is downright shocking:

"Like greyhounds out of the gate, the food at Dolan Uyghur races to the table. Order a few dishes at a time, then, to prevent your entire meal from showing up in minutes."

If true, good for them for figuring out how to fix what might have been a fatal failing . . . .

Dined here earlier tonight and can confirm that the service is significantly faster than in their first few days. It was a full house early on Sunday evening, probably a post-Sietsema effect. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had lunch there last week. I am not sure that they are entirely over their issues, since initially I was told by the very apologetic waiter that I couldn't have a beer "because the person that normally serves the alcohol is not here yet", and we also could not get dessert "since the person that makes dessert is also not here".

We did have the royal laghman: I thought the noodles were excellent, and the sauce was good if pretty oily; the piter manta, which were steamed buns similar to Khinkali/manti: these were peppery and tasty, but I prefer a thicker dough; and some lamb kabobs: cuminy and good, but would have benefited from some salt.

All in all, I was a little disappointed. It is a sweet family-run place and I can forgive the kinks, but the flavors didn't really knock my socks off. I wouldn't go out of my way to try it again, though my wife said she would happily go back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had dinner here this week.  It was fun to try a new cuisine, but I'm not sure I'd rush back. The noodles were by far their strong suit.  Chewy, savory, and different from Chinese noodles.  We had several fish entrees that reminded me of fine but not great Chinese food, albeit at higher prices.  Certainly worth trying, but this won't become a staple for me.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone tried one of the two other Uyghur restaurants in the area: Queen Ammanisa in Arlington or Kiroran in Fairfax?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ate here last night.  The Mom's Laghman (noodles) were the best dish, with beef and peppers and quite a bit of oil.  I also liked the fried eggplant, which also came with peppers.  They were large scored slices of eggplant.  The goshnan, which is described as being like a pizza, was not great, and arrived about 20 minutes after the rest of our food.  It was ground meat inside a flatbread.  It was too much and a bit heavy.  The dumplings were fine, with a similar ground beef filling, although I would prefer to go over to Wisconsin Avenue to Dumplings and Beyond.  All the dishes felt like they were variations on the same few core ingredients.  I saw some other diners eating a whole fish that looked delicious.  For dessert, we had the bak-kal-li, which was a cake drizzled with chocolate and not as much almond flavor as I was hoping for.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had dinner here tonight. Not awesome but not bad. The people seemed nice, they have booze (probably allow BYO with some corkage or bar purchase) and are much friendlier than the Queen A folks.

The eggplant salad featured perhaps too much zhenjiang vinegar. The lamb kebab was tasty with cumin. The "mom's" laghman tasted good (are the noodles made there??? They were chewy but lacked the toothsome bite I associate with hand-pulled fresh noodles) but seemed much like lomo saltado; maybe a bit less soy sauce, a bit more vinegar, and some hua jiao would be an improvement to that dish.

I'll return again to try the da pan ji and their dumplings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spring roll fillings were veggies stir-fried with Chinese "curry" seasoning.  The dipping sauce was sweet.  The samsa was nuked....came out piping hot but not oven baked crispy.  The chopped steak and onions inside remind me of cheese steak meat, loaded with onions and black pepper.  The mom's traditional lagman had wonderful texture but the kids complained that the dish as a whole was too bland.  And the stir-fried bok choy was just bad Chinese food.

This is the best Uyghur restaurant in DC because it's the only Uyghur restaurant in DC.  I've had Chinese muslim food that blows this away. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/26/2017 at 10:39 PM, Ericandblueboy said:

 The mom's traditional lagman had wonderful texture but the kids complained that the dish as a whole was too bland.  And the stir-fried bok choy was just bad Chinese food.

This is the best Uyghur restaurant in DC because it's the only Uyghur restaurant in DC.  I've had Chinese muslim food that blows this away. 

Funny, I went there last night for the first time and my impression was similar but with a positive spin.  Wow the house-made noodles I had were so good in texture. The rest of the dish was not terribly exciting - tasty but not mind-expanding - but wow those noodles. And I don't know whether other less-exciting aspects of the food were "authentic" (a troubled concept but somewhat useful) or were dumbed-down due to ingredient constraints or market forces. Also a lovely conversation with the staff about Uyghur culture, demographics, and history, of which I knew very little. Having just spent a weekend in NY wandering around among noodle restaurants, eating a bit here and a bit there, I am more positive-minded about the concept of popping in to a restaurant that does at least one thing (like house-made noodles) very well. I will go back many times and get a noodle dish and some smashed cucumbers and will be happy.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Went for lunch last week, the laghman handmade noodles are still where it's at. Chewy, tasty and I think the toppings for them have gotten even better. I had the royal version which is beef with peppers and other veg, very tasty. My friend had the vegetarian version which has nice slices of tofu and he really enjoyed it. The vegetarian fried spring rolls are pretty standard - fried wrappers with cabbage and a bit of other vegetable served with an ok sauce - you can skip these. I was happy to see that the lamb kebab now comes with a rather decent portion of meaty lamb chunks dusted heavily with cumin. I always liked these kebabs but they used to be about 1/3 of the size making for a tasty but small appetizer - now you could share 1 kebab for a small app for 2 or as more of a side dish for one. Still same $3.50 per kebab on the big sword like skewers. I think I saw they now have chicken kebabs too. Worth circling back here to try again if its been a while. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...