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City Lights of China, Dupont Circle - Bethesda Branch Reopening Soon after Kitchen Fire


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Anyone know a good restaurant in Washington,DC or Virginia to find crab rangoons?

I order 'em from City Lights. They are the classic Westerner crab rangoon, with the cream cheese and flecks of pink.

I can't tell you how disappointed I was when ordering crab rangoon in Chinatown and getting some that were actually filled with crab. No cheese at all! How dare you authenticize my guilty indulgence!

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I had a meeting at La Madeline today (suprisingly tasty caesar salad) and took advantage of being in Bethesda to get carry out from City Lights. Between screams of BLBaby, I enjoyed my steamed meat dumplings. In the fridge is another order for breakfast, tinkling bells pork, scallion beef and steamed veggie dumplings.

I know it is Americanized Chinese food but we really like it and we haven't found anything out her in Gaithersburg that we likely nearly as much.

Jennifer

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I had a meeting at La Madeline today (suprisingly tasty caesar salad) and took advantage of being in Bethesda to get carry out from City Lights. Between screams of BLBaby, I enjoyed my steamed meat dumplings. In the fridge is another order for breakfast, tinkling bells pork, scallion beef and steamed veggie dumplings.

I know it is Americanized Chinese food but we really like it and we haven't found anything out her in Gaithersburg that we likely nearly as much.

Jennifer

City Lights is pretty much my go-to carryout place. I would hesitate to say that the quality is superb, because it's usually overly greasy and makes you feel like you ate a sack of bricks afterwards, but I can't think of a place that hits the spot better for Bethesda chinese carryout, especially given the precipitous decline of Foong Lin in the past few years. Moo shoo pork is a safe bet.

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When my office orders in, we usually get takeout from the dupont location. Kind of expensive for what it is, but the Crispy Beef is totally my guilty pleasure

The Szechuan Beef at Dupont has always been one of my favorites. I've never found another place that comes close.

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I think the Dupont branch peaked sometime about 1997 and has been on a slow decline into relaxed mediocrity ever since. Not that I never go there (it's across the street from my office) but that I never go out of my way to go there any more. Dumplings are generic. Crispy beef, though, remains pretty tasty.

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The City Lights advantage for us is that the Dupont location delivers out to Upper Northwest. I like the moo shu chicken, and the pork dumplings. I definitely do feel that the quality has gone done hill over the last couple of years, but its way better than most other Chinese delivery places in DC.

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Bethesda location seems to have closed--windows are papered over and there is a for rent sign in the window.

We've been going every few months with the boy to recreate "The Cricket in Times Square" Chinese dinner.

Damn...It wasn't perfect but it was SO much better than what you can get out hear in Gaithersburg.

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Charming. Because that's what we need more of in Bethesda.

Better than another burger place.

I'd love to start a new thread on what Bethesda needs and what it has in over-abundance, and force all restauranteurs in shouting distance to read it.

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I didn't even know there was one in Bethesda, and I work there! Oh well. I have a friend who books acts for the major music venues in the area, and he has a great story about having a late night dinner at the DuPont circle location in the window with David Bowie et. al. The reaction from passers-by, he says, was priceless.

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Well, what we need is a better Chinese place. I was never a particularly big fan of City Lights: heavy, greasy, salty. My hope is that Stanley at Far East rediscovers their mojo and starts cooking the way that grew them from an endcap strip mall carryout to the warehouse they became.

But let's see: maybe Shophouse will add something to the fast-casual scene.

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Some of these threads depress the hell out of me. I must have eaten at City Lights/Dupont and Foong Lin/Bethesda hundreds of times (eat in and take out) due to both perceived quality and proximity and ease) hundreds of times aggregate in at least the late 80's, and the 90's. The fact that they deteriorated and closed just makes me sad.

Even as I visited more authentic Chinese restaurants in both Rockville and 7 Corners during those periods Foong Lin and City Lights were clearly my go to places.

How sad....tant pis. Deterioration over the decades.

....and just think...McDonald's and Burger King have maintained precisely the same standards over so many decades. :D

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Good news (for those of us who liked it):  City Lights of Bethesda relocated a while back farther down Bethesda Avenue, near that fancy new french bakery.  We've gone several times and it has always been empty but with a steady carry out/delivery business and the food was just as I remembered it after one misstep with a wrong sauce on the tinkling bells pork.

And now the bad news:

A kitchen fire has shut them down again.

"Bethesda Restaurant Closed Indefinitely After Late-Night Kitchen Fire" by Aaron Kraut on wtop.com

We eaten dinner in Bethesda between activities once a week during the school year and this is a blow.

Sigh...

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Bethesda location update--their website had been reporting a reopening date of mid-Feb and there was clearly activity inside.  Earlier in the week the website was updated for a reopening of yesterday.

Planning to call and confirm that but, fingers crossed, we are heading there for dinner tonight as a surprise for BL-2nd grader.

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