Foggy Bottom/GWU


My love for Korean food continues, but I haven’t found a good sit-down restaurant in DC yet.  Now while I love the Korean cart and Adam Express, neither has real sit-down capabilities.  So when I found out Yee Hwa was in DC and had some good reviews, I was hopeful.  

  • Food:  One of the things I love about Korean food is the banchan.  Now since I went at a dinner, I was expecting more than we were given, but it was still good.  For the main, I ordered vegetable bibim bap — which was pretty good (not as good as Heebeen or Woo Lae Oak) because the egg was too cooked so the rice couldn’t get crunchy.  They charge an extra dollar for the claypot, but it’s definitely worth it (although am bummed they did that).  At the end of our meal, they provided a small cup of cold tea with honey, ginger, and cinnamon (and other spices?).

Yee Hwa Banchan  Yee Hwa Banchan  Yee Hwa Vegetable Bibimbap

  • Service: Our server was very nice, although a little absent. 
  • Atmosphere: It’s a decent sized restaurant and has 40-50 tables.  The booths though need to be redone because where I was sitting, the springs were poking out. 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: When you can’t get out to Virginia and want a sit-down Korean restaurant, this place is the closest I’ve found in DC to good Korean.  I’d definitely go back again and try some of their other dishes!

Details:

  • Hours: Mon-Fri 11:30 am-10 pm Sat noon – 10 pm Sun noon – 9:30 pm
  • Address: 1009 21st St NW; Washington, DC 20036
  • Ph: 202-833-1244

So I accidently participated in Summer 2008 Restaurant Week.  Let me explain.  I think RW, when it first started, was a lot of fun. It was exciting and people — from the waitstaff to the restaurants to the attendees — enjoyed it.  After my January 2008 experience, I decided I was done.  Some of the restaurants that participated offered such limited options; their waitstaff clearly hate this week; and it stopped being fun. 

That being said, I went to Grillfish.  It was a restaurant I’ve been meaning to try, but it’s also pretty inexpensive if you go besides RW.  So whatever, it gave me a chance to try three different courses.  Unfortunately, when I went at 12:30, they had ran out of a lot of the options so choices were limited. 

  • Food:I ordered the fried calamari which was hot (temperature wise), but had the weirdest batter ever.  I can’t describe it.  It wasn’t right at all for calamari.  The tomato sauce they included wasn’t complimentary to calamari (with a couple of new spices added, it would have been better over meatballs and pasta) and had too many large tomato chunks that made it awkward to dip the calamari.  For my main course, I ordered the shrimp po boy which was such a disappointment I can’t even begin.  First of all, the shrimps were so tiny (alright, more small — they weren’t the canned stuff).  Then when I started to eat it, the sandwich was ice cold.  There was way too much mayo which overpowered the shrimp.  The fries were really crispy though and hot.  So cheers to them for serving some good fries.  Then I originally wanted to get their chocolate bomb cake, but they were out.  So I ordered their chocolate cake with ice cream.  Good cake, but nothing too memorable.
  • Service: Our server was fine. 
  • Atmosphere:The interior reminds me a little bit like Logan @ The Heights (and yes, I know it’s owned by the same restaurant group) with very high ceilings and a comfortable atmosphere.  They have giant chalkboards that list the various fishes of the day. 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall:Hmm, not sure what I think of this place yet.  I definitely wouldn’t order what I had this time again, but would try some of their grilled fish.   

Happy Hour: Monday-Friday 4 PM-7 PM and Saturday and Sunday 5 PM-7 PM with half-priced appetizers and drink specials.   

Details:

  • Hours: Lunch Mon-Fri 12 noon-4 PM; Dinner Sun 5 PM-10 PM, Mon-Thurs 4 PM-10 PM, Fri 4 PM-11 PM, Sat 5 PM-11 PM
  • Address: 1200 New Hampshire Ave NW; Washington, DC 20036
  • Ph: (202) 331-7310

I continue with my quest for finding great Thai in DC.  To be honest, so far, it’s been a bleak with a few bright beacons.  Anyway, I finally tried Thai Kingdom (menu is on their Web site).

  • Food: Surprise, I ordered Pad Thai (no peanuts and medium spice).  I also ordered the squid salad.  I think I’m going to stop ordering squid salad at Thai places because it seems that all squid salads use cardamon.  While their salad was totally different from Pasara, I think I liked Pasara’s better.  The Pad Thai had a lot more veggies included than I’m used to and I liked it.  There was a good amount of heat and flavor.  There was more grease than I like to see in my Pad Thai, but I did like it. 

Thai Kingdom Squid Yum  Thai Kingdom Pad Thai  Thai Kingdom Pad Thai

  • Service: I ordered to go, but I do applaud them for including chopsticks! 
  • Atmosphere: Inside there’s a lot of decoration.  When you walk in, on your right is an elevated (only by a foot or so) platform with a wall that’s all window so it makes the restaurant seem much bigger.  There’s about 10-15 tables.  Then on the main floor, there’s another 20-25 tables so it is a big restaurant.
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: If you’re looking for a casual and comfortable dining atmosphere, I’d check it out.  It’s decent Thai at a good price. 

Details:

  • Reservations are unnecessary
  • Address: 2021 K Street NW; Washington, DC 20006
  • Hours: Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30 PM; Dinner Mon-Thur 5-10:30 PM; Dinner Fri 5-11 PM; Sat 12 noon-11 PM; Sun 12 noon-10 PM;  
  • Ph: 202-835-1700

The evening started out rough when we went to Hudson and no one waited on my friend and me.  We were both dressed business casual (coming straight from the office) yet NO ONE WAITED ON US.  We sat there for 15 minutes and nothing.  And in case you’re thinking, “Well, they were busy/short-staffed.”  No, there were about 5-9 employees who stood/sat there and only about 10 total people in the entire restaurant.  Wow. 

So then we decided to go to M Street Bar & Grill

The food was uninspired, yet we ordered a lot of it! We tried the prosciutto crisps, Angus sliders, bacon-wrapped shrimp and grits, mini pulled pork sandwiches, and handcut fries.  The winner out of the bunch was definitely the pulled pork because there was a little heat and balanced well with the sweetness from the BBQ sauce.  The burgers were dry and flavorless (and too much bun to meat ratio).  The fries were soggy.  There are too many problems to mention with the prosciutto crisps.

But the reason I’m writing about this place is because they have a pretty good happy hour.  It’s $19 for a pitcher of house mojitos or margaritas from 5-8 PM.  Now that’s a good deal! They also have beer and house wine on special.  On Wednesday nights, they have 1/2 priced wine with dinner.  Thursdays are live jazz nights from 6-9 PM. 

This is a good place to go for a few drinks with friends because you can talk (and hear) each other.  Although there were points throughout our evening where we realized the music was too loud, which we wouldn’t have noticed as much except they have a bad stereo system so it was rather annoying.

Details:

  • Hours: Breakfast – Monday – Friday: 6:30am – 10:30am, Saturday & Sunday: 7:30am – 10:30am; Brunch: Sunday: 11:00am – 3:00pm; Lunch: Daily: 11:30am – 2:30pm; Dinner: Sunday – Thursday: 5:00pm – 10:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm – 11:00pm; 21 M lounge: Open For Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM Cocktails Mon-Sat 5 PM- Closing
  • Address: 2033 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20036
  • Ph: (202) 530-3621

After hearing so many great things about Blue Duck Tavern, I finally went. Why did it take me so long to go?

  • Food:I went with a client and thankfully, a cool client that’s into sharing! So we ordered their braised barbecue beef “long rib”, crab cakes, triple fried fries, and glazed baby carrots.  The fries were more like logs (like when you cut tofu into eighths). But they were still insanely crispy!  And readers, you know I don’t like thick fries but damn, these were so yummy! The crab cakes were definitely some of the best in town – full of crab with a little breadcrumbs to hold it all together.  You know, the way crab cakes are supposed to be made.  Plus, there was a remoulade sauce on the side that didn’t overwhelm.  The beef was insanely tender and fell off the bone so easily.  The barbecue sauce tasted like good, homemade sauce.  Now on to my favorite course, dessert.  We ordered the chocolate cake with a side of vanilla ice cream (had to order this separately).  Our waiter made the vanilla ice cream sound like it was mind blowing good – but it wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong – the ice cream was good – rich, creamy vanilla, but it wasn’t earth shaking.  The chocolate cake wasn’t overly sweet and had a fantastic dark chocolate with a light rum flavor.  Yum. 
  • Service: Our server was nice, but a little pushy.
  • Atmosphere: It has a wide open feel and hundreds of people could easily be in the restaurant and you’d never know.  While they have a very open kitchen, the chefs/cooks are very quiet!  The interior has dark wood tables and chairs (and accent pieces on the walls), but the floor is very light and balances out nicely.  It’s comfortable and beautiful — definitely an impressive place to dine! 
  • Attire: Business casual
  • Price: $$$
  • Overall: Here’s another restaurant that would easily impress even the toughest critics.  The food was cooked simply but so wonderfully!  Oh and don’t be surprised when you pull up to the Park Hyatt — this amazing restaurant is on the first floor of the hotel. 

Details:

  • Reservations strongly recommended.
  • Hours: Breakfast in the Lounge: 6:30am – 10:30am; Lunch: 11:30am – 2:30pm; Weekend Brunch: 11:30am – 2:30pm; Dinner: 5:30pm – 10:30pm
  • Address: 1201 24th Street NW, Washington DC 20037
  • Ph: (202) 419-6755

**Update 7/1/08 – I went again and it will seriously be the last time.  My friend, who doesn’t live here anymore, wanted to go.  So I relented.  I ordered the Cheesesteak Sliders and they were underseasoned and underinspired.  The beef was dry and overcooked.  Did they lose their chef?  Too bad.  I really liked them.** 

Hudson Cheesesteak Sliders

From left to right, it’s pepper and onion, Italian, and Philly style cheesesteaks. 

**Update 6/25/08 – I went back to Hudson’s.  Check out my experience.**

I don’t know why, but I seem to be starved a lot.  I think I need to fix that.  Thankfully, a friend of mine was also starving and so we decided to try Hudson’s (which used to be David Greggory’s) for lunch. 

Oddly enough, my friend and I had gone to David Greggory’s before for lunch so it was full circle.  We didn’t think DG was great — it was just fine. 

  • Food: As soon as we sat down, we ordered two sides.  An order of their Truffle mac ‘n cheese and hand cut french fries.  Both were fine, but nothing really special.  The 15ria mac ‘n cheese is still the best.  They also gave us a couple of rolls with a little bit of jalapeno spice (but it wasn’t spicy).  They were warm and good.  I ordered the Cheesesteak Sliders — a trio of Philly style, Italian, and pepper and onions.   First of all, calling them “sliders” is wrong — each sandwich is like 5″ long.  To me, sliders mean 2-3 bites; these were huge!  Oh but were they good.  My favorite was the pepper and onions because the flavors were fantastic.  The Italian had fresh tomato sauce and a slice of provolone cheese which made it tasty.  The Philly was also a perfect ratio of cheese and meat.  My friend ordered the ‘Shrooms brick oven pizza with Portobello, Shitake, white mushrooms, garlic confit, Brie, and white truffle oil.  When I picked up a slice of the very thin pizza, there was a bit of water so I thought it was going to be soggy (because of the mushrooms).  In reality, it was still crispy and tasted so fresh.  There was a perfect ratio of cheese, mushrooms, and tomato sauce. 
  • Service: Our server started off strong and then seemed to be completely overwhelmed by the volume of people who were in the restaurant (even though the restaurant wasn’t anywhere near capacity).   
  • Atmosphere: With almost floor to ceiling windows, it’s a great place to dine with all the natural lighting.  The restaurant has a modern flair but comfortable. 
  • Attire: Business casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall:I can’t wait to go back!  Their menu have so many other yummy looking things such as their Santa Fe Hot pizza; Jumbo Crabcakes; etc. 

Happy Hour: Check out their calendar to see what their Mon-Fri liquor features are — specials have included discounts on wine, beer, and special drinks.  They do have an long wine list.  In addition, they offer 1/2 glasses anytime for around $4-$6 and have a generous pour, allowing you and your friends an opportunity to sample. 

Details:

  • Reservations needed.
  • Hours: Lunch: Monday through Friday 11:00am – 3:00pm; Afternoon: 3:00pm – 5:00pm; Dinner: Sunday through Thursday 5pm – 10:30pm and Friday and Saturday 5pm – 11pm; Brunch: Sunday 10am until 4pm; Late Night Menu: Sunday through Thursday 10:30pm – 1am and Friday and Saturday 11pm – 2am
  • Address: 2030 M Street NW; Washington, DC 20036
  • Ph: 202-872-8700

You may recall that I had mentioned Asia Nora was going to be closing December 21st.  I went with a friend (and someone I’m trying to persuade to guest food blog for me — nudge nudge!) and we were both excited about going since we had both heard such great things.

  • Food:I wanted to save up for dessert since I heard it was fantastic here, so I didn’t get an app or salad.  My friend ordered local beet salad with avocado, ruby grapefruit, and arugula.  It was fine, but nothing really special.  I ordered the Hoisin Glazed Pekin Duck Breast with Five Spice Spaetzle and Braised Red Cabbage with 2 baby scarlet queen turnips and gingered duck jus.  My friend ordered the Ginger Roasted Pork Loin with Crispy Leeks and Tonkatsu Sauce with wilted baby spinach and roasted jalapeno polenta cake.  Both of our dishes were good, but I didn’t feel like it was the best meal of my life (BTW, that would be at Tom Colicchio’s Craft which was absolutely phenomenal).   The polenta cake was good and spicy.  I ordered the warm chocolate five spice cake with Vietnamese coffee ice cream and a sesame tuile.  My friend ordered the warm banana cake with caramel ginger ice cream, grilled banana, and chocolate sauce.  Both of our desserts were really good. 
  • Service: She was polite and courteous.  We also asked for recommendations and she was very helpful.
  • Atmosphere: It was definitely a small and dark dining area downstairs (no idea what it looks like upstairs).  
  • Attire: Business casual 
  • Price: $$$
  • Overall:I’m not going to be sad when it closes.  I thought it was fine, but I wasn’t wow’ed.  The reputation of dessert was true, but the rest of the meal didn’t hold up.  When you think of the price of the meal, shouldn’t you feel like it was worth it?  I do appreciate the local and organic ingredients though.

Details:

  • Reservations are required.
  • Hours: Mon-Thurs 5:30-10 PM; Fri & Sat 5:30-10 :30 PM
  • Address: 2213 M Street NW; Washington, DC 20037
  • Ph: 202-797-4860

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