Mark's Kitchen in Takoma Park
Just had a early dinner at Mark's Kitchen in Takoma Park. Hmmmm..... I can only say that we were less than impressed. After hearing numerous good recommendations from locals, we popped in after our guitar classes and were immediately impressed by the menu. HUGE selections with an interesting mix of styles and cuisines. Maybe this should have been our clue. Trying to be too much for too many.
Anyway... I ordered the Sun-dried tomato penne special, Bryan ordered the Curry Vegetables with Korean Steak. When his order arrived, we were a little curious. The vegetables came in a cup with a curry sauce all to themselves. The meat was piled on top of a purple hued rice. The meat turned out not to be the best cut (stringy, fatty, and under-done), the vegetables were ok but the sauce they were in was more like a gelatenous gravy with a little curry powder thrown in for color. The rice, with a few assorted beans thrown in, was the only truly tasty part of his meal.
When my meal came out, it looked delicious. As for taste. It would have been stellar had it not been for the copious amount of grease/oil, probably from the sun-dried tomatoes being packed in oil maybe, that coated everything. And even then, it wasn't really that flavorful. I would have expected stronger sun-dried tomato flavor, especially as it was one of the featured ingredients.
Looking around as we ate and as well as eaves-dropping on those ordering to-go, we noticed that those customers that looked like regulars stuck with far very simple items. All skipped the Korean dishes, and instead had burgers and fries, simple spaghetti with a Marinara sauce, Cesear salads, simple sandwiches (BLTs, chicken with avocado).
Did we come on a bad day and they're more creative are good, or are we right in assuming that simple is better?
Think of Mark's as a diner, but with higher quality ingredients and a more creative menu, and you'll probably be happier with it. It is not fine dining, but it is a quality place.
I would never order pasta there. Sandwiches (the tofu club is very good), burgers, and some of the asian stuff (Bento boxes, dumplings, cold noodle dishes) have been good. And breakfast - they do a good job with breakfast.