Lunch near the AFI Theater in Silver Spring
The thing about Austin Grill is, don't order the Mexican stuff - enchiladas or burritos or whatever - order the burgers or specials or anything else. And the fancy margaritas. I admit, it basically functions for me as the closest thing in my life to a bar hangout rather than a chowhoundish destination, but you can get decent food if you order right.
I had one meal at that Thai place in the center and it was overpriced and bland. I would not recommend the Asian options in the center. I'd walk to Mandalay or Thai Derm if that is what you want. Except that there is a big Chinese buffet place in the basement of City Place that is fun if you like that sort of thing.
In the center, the places I keep going back to are Lebanese Taverna and Austin Grill. I find that Ceviche is better if you stick to drinks and appetizers. That Irish bar place that I forget the name of is OK if you stick to bar food, I haven't been crazy about the fancier stuff.
I had one meal at the Moroccan place and it was fine. I haven't been back, but I am not sure that is a reflection on the quality - it's just, how often do you want Moroccan food, really?
Ceviche is right there as is a Lebanese Taverna. The Thai place in the newly developed area was fine for the one meal I've had. Not Ruan, but what is ...?
There are numerous chain options within a stone's throw.
Don't know about Red Rock Grill or the Moroccan place up the street from AFI on the corner, but have heard some encouraging things about the later.
Or after the show you can get to an early dinner at Ray's the Classics ...
I think the Moroccan place is the Taste of Morroco. I ate there about a year ago. I have to say I know very little about Morrocan food, don't eat it often. We split the vegetarian bastilla for an appetizer and I had the vegetarian couscous. As my friend and I joked, it was the same dish, only one in phyllo leaves, the other over couscous. I thought the food was a little bland, except the bastilla had a dessert-like sweetness to the phyllo leaves (unusual combination w/ the savory vegetables). I don't know the nuances of Moroccan food, though, and how it should taste vs. what it tasted like.