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WOKVILLE - the best of (asian cuisine)

easily worth the 20 minute trip from the district, rockville, maryland aka wokville) is effortlessly running circles around dc chinatown (which is by far more "town" than it is any "china"). you'll find vietnamese deli's, multiple sushi and pho spots, real ramen, 3 major asian grocers and much more. having lived and worked in this area for over a decade and having grew up traditionally asian, here are my top three as of 2007...

#3 - Pho 75. yes, it's a local chain (that actually reaches into philly), but by far considered to be the area's most flavorful bowl by many vietnamese beef noodle soup aficionados. no spring rolls, no meat skewers, no sandwiches, just a broth that can make your asian grandmother scratch her chin.

#2 - Temari. the dc area's only bowl of authentic ramen (that i am aware of). dont take my word for it, this is also per worldramen.net. tonkatsu, onigiri, even toro (regularly served), all available here at cafeteria prices (for quality much greater)! temari features the most consistent and deliciously broiled mackerel that has ever graced my taste buds and a wide variety of asian desserts, (shaved ice covered in red bean and condensed milk)! foodies will appreciate the porn that frequently repeats their tv screen.

#1 - Rockville Sushi continues the tradition of easy to miss mom-and-pop spots serving up amazing cuisine at yesteryear's prices. there's a picture of Dokdo the runs the length of the restaurant. korea and japan continue to have heated ownership debates over this island, which nicely sums up the spicy korean/japanese twist on their grub. whether you're in the mood for bulgogi or an uni hand roll, rockville sushi can easily cater to both crowds (or even a third that is daring enough to blend the two). our favorite thing to do is to order a large sashimi platter and let the restaurant freestyle a wide array of side items and snacks to match the meal. i've discovered that the quality and quantity of these items increase with experience, but is very generous even from the start. as with most sushi places in this area, quality of fish will fluctuate depending on season, day of the week, etc. not always farm fresh on every visit, but this place is capable of serving sushi-ko or kaz caliber yellowtail and at its worse is never dangerously stale as some other spots on the pike. in addition to animals you have rarely heard of, the adventurer in you might choose live seafood to be slaughtered out of their fish tank (where the bones are turned into a great after meal stew) or even choose (with two week notice) an animal to be consumed while moving.

one to grow on: Bob's 88. authentic szechuan inspired hot pot can be a traditional and special occasion meal for asian families. here it is offered in personal sizes at very easy and personal prices! think chinese fondue, w/ a broth (available spicy upon request) and d.i.y. dipping sauce (you make to your taste) where meat, veggie and noodle items are ordered in bulk or a la cart for cooking and almost instant enjoyment! great social meal to spend time with friends and family over good food and drink! again, very reasonably priced at this moment in time!

hope you enjoy these places.. they are what i feel are the best in rockville and possibly even the area! possibly not where you'd want to take your prom date, but hands down amazing grub!!

take care and happy new year,

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  1. What a great post! Thanks especially for your recommendations on ramen, broiled mackeral, and hot pot.

    Now I just have to tear myself away from Joe's Noodle House!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Steve

      Me too. The Szechuan beef-noodle soup at Joe's beats the hell out of Pho 78, the pho at which I find to be as flavorsome as dishwater.

    2. almost made the list! joe's is the pho75 of chinese noodles! they are capable of some really tasty szechuan beef noodle soup. also, the numbing rabbit is crazy! hardly a place more authentic on the pike. noteable mention: A&J for all day dim sum ;-)

      1. Tittsworth, thanks so much.

        Where is "Rockville Sushi?"

        1. Although not as good as Temari, the ramen at Hama Sushi in Herndon is OK for those staying in NoVA.


          2 Replies
          1. re: bitstreamer

            I've had the ramen at Hama, and prefer the one at Blue Ocean in Fairfax.

            1. re: dpan

              Thanks for the tip, dpan. I'll give it a try.

          2. rockville sushi is right behind the IHOP in the ritchie center. intersection of 355/rockville pike and ritchie parkway. here is the directions to the IHOP, it's right behind it in the same strip:


            also, the taiwan chicken at the bubble tea spot is great (also in that same shopping center). i believe it's called JUMBO JUMBO

            1. that shaved ice dessert sounds like the korean dessert pot-bing-soo (dont know how to spell it)-- so delicious. does it have the canned fruit and the red beans and the milk? i dont know why that combo tastes so great and refreshing, it just does.

              anyway im totally psyched to try temari. there is nothing like home-style japanese cooking... the donburi... the ramen. i love a good salt ramen myself. in chicago they have the mitsuwe grocery store/food court, and one the places there (it might even be a chain) has the best salt ramen with a side of white rice covered with salmon roe. wow.

              anyway, thanks for a great post. ill be heading up to rockville myself to check some of these places out. go maryland!

              1. Thanks for these great posts!

                (If this is the DJ, great music.)

                1. Bob's 88 is a little bit over priced. The same owner has another restaurant called "66 BOB's noodle". It does not serve hot pot as Bob's 88 but the price is better. Check their menu here:


                  Also for chinese food, I would recommend "Michael's Noodles" in rockville. Try their special "Boneless Chicken with rice". Check their menu here:


                  If you wants to try some real chinese style food, try "Cross-bridge Rice Noodle Soap" at Madarin Express. It's similar as the soap served by Pho 75. But the noodles, shrimp, noodles and pork are served separately and you need to mix them by yourself. This is a very small restaurant but a lot of chinese people love it.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: dc495

                    And where is Madarin Express? I thought I knew every joint in Rockville and this thread has already enlightened me to TWO that I didn't know about. Thanks.

                    1. re: Pappy

                      Here is the list for most of the chinese restaurants around DC area:


                      1. re: dc495

                        I heard that Szechuan Gallery in DC has new ownership and possibly a new name/fare. May want to check on that.

                  2. 1. elnor, regarding pot-bing-soo, it would seem that many asian cultures have their take on shaved ice. spending summers in taiwan i became very familiar the vendors and stands that would line the streets (esp the night markets), offering shaved ice and shaved milk ice (!!!). there are some reoccurring themes and toppings ive noticed (between the chinese, japanese and korean interpretations) where condensed milk, a variety of syrups and beans, gelatin cubes, even peanuts are offered. temari offers green a tea syrup, which makes sense and tastes great when mixed w/ milk.

                    2. misssphinx, he is i and i is he, thanks for the love ;-) food and music aren't that different!!

                    3. dc495, i must respectively disagree with you to a certain degree. i'm familiar w/ 66 (right around the corner). they do serve good food but no hot pot, which can be a very fun, social and affordable experience for family and friends. at $10 a person, i think it's far from pricy. a good bowl of ramen or pho is already $6-7, plus tip, you're at $8-10. for a few more bucks you get your own personalized hotpot w/ fresh veggies, noodles, 1-2 meats, fish balls, and more (@bob's 88). not to mention the extra drain on the utilities your hotpot costs AND the condiment buffet for your sauces. after all is said and done, you can easily eat WELL (at least twice a normal bowl of pho/ramen/etc) and for an hour at $15-$18 including tax and tip. i guess that's pricy compared to take out food, but this is far from it.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: tittsworth

                      Hi, tittsworth,

                      I fully respect your original post and I think it is a great summary. I think bob's 88 is cheap comparing with restaurants like Italian Restaurants, but a little bit over price comparing with most of the chinese restaurants. I went there once and paid around 100$ for 4 persons which is a little bit over my expectation. I do love hot pot but it is pretty easy to make it at home. I always had hot pots with my friends during holiday. It costs much less to buy all the foods from Maxim and Kimsam and made hot pots at home. It will be a lot of fun.

                    2. As a chinese, I would recommend the following chinese restaurants in Maryland:

                      For Dim Sum, try:
                      Oriental East
                      New Fortune
                      China Garden (in VA)

                      For Cantonese style foods, try:
                      Paul Kee Restaurant & Lounge

                      For spicy food, try:
                      Joe's Noodle House

                      For peking ducks, try
                      Peking's Cheers (in my opinion, this is much better comparing with Peking Gourmet in VA; considering both the quality of the food and the price)

                      Try north china style dim sum at:
                      A & J Restaurant

                      For friends gathering, try:
                      Michael's Noodles
                      Fu Shing Cafe (the restaurant environment is good)

                      Want to try something special, go to
                      Mandarin Express

                      Again, you can find all addresses here:


                      It is my personal opinion. So better check their menu first before you go there. Please make decision based on your own judgement.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: dc495

                        The link is a great resource -- handy to have this all collected in one place.

                        As pay back, I edited the wiki. It had listed "The House of Chinese Delights" on Frederick Road (near I-370), which was a very interesting spot. But it has now been closed. It has been replaced by Minerva, a fine Indian buffet (at least in VA - I haven't been to the one in MD yet).

                        1. re: Bonz

                          Thanks a lot for this. I heard it has been closed but nobody confirmed it for me before.

                          Thanks for editing the page.

                      2. Kings Contrivance in Columbia is now Chinese???

                        I know it's been through a number of managements and cuisine styles over the years, but that came as a surprise.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: little audrey

                          I think this is an example of wikiality.

                        2. I've not been to the other places mentioned (hopefully soon), but I went to Temari a few weeks ago after noticing a mention in an unrelated thread.

                          Temari doesn't get mentioned very often on this board, but it is really good, cheap, and transporting. A great find.

                          1. I recommend Peking Cheers.Their duck is only 13.99 with one entry! I just ate there last night and yes now I do believe the previous chef from Joe's Noodle House moved there...The food was GOOD. Some dishes are way too large compared to the price in my opinion...ended up with a huge leftover bag...A must go for any Sichuan food lovers. oh and btw, I found out their website(finally) on their takeout menu lol! HERE IT IS: www.pekingcheers.com apparently they even have dimdum now... I must go find out ...

                            1. Great coverage, I appreciate reading your tips. I will be in DC for 2 weeks, 02/04 thru 02/17; first week at Holiday Inn-Capital (and over the weekend), then moving to Hyatt Arlington for remainder. Growing up traditional too, are there any good/decent places to get a bowl of noodles, rice plate or Chinese/Japanese/Korean in those areas? Will not have a car and traveling alone; somewhere semi close appreciated. Thanks to all.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Riva

                                In DC, you could check out Fulll Kee in Chinatown for Cantonese, or you could go for the soup dumplings (xiao long bao) at Chinatown Express. Wonderful with the condiments at every table. Forget abot Japanese or Korean unless you are willing to travel even further.

                                In Arlington, you will be near China Garden, which has dim sum on weekends. I've never been. If you want a great bowl of noodles, then a cab ride will get you to Hong Kong Palace where the Dan Dan Noodles or the Chegdu noodles ( both spicy) from the Sichuan menu are sensational. Or a cab ride not far into DC will take you to Makoto (reservations necessary) or Kotobuki.

                              2. Temari serves bad to average food. It may be authentic, but McDonald also serves authentic American fast food. Authenticity does not necessary mean quality.