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LA Hound seeks recs for DC area

Hi all, I'm an LA hound who will be in D.C. with my g/f early June, trying to get a head start on trip planning. Will be in town for two and a half days - Monday afternoon 'til Wed. evening. Looking for meal / restaurant recs for our stay. Am planning on staying near DuPont Circle. Not sure if I will have a car or not (would appreciate recommendations in this regard). Depending on how accessible things are with / without a car, am certainly willing to venture out to Baltimore, Virginia etc. I'd like to do at least one very nice dinner - someplace trendy and romantic, probably Monday night - not worried about $ for that meal, and the rest of the meals more moderate (around $20pp before drinks). Would also like to focus on things that can't be found in LA, or are much better in the D.C. area than what we have in LA. Would appreciate any recs.

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  1. For romantic and delicious but not trendy, I'd try to get a reservation at Komi (walking distance from where you'll be staying). Not open on Mondays, however, which is true of a lot of the best spots.

    For DC-centric, I might try an Ethiopian place (e.g., Queen Makeda), or Colorado Kitchen, or (if you'll be in Georgetown), Hook or the Tackle Box. There probably isn't anything like Zaytinya in L.A., and if my latest meal there is any indication, I think it's emerging from a period of the doldrums. Lunch at the counter at cf folks.

    Most of the other best DC strengths, e.g., Vietnamese, Korean, are way out in the 'burbs.

    I'd also shoot for dinner at the bar at Palena on Monday or Tuesday.

    2 Replies
    1. re: MartyL

      Oh, and how could I forget?! 2 Amys.

      1. re: MartyL

        Go to 2 Amys for lunch then to the National Cathedral. The wait is much more reasonable. If its a nice day, stroll your way down to Georgetown and stop at Thomas Sweet for ice cream.

    2. No car needed if staying in Dupont Circle. Cabs for 3 days will be cheaper than parking. For very nice dinner go to Citronelle or CityZen. For more moderate meals - DC has worldclass Spanish food - try Jaleo, Oyamel or Zengo.

      1 Reply
      1. re: keithdcil

        Let me clarify... DC has world class chef and spanish media star Jose Andres, who has his hand in a few places in DC including: Jaleo, Oyamel, Zengo, Cafe Atlantico, Bebo and Zatinya.

      2. "things that can't be found in LA"

        I can't imagine what that might be.

        car only needed if you are going out to parts of VA or MD - if you're going to squeeze in B'more the MARC train and Amtrak are both quick rides. but that's a short trip you have planned to start with. as Keith points out it's cheaper to Metro/cab and I would add easier and quicker than dealing with parking.

        1. For the very nice meal, get the 10 course tasting menu at Le Paradou.

          1. I live in Baltimore, and go to D.C. periodically for food, museums, etc.

            For that short a trip you shouldn't even consider branching out to Baltimore...you won't even have time to do that much of D.C. And don't even consider having a car. Not knowing the city, you'd never be able to figure out where to park. D.C. has good public transportation (unlike Baltimore).

            The best expensive meal I've ever had in D.C. was at Marcel's, in Foggy Bottom. I've been to Citronelle and was disappointed.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Hal Laurent

              Marcel's would be an excellent choice for a nice, romantic dinner - and it is open on Mondays too.

              If you are willing to travel to Northern Virginia, Restaurant Eve in Old Town Alexandria is my favorite restaurant. Everything I've ordered there has been delicious and they make the best cocktails in the area. Also, Old Town is a really nice area to walk around before or after dinner too, so I think a trip there one night would be a great idea.