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Restaurant rec., Gallery Place area, DC

Three of us are going to the theater near Gallery Place and Archives metro stations Thurs. evening..
What restaurant(s) would you recommend? We like ethnic, or at least interesting, don't want to spend more than $20 per person. One of us is vegetarian.

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  1. Chinatown Express for fresh made noodles either stir fried or in soup, and dumplings or steamed pork buns to start. Plenty of vegetarian options, and definitely reasonably priced.
    For more "adventurous" ethnic, go for Burma for Burmese, which is upstairs on the same block.
    Or there's Zengo or Zaytinya, although you might have a tough time staying within the $20 per person budget unless you share several small plates and eat light.

    3 Replies
    1. re: KWynn

      What do you order at Burma? I went there about a year ago with my bf and we found the food exstremly bland. We basically had to soak it in soy sauce or ask for additional sauces to give it flavor. The one good dish was a ginger and something salad.

      1. re: Elyssa

        That would be the ginger salad. The green tea leaf salad and pantay kauswe are tasty, along with the kauswe toke.

        I used to recommend the mango pork, but they seem to have gone from fatty pork to lean pork, and it's become painfully dry.

        1. re: monkeyrotica

          Yes, LOVE the ginger salad. Also enjoyed many of the appetizers (despite them being fried) and some noodle dishes. We haven't been in a while but it's definitley a different kind of ethnic food and will fall within the OP's budget.

    2. What about Zola in the spy museum. I don't know if everyone in your group wants to be under $20.00, because they do have:
      http://www.zoladc.com/

      **Pre-Event Menu**
      served from 5PM to 7PM
      A three course menu at $30.00
      Pick an item from each page plus any Dessert

      I think that's a pretty decent deal-the atmosphere is nice.
      I just looked at the menu and it looks like them have some vegetarian options-not a lot.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Smiles2008

        Cafe Atlantico also has a 3-course pre-theater menu for $30 which looked really good (I think it runs until 6:30 or 7pm, but double check). And Oya has a $30 menu which I really enjoy, no time restraints.

        So if you are willing to go up by $10 those are 2 very good choices.

      2. Jaleo is easily one of the best restaurants for vegetarians. Patatas bravas,spinach with raisons, apples and manchego, trumpet mushrooms, grilled asparagus, tomato bread, are all outstanding. If the vegetarian can eat eggs, than other options like the tortilla espanol open up.

        1. Matchbox. if you can, get a seat at the bar for happy hour.

          then you'll have money to spend elsewhere.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Jeserf

            Or you can go to Ella's for their happy hour and score some free pizza.

            1. re: Jacey

              i believe they no longer give away free pizza...and the pizza isn't very good if i recall

          2. Kanlaya is a pleasant Thai restaurant on 6th, right near the theater. It is very reasonably priced and has good vegetarian options.

            2 Replies
            1. re: dcandohio

              Kanlaya was closed recently, maybe for remodeling? I haven't checked this week if its open, but it was closed 2 weeks ago...

              1. re: DCLindsey

                I heard it was closed due to a fire or something like that. I'm not sure if it's reopened yet, but if it's closed, there is Thai Chili a block away in movie theaters. It's also reasonably priced, lots of vegetarian options, and they often have some interesting specials.