First time in DC - Recommendations please!
I will be in DC for five days in mid-September. The first 2.5 days I'm on my own so low budget and hole-in-the-wall recs are appreciated. The second 2.5 days I'm on the company dime so my budget is much higher :-) .
I'll be staying near Anacostia at first, then Dupont Circle, but I'll go anywhere as long as I can get there from the metro.
I'm looking for:
Budget under $15 - Mexican, Central American, Indonesian, Korean, Deli, Southern/Soul, American (how good is Ben's Chili Bowl???)...anything really except Chinese (I'm spoiled from LA!)
Fine dining $30-50 - Seafood, steak, French, Italian, anything regional.
Get Ethiopian, U and 9th. I'd say Queen Makeda, but see what others say. That's for the hole in the wall.
Also go to Market Lunch in Eastern Market, really. Best breakfast (but not on Sundays).
I love Ben's, but it's not all about the food; get a half-smoke with chili; visitors from LA tell me it's so way much better than Pinks.
Don't bother with Mexican, you're from LA.
Lots of other threads cover the sort of thing you're looking for, just read through a few recent ones and you'll get a list together.
On the cheaper end, I would recommend 2 Amys for the best pizza (in Cleveland Park area) and Miss Saigon for Vietnamese in Georgetown. I haven't been to Queen Makeda yet but I've heard great things about that and Etete for Ethiopian.