HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Aug 14, 2008 01:12 PM

Asia Spice - New Chinatown Restaurant

Anyone been to Asian (or is it Asia?) Spice yet? It's the new place that took over the old Chopstix place, right next door to Matchbox.

Please provide any info. A friend and I are thinking of grabbing a bite there tonight.

I'll definitely report back, but if anyone else has been would appreciate a review.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I haven't even heard of this spot. What type of food is it (I imagine Asian but is it sushi? fusion? etc)

    1 Reply
    1. re: Elyssa

      I think similar to Asia 9: sushi and other [cooked] asian food. But not certain.

    2. Reporting back: The restaurant is called Asian Spice and just opened last Friday.

      The menu is a mix of thai and japanese entress, and sushi. I asked for a to-go menu but they only had a sushi menu, and for those who are interested, they do not deliver (at least not now).

      I went with a friend and we shared a seaweed salad to start. It was your typical seaweed salad--no need to go into detail here--but a bit more expensive than I'm used to at $6.

      For our meal we opted for sushi rather for the entrees. Initially we decided to try their Drunken Monkey roll (tempura lobster, avocado, cucumber, chives, wrapped with soybean nori), however they were out of the lobster this evening. Instead we ordered the Dragon Roll (shrimp tempura, cream cheese topped with avocado and eel). This was delicious, as expected. The eel wasn't tough (as it can be), and the hot tempura shrimp melted the cream cheese perfectly. With 8 pieces this was a generous portion of a roll.
      In addition to that she got a california roll, avocado roll, and two pieces of shrimp sushi. She enjoyed them all, although she isn't what I'd call a more adventurous sushi eater (I know, weird that she likes eel, but she won't eat the raw stuff).
      I had the salmon nigiri and a rainbow roll. The rainbow roll was also a nice size, and came with 6 different types of fish on top (whereas others I've had include only 4 types of fish).
      We also shared an order of tomago, which is your typical omlette nigiri.

      Our total came to about $70, including tax and tip. Note, we only drank water. So in the end it was a bit pricier than your typical sushi, but the quality was great.

      Oh, and the one glitch was after we finished eating, our waitress wiped down the table and then disappeared. We weren't in a rush, but she didn't come by to check on us and see if we wanted dessert. We noticed her leaning against a wall towards the back of the restaurant basically staring at us, and once we made eye contact she came over to us. We asked for the check and she seemed surprised. Probably one of the glitches you can expect from a new restaurant, but weird still.

      I really enjoyed the sushi here, and look forward to returning to try the Drunken Monkey, as well as some of the other "chef's special rolls". For the more traditional sushi eaters, the restaurant has a wide assortment of nigiri, sashimi, and maki on their regular menu.

      I didn't spend much time looking at the other entrees but noticed several noodle dishes come out of the kitchen, as well as a few other chicken and beef meals. All smelled great and were presented nicely--I look forward to returning to try some of those too.

      The space was well laid out in that it made you feel like you were eating in a small dining room. I noticed a private room in the back, and a large patio (probably 20 or so tables), both of which had people eating in them. There is also a decently-sized bar which might be worth checking out.

      As someone who lives and works nearby, I'm sure Asian Spice will get into my regular rotation.

      The sushi menu lists http://www.asianspicerestaurant.com/ as the website, although there's nothing up there yet.

      1 Reply
      1. re: KWynn

        PS. My husband said he heard somewhere that this place is owned by the same people who own Kanlaya.

      2. The original comment has been removed
        1. I think it is "Asian Spice."

          I went last weekend. Excellent food but very, very expensive and they place is a mess. Nice outdoor patio but no liquor license for outside. Service was poor (and they were 1/4 full).

          The menu is long and varied. Tried a few appetizers and sushi. Appetizers were excellent and so was the sushi. Keep in mind the prices were exorbitant (12-15 bucks for an appetizer and sushi more expensive than any of the top spots in DC -- Sushi Taro, Kaz, Sushi Ko). But the sushi pieces were quite big and the food overall was great.

          My biggest pet peeve was no sake. I am a big sake drinker and consider it almost a must-have when I eat sushi (although sake should by no means be confined to sushi). I asked about this and the waitress told me "oh well, we don't just have sushi so that's why we don't have sake." Which makes no sense. In any event I hope they will reverse this oversight and get some good sake in there (not just Gekkeikan but real, premius sakes).

          I suspect there will be some sticker shock to their prices and they will either have to change the prices or serve the best Asian food in DC, consistently (and improve the service). It may be a hot spot but I don't think people are ready to pay that much.

          1 Reply
          1. re: masonuc

            Agree on the prices- 10 for the house salad is a bit extreme, and so is 9 for a set of vegetable dumplings. Attractively displayed, and the sauce was fabulous, but the texture was, ah, suspiciously crab-like and worse, bland.

            Extremely well-presented and everything was good, but the service was very raw. Also, they ran out of seaweed salad and portabello mushrooms- both of which were in our order- and it took ten minutes to have this information relayed back to us. Strictly vegetarian dishes are also kind of lacking- two non-noodle entrees, in an Asian restaurant? Unless they'll do substitutions that aren't noted on the menu, it seemed kind of strange.

            Basically: swish setting, decent trendy asian dishes, extremely over-priced.