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tyson's corner 2nd week of february, where in the world do we eat?

we'll be in tyson's corner for a night and two days in mid- february and we're looking for places to eat. i did a search on this board but didn't quite find the sort of definitive information i was looking for.

we're VERY ethnic friendly, particularly love mexican and sushi, these cuisines would be ideal but we are open to most anything . we're from a rural area so pretty much any good ethnic food is unavailable to us.

so we're looking for one or two lunch spots and a dinner spot. would prefer the dinner spot be a little nice, comfortable and relaxing at the very least, with alcohol served.

so anyhow, restlessly awaiting your reccomendations, thanks in advance.

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  1. I'm guessing you'll have a car.....a short drive away will take you to some real finds.
    Rose Kabob Restaurant in Vienna is Persian. My favorite order is the gaymeh,a beef and eggplant stew. But you really can't go wrong with anything on the menu. It is definitely worth splurging on multiple appetizers here like the torshi (pickled vegetables), the garlic roasted in balsamic syrup, and the shirazi salad. If you call in advance, you may be able to reserve the tahdig (pronounced tah-deeg), the crunchy bottom of the rice pot.

    In the other direction from you, also not far, is Mclean, VA. Kazan is a fairly elegant Turkish restaurant with good service.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Steve

      Rose has very tender chicken kebabs, delicious kubideh, and their rice is excellent.

      Lebanese Taverna mentioned below is a local chain, certainly worth trying out if you haven't had it before.

      The best sushi is in downtown McLean at Tachibana, make sure you ask for fresh wasabi (which cost a little extra). If you want creative rolls, then Sakana in Vienna offers that.

      Somewhat authentic Mexican can be had at La Sandia, inside Tysons Corner Mall. Menu available online if you google it. Not far from Tysons is Blanca's, it's Salvadorian/Mexican and they make delicious pork pupusas.

      Other ethnic foods close by are: Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, Korean.

      Oh, I don't recall there's booze at Rose and I think they don't carry booze. Lebanese Taverna and Kazan do serve booze.

      1. re: Ericandblueboy

        can anyone tell me more about tachibana? i researched it on-line and reviews seem to be very mixed. sakana seems less tradtional but the reviews seem consistently on the positive side. do they have good uni and eel there? we like non-traditional rolls but also really love good nigiri. whoever carries better sake might be the tie-breaker?

        and yes, we will have a car but of course, prefer not to have to drive too far. thanks!

        1. re: tinymango

          I am not sure what threads you have read negative reviews on Tachibana on, it normally has consistently high reviews and is known as the best sushi place in northern virginia. They have some specials as you come in on the board that are normally good, and they have some interesting things you don't find in the typical sushi joints around here. I think the fish is the freshest of most the sushi places in the DC metro area myself. I highly recommend it.

          1. re: ktmoomau

            thanks so much, actually the reviews that i read of tachibana were not on chowhound, but other places on the web. i believe it was trip advisor and yelp. that's why i confirmed here, because i have more faith in the hounds reviews than those of random tourists and hipsters. thanks for your reply. i think we will try tachibana.

            1. re: tinymango

              when I was in college, Japan Club would take a trip to Sakura Matsuri every spring (Cherry Blossom festival) and would end the night with dinner at Tachibana. If that lends anything to the authenticity and good-ness of it ^__^

    2. From my response in another thread:

      The Lebanese Taverna is tops. It's in the Galleria Mall at Tyson's. Be sure and read the back of the menu where they tell the history of the family and their restaurants.

      For a special dinner, Washington legend L'auberge Chez Francois is only about 15 away in Great Falls. It's where we do birthdays, Christmas eve, . . . any special celebration.
      http://www.laubergechezfrancois.com/

      Our favorite "local" hangout is Cafe Jasmine in the "old" Reston Town Center (Lake Anne). The chef/owner Eduardo is a wizard with seafood and sauces.
      http://www.jasminecafe.com/

      If you're up for a real local adventure, head down 123 to the Vienna Inn. Chili dogs, burgers, beer and Mollie -- the waitress you'll never forget if you step out of line or don't go get your own coffee.
      http://www.viennainn.com/mollie.htm

      1. I'll second Kazan.
        We don't get in there much, but it's always excellent when we do.

        1. I second Lebanese Taverna.
          There's Taste Of Saigon by there too, and two good Japanese restaurants, Tachibana and Konami. Go inside the mall for Gordon Biersch, Brio Grille, La Sandia, and Costal Flats too.

          If we're expanding to Vienna, I recommend Sea Pearl (a new restaurant where I've had the BEST Sea Bass ever), Minerva, Sweet Water Tavern, and Sushi Yama. Short trip to 2941 for lunch would be great too! Then again, you could go ahead and open up to Reston / Herndon and get PassionFish among many others.

          -----
          Minerva Indian Cusine
          10364 Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA

          Sweetwater Tavern
          3066 Gate House Plz, Falls Church, VA 22042

          Sea Pearl Restaurant
          8191 Strawberry Ln Suite 2, Fairfax, VA

          Taste of Saigon
          8201 Greensboro Dr, Mc Lean, VA

          Tachibana Japanese Restaurant
          6715 Lowell Ave, Mc Lean, VA 22101

          Lebanese Taverna Tyson Corner Gallaria
          1840 International Drive, Mclean, VA 22102

          Yama Restaurant
          328 Maple Ave W, Vienna, VA 22180

          1. Interesting. Nobody mentioned Inox which is scheduled to open the first week of February. This could be a memory... http://amandamc.blogspot.com/2009/01/... http://www.inoxrestaurant.com/

            1 Reply
            1. re: Joe H

              considering theyre opening first week of february it would probably be better to give them a couple months to iron out the kinks. i think we might be hedging more for a good ethnic this time around. good suggestion, though, i think that atmosphere might be more what we're looking for.. . i'll stay posted on that once theyre open though and keep it in mind- might be a good stop for a drink and an app. thank you.

            2. I love Panjshir in Falls Church. It's a little afghani restaurant. My favorites are the leek dumplings topped in tomato, mint and meat sauce. Also the kadu palow (stewed pumpkin with rice) and the kabobs are sensational.

              Shamshiry is right off Route 7 and has beautiful Persian rices and kabob. It's delicious and really casual.

              Also in Falls Church is Crisp and Juicy, they do South American rotisserie chicken with yummy little sauces. Best side is the fried yucca.

              8 Replies
              1. re: Culocho

                i did mapquest it but i was wondering how long it would usually take in traffic to drive to these places in falls church? i had wanted to try crisp and juicy after having read very good things about it and your description of panjshir sounds very promising.

                i had looked at shamshiry's menu when i did a chowhound search before and i was wondering if they serve alcohol?

                1. re: tinymango

                  Shamshiry does not serve alcohol, and has a bit of a cafeteria feel. But again, it's excellent.

                  Depending on where you're staying in Tyson's the time to Falls Church varies. It's really not bad through, 10 to 20 minutes. C&J will be faster since it's set up like a fast food place. Panjshir is a good call for dinner with beers.

                  1. re: Culocho

                    love your suggestions, really excited about the afghani place as well as getting some good peruvian chicken. and willing to make the drive.

                    one last question, where is the nearest asian market? and is there a trader joes nearby?

                    1. re: tinymango

                      Great Wall market is in Falls Church (Gallows Road) and there's a non-super H mart in the Dunn-Loring/Merrifield area, but a bunch are in Fairfax. (Super H Mart, Lotte, Dong-A), around Fairfax Circle

                      1. re: tinymango

                        Trader Joe's is very close on Rt. 7 east of the Beltway.

                        1. re: dpan

                          Trader Joe's is practically the halfway point on Rt7 between Tyson's and Falls Church. It's on the left hand side in a little shopping center.

                    2. re: tinymango

                      Any of these places mentioned will be conveniently located and a short drive from your hotel.

                      I find the vegetable dishes at Panjshir too sweet. And too strained.

                      1. re: tinymango

                        It will take you 15 minutes or less to drive into Falls Church from the Tyson's area.

                        There's another Panjshir in Vienna, which is probably a little closer (also a little fancier decor). But the Falls Church one is next door to Bangkok Blues should you decide you'd rather have so-so Thai food and hear some good music (or pop in for music after dinner). The Vienna one has a whole bunch of other restaurants nearby as alternate choices.

                    3. Just another data point. Ate for the first time at La Sandia in Tysons Corner mall. Figured (correctly) that a mall restaurant would be safe from the Super Ball wahoos. Food was remarkably good. I had carnitas that were juicy, tender, and had a nice citrus touch. They were served in a cast iron pan and while not served sizzling, the chunks on the bottom developed a crunchy crust. Barbecue beef enchiladas got a favorable review from the resident "there aren't any Mexican restaurants around here with food like we had in south Texas" picky eater. The "can't eat things too hot" chicken eater enjoyed the mole chicken after we convinced her that chipotles weren't really very hot.

                      One thing - the mole chicken was sprinkled with sesame seeds, and she can't digest seeds, so she had to scrape them (along with too much off the sauce) off. Had we suspected that a Mexican restaurant might garnish with sesame seeds, she could have asked to have them left off, but who'a'thunkit? She knows now to mention it when ordering something new in a Chinese restaurant, and is occasionally successful in getting a fancy burger place to make a custom bun from two bottoms (but once she was told that she'd have to pay extra for what amounted to a second bun).

                      1. Not sure when it opens but keep an eye out for Inox.

                        1. I'm know that you mentioned mexican and sushi but if you like ethnic and are coming from a rural area, 2 of northern virginia's top cuisines are Vietnamese and Korean given the high densities of those 2 ethnicities here.

                          Vietnamese: EDEN center at bailey's crossroads, short drive from Tysons. Many posts on particular establishments as well as dishes if you do a search. It's basically a strip mall w/only Vietnamese restaurants, sandwich shops, etc.

                          Korean: I have yet to try Honey Pig but it just got written up in the Washington Post Sunday magazine and I've been dying to go after hearing many rave reviews. This (and many of the other Korean restaurants in Annandale) is open 24/7, so if you go out and have 2am munchies, I would highly suggest stopping by here (based on what I've heard and read).

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: ffxjack

                            Second (third?) Eden Center. If you have a GPS, use it - the roads in that area are a bit confusing. There are lots of other Asian and other ethnic places nearby, too.

                            Tyler Cowen's Ethnic Dining Guide (look for it on Google) has some tips on Eden Center places.

                            Lebanese Taverna is also a great choice, especially if you are shopping at the Galleria. It would also work as your dinner spot.

                            If you're interested in Ethiopian (pretty common in D.C.; not as common in the suburbs), Meaza, in Falls Church, would be an good choice. It's not especially close, but not bad outside of rush hour.

                            I love Japanese and Mexican, but the area isn't really known for either. La Sandia and Tachibana are probably the best in the immediate area? I've heard good things about Blue Ocean, too, if you're willing to drive that far.

                            Korean is a good idea as well. Look at the Chowhound threads on Annandale for further guidance. I'd consider visiting a Korean bakery, like Le Matin, or a Korean bar, in addition to dining at the more traditional places.

                            Other, non-ethnic tips:

                            Five Guys Burgers and Fries is a pretty huge chain, but it began here in in Northern Virginia, and is pretty good to boot. The location in Tysons Corner Center is great for mid-mall snacking.

                            If you're willing to splurge, 2941 is just off the Beltway, 2-3 exits away - so not a long drive, even at rush hour.. I think they may have a bar/cafe menu if you get there early; not entirely sure.

                            If the weather's nice, get some slices to-go at Church Street Pizza in Vienna, and some ice cream at Nielsen's Frozen Custard, and eat at the park across the street. I think there is also some sort of ethnic bakery nearby... anyone know the name?

                            And if you're visiting over a weekend, consider having one meal in Old Town Alexandria or D.C. But on a weekday, that's probably too complicated.

                            -----
                            Blue Ocean
                            9440 Main St, Fairfax, VA 22031

                            Eden Center
                            6763 Wilson Blvd, Falls Church, VA 22044

                            2941 Restaurant
                            2941 Fairview Park Drive, Falls Church, VA 22042

                            Meaza Restaurant
                            5700 Columbia Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041

                            Five Guys
                            1961 Chain Bridge Rd, McLean, VA

                            Church Street Pizza
                            115 Church St NE, Vienna, VA 22180

                            Vienna Frozen Custard
                            144 Church St NW, Vienna, VA 22180

                            1. re: hoorah

                              Church Street Pizza is not worth gong to if you are an out-of-towner. Nielsen's Frozen Custard would be worth it, except it is likely to be below 30 degrees when you get here. If Eden Center looks too daunting, take a look at Four Sisters, in Merrifield (Gallows Road, which is one of the arteries leading out of Tysons Corner), Vietnamese food, and recently transplanted from Eden Center.

                              1. re: SoxFan1

                                Agree - Four Sisters would be a wonderful experience at a good value. The pre-set family menus can help push you through the hundreds of menu items.

                          2. Konami (right in the heart of Tysons on Rt. 7) is our go-to place for sushi. Aside from having consistently high-quality sushi, we like the atmosphere, particularly if you get a booth. It's a really enjoyable spot to relax/linger. Have only been to Tachibana once and wasn't nearly as impressed as I expected to be.

                            1. okay, great. i think we've decided on a trip to the eden center day one and lunch at panjshir and late dinner at honey pig. then day two, a trip to trader joe's lunch at tachibana and we'll probably get a peruvian chicken somewhere to cart home with us for dinner that nite. thanks for the suggestions, we'll let you know how it goes.