A&J Restaurant Rockville Pike
Just went to A&J Restaurant about a week ago. One of the best dim sum restaurants in the area. I have been to several chinese restaurants throughout Bethesda and the Washington area and this is by far the best place. A bit of a hole in the wall, this restaurant is authentic with dirt cheap prices. To stuff my family of four cost $44! The food was fantastic especially the Shaghai style soups and the bean curd. Most would pass by but this is the place for real chinese food.
There must be a dozen threads here on A&J, and it constantly comes up in the Post and Washingtonian "Best" lists. So I'm glad you enjoyed it, but it's not exactly a hidden discovery.
And, to copy from the other threads for those reading here for the first time, A&J doesn't serve typical Hong Kong style dim sum - it's Northern Chinese, so less focus on dumplings, and ordered off the menu - no carts.
I like A&J's in Annandale. It's a Taiwanese based chain and serves northern Chinese food, not dimsum. There are dishes that are misses but for the most part, we've enjoyed what we've gotten there. As a side, it's cash only which can be a pain. I like the regular dishes better than the Taiwanese brunch dishes, though I love their scallion pancakes.
Warning: I like A&J, but its not for everyone. The dim sum here is really authentic, Hong Kong-style stuff...and I've eaten real dim sum in Hong Kong.
It is not American-ized Chinese food. It has smells and tastes that are ambrosia to some (and possibly repugnant to others).
Me and a friend once took a bunch of people there and about half of them really didn't like the selection or the actual food.
(Hint: If you like authentic things like chicken feet, this is your place.)