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What can I get in DC I can't find in LA

I lived here for a few years about a dozen years ago. My wife who has never been, and I are coming to meet friends, Co-workers and explore the city and possibly head to Baltimore for one day. I have some places I remember from my time that I want to go to but I also realize the city has changed in the years I've been gone.

I want to Hit:
Julia's Empanadas [No one in LA can make a SaltiƱas Empanada worth a damn]
Ben's Chili Bowl [No one in LA has heard of a Half Smoke]
Georgia Brown's
Jaleo [can one get in on a weeknight?]
Possibly Maine Avenue Fish Market

That's what I can think of for now. Also, I am looking for a place to host 20 or so people for drinks and noshes near 7th and Mass Ave. Fado if it is still there is a bit small and loud so I am looking for options.

Thanks And Take Care

- P.

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  1. Don't forget your Ethiopian. I recommend Etete.

    Drinks and noshes call for PS7. It'll be pricer than Fado, but they have happy hour munchies and the cocktails are amazing. Call ahead and they'll reserve space for you.

    2 Replies
    1. re: katecm

      Thanks for that. LA has decent Ethiopian but I am not a fan of Injera though my wife likes it so we'll try somewhere

      An PS7 Sounds Good Especially with their Happy Hour.

      1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

        for some reason, the injera in DC is very different than other cities. like how Parisian and even SF bread is better or NYC bagels are just different.

        I used to hate injera until I tried the stuff around U street.

        and yeah anything Central American around here is not going to change your world. we can find some pretty darn good options, but nothing like SoCal.

    2. There's not much you don't have in LA. But there are a few things....

      Go to Oohs and Aahs for Soul Food from Coastal Carolina. A hole-in-the-wall with some tables upstairs to take your food to. Go for the grilled shrimp, lemon pepper wings, and broiled crabcake. Get the rice with gravy as a side.

      Go to Quarterdeck in Arlington for Steamed Crabs. If you there, go ahead and get an order of mesquite shrimp.

      Cafe Assorti is a Kazakh Bakery/Cafe in Arlington. Do a search onthis board for recs.

      Zaytinya serves some unique pan-Hellenic tapas.

      Jaleo is not swamped like it used to be, plus I think they now accept reservations.. That area has exploded with so many restaurants.

      You can get half-smokes at any hot dog strand. If you go to the neighborhood of Ben's, then go to Oohs and Aahs instead. You'll be happy you did.

      1. Chesapeake Bay blue crabs!

        1. >Julia's Empanadas [No one in LA can make a SaltiƱas Empanada worth a damn]

          Then maybe Julia's isn't the place.

          >Ben's Chili Bowl [No one in LA has heard of a Half Smoke]

          Good, but I don't know if I'd write home about it. (I did take my visiting family here)

          >Georgia Brown's

          High End Southern? hmmm,

          >Jaleo [can one get in on a weeknight?]

          Definitely.

          >Possibly Maine Avenue Fish Market

          It's fun to go as a local, but the food is typically deep fried or steamed.

          Depending on your time frame, I'd go to Minibar or Latino Dim Sum @ Cafe Atlantico.
          And along the high end lines, there are a good # of chefs out there who are pushing the culinary envelope.

          And you can't forget Mumbo Sauce on 4 chicken wings.

          1 Reply
          1. re: WestIndianArchie

            Dunno about the dim sum at Cafe Atlantico. While I liked the food generally at Cafe Atlantico, the one time I was there for the dim sum it was quite a letdown.

            An LA equivalent would be like Mr. Chow, and Cafe Atlantico's "dim sum" menu is sort of a dumbed-down version of Mr. Chow --- and that's not a good thing.

          2. Walking to work today, I passed a place that you probably can't get in LA, because I think DC is their only US market right now: Nando's peri-peri. Great place to stop for lunch.