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Restaurant Everyone Hates But You

So after gleefully reading the "Restaurants Everyone Loves But You" I thought we needed an opposite thread. What is a restaurant that everyone seems to really dislike, but you for some particular reason really like it.

I know Chowhounders may be a little loathe to admit they like places that other people consider places they hate, but here is your space to rant.

For me:
I like Lauriol Plaza- not for badly made Mexican food, but for some of the great Cuban/Puerto Rican dishes they have. I think most Chowhounders hate this place...

I also like Sticky Rice which most sushi lovers hate, but I like some of their weird rolls. (I will admit though that the Richmond location is much better) I also like Cafe Asia for simple sushi and some of their other dishes, like their Chinese ravioli.

I also like Citronelle which a lot of people hate. I really love it though. I love the spoofs and the rich flavors.

So what are places that everyone tends to hate-on that you love and why.

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Citronelle
3000 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007

Lauriol Plaza
1835 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

Cafe Asia
1720 I St NW Unit Frnt, Washington, DC 20006

Sticky Rice
1224 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002

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  1. For me it's Kramerbooks and Afterwards. It's my go to neighborhood spot. I've dined there so many times I know what's good on the menu and what to avoid in general. I can sit there alone, with my book, order some dinner or a coffee and pie (they have great desserts!) and no one is bothered by me or treats me like a lesser patron because I'm a single diner. Their beer list is different enough to keep it interesting and the waiters are more or less attentive.

    I don't pretend that it's a high end gourmet meal. But the menu changes regularly and there are some pretty tasty items to be found. Plus there is outdoor seating and they are open 24 hours on the weekend...what else can you ask for?

    1 Reply
    1. Btw...what is Chinese ravioli?

      9 Replies
      1. re: Elyssa

        They are little dumplings filled with pork in a spicy sauce. Probably something completely made up for Americans, but I like them.

        I love Thai Terrace a little Thai restaurant by my house. No one ever talks about it and yes Bangkok 54 and Thai Square are like less than a mile away, but I can walk here, the food is good, and they will make it spicy for me.

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        Thai Square
        3217 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA 22204

        Thai Terrace Restaurant
        801 N Quincy St, Arlington, VA 22203

        Bangkok 54 Restaurant and Bar
        2919 S Columbus St, Arlington, VA 22206

        1. re: ktmoomau

          Are you from Boston? Up there, what are called dumplings in most parts of the country are known as Peking ravioli (which itself is odd since they were popularized by "Szechuan" restaurants). Sort of the counterpoint to another New England favorite, American chop suey. Kinda funny when you think about it.

          They always reminded me of kreplach. 8>D

          1. re: Bob W

            No from extremely western MD where there was one Chinese restaurant when I grew up until it burnt down and was never rebuilt. Maybe that is why I like it :)

            1. re: ktmoomau

              I lived for a year in Frostburg, and I can't imagine anywhere less friendly to a Chowhound, or Chinese food, for that matter. But I loved my stay there!

              1. re: Ziv

                Man I grew up in Loch Lynn and on Deep Creek and what is sad is there is less now then there was when I was little. I always liked the Italian place in Frostburg was it Guiseppes?

                1. re: ktmoomau

                  Good call! I forgot about Giuseppes! I only ate there twice because I was way impoverished, but the food was pretty traditional American/Italian and it wasn't bad. We had a good time both times we went, but our choice was usually Foxes Pizza for strombolis or Duncans for #4 with gravy on the fries.
                  Deep Creek will always mean Zumps and Silver Leaf, if I am remembering the names correctly. They were both good solid places with a few pretty good items on the menu. Loved that lake!

                  1. re: Ziv

                    Silver Tree... that was my uncle's families restaurant which was sold. Too bad because it was one of the best restaurants there. McClives which was good also sold. The problem is that lake property is so valuable it doesn't pay for a lot of people to keep their restaurants.

          2. re: ktmoomau

            girl i'm on board with you about thai terrace. not my favorite thai restaurant in metro DC, but so convenient for ppl in orange line arlington. and so reasonably priced too. AND they're the only place that makes garlic chicken garlicky enough for me.

          3. re: Elyssa

            At Cafe Asia they are basically wontons in chili oil. Very tasty but a little sweeter than the spicier Peter Chang version when he was at TemptAsia a few food eras ago. Sigh!

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            Cafe Asia
            1720 I St NW Unit Frnt, Washington, DC 20006

          4. Hmmm...

            I love Teaism, even after having crappy food there a couple of times (out of dozens, though!). For me, it's the only unique thing about the DC...

            I like that Almaz Ethiopian restaurant better than Dukem (both on U Street), but I haven't eaten Ethiopian in ages, for some reason!

            I like Bangkok Joe's in Georgetown. Yeah, there's better Thai elsewhere, but I've liked everything I've ordered there the 3 or 4 times I've eaten there.

            Cafe Asia in Rosslyn was okay, esp. their calamari. I'm typically not a fan of "pan-Asian" places since I'm actually Asian, but their food has flavor, which is a lot more than I can say about every other pan-Asian place I've ever been to.

            Ditto the Cheesecake Factory, though the portions and healthiness of the food is kinda ridonk. Kinda REALLY ridonk.

            And I gotta say, I'm a fan of The Olive Garden, especially since the area is lacking in good Italian-American places!!! :o)

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            Teaism
            2009 R St NW, Washington, DC 20009

            Bangkok Joes
            3000 K St NW Ste Lbby, Washington, DC 20007

            Cafe Asia
            1720 I St NW Unit Frnt, Washington, DC 20006

            U Street Cafe
            1301 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009

            Olive Garden
            3480 East West Hwy, Hyattsville, MD 20782

            4 Replies
            1. re: yfunk3

              Let me say this about Teaism ... they make a great Salty Chocolate Oat Cookie.

              Of the things I've tried, everything else seems just OK -- not great, not bad.

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              Teaism
              2009 R St NW, Washington, DC 20009

              1. re: yfunk3

                You think Teaism is the only unique thing about the DC restaurant scene?

                And if you think Olive Garden is the only good Italian-American restaurant in the area, let me save you! Go to Filomena. Classic red sauce Italian. Much, MUCH better! Plus the pasta is actually freshly made in house.

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                Teaism
                2009 R St NW, Washington, DC 20009

                Olive Garden
                3480 East West Hwy, Hyattsville, MD 20782

                1. re: Elyssa

                  Yes, re: Teaism. But it's just an opinion. I like the food scene here, but I find it hard to favor it over other cities/areas I've been to. Maybe it's just the cynic in me.

                  And I never said the Olive Garden was the ONLY good Italian-American restaurant in the area. I just said I think the food's pretty good, especially for the price. Just like I like a lot of junk food and fast food. It tastes good to me, so I like it and can't bring myself to criticize much about it if it didn't end up costing me much.

                  In fact, in terms of value while dining out with a group of 4+ people, the Buca di Beppo in DuPont was pretty damn good, as well. I think my group of around 8 people paid less than $10 each for our entire meal and didn't even finish all the food.

                  I'm not hard to please, it seems. :o)

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                  Teaism
                  2009 R St NW, Washington, DC 20009

                  Olive Garden
                  3480 East West Hwy, Hyattsville, MD 20782

                  1. re: yfunk3

                    I'd probably stick with the chains before dropping money to eat at Filomena again- the red sauce was so sweet- ick.

              2. I like Aladdin's, Burke or Shirlington. I can get a nice healthy inexpensive meal that I think is very good. The menu is extensive and there's good food for winter and summer.

                A&J's in Annandale. I can't get over the pages long menu but I enjoy most of what I get there. Hand cut noodles, pork and mustard greens, woodear mushrooms, etc. I love the brunch items, scallion pancakes, dojang.

                Boardwalk Burger and Fries outside of Kingstown (Alexandria, VA area). I think it's better than most of the Five Guys, very similar layout.

                It's funny you started this thread as an opposite to the one about hating restaurants people love. I was thinking of starting an "opposite" thread about restaurants that live up to the hype.

                7 Replies
                1. re: chowser

                  Hahahaha I wouldlove to see what restaurants lived up to the hype, but would definitely respond- go for it! (I think Againn lives up to the hype, but I don't know how much hype it gets)

                  1. re: chowser

                    Let me add on--IKEA. I don't know if it's the food or the prices that I like more but it's fun to go there for a meal. And, I'll confess that if we're going on vacation heading south, we plan for that to be our first breakfast. For 99 cents, we can get a decent meal.

                    1. re: chowser

                      IKEA was my favorite treat growing up. We went to the Pittsburgh location and I always got swedish meatballs. I still love the place.

                      1. re: chowser

                        We love the IKEA meatballs. We make a trip there just to by the frozen bags to use at home. They also have great cheap salmon caviar.

                      2. re: chowser

                        A&J?

                        Really? People don't like A&J? It's probably the best, most authentic, Taiwanese joint in the District. I mean seriously, Between DC, Baltimore and perhaps all of Maryland, there isn't another place to get a Taiwanese rice roll (fan-twan) except for maybe Bob's Noodle 66.

                        If nothing else, people should cherish A&J (at least in the DC Metro) for its singular ability to fill a culinary niche.

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          When I first came here (both CH and DC), I avoided A&J's because there were quite a few CHs panned it. But, I tried it, eventually, and was surprised at how good it was. BTW, if you're in the area and crave a fan-twan, the little cafe at the back of Great Wall grocery makes the best one on the area. I haven't had one in a while but it was very good, nice soft sticky rice, good filling. Not quite home made but brought back memories.

                          1. re: chowser

                            I hardly ever make it out that way, but it's good to know about the fan-twan at Great Wall Supermarket.

                      3. Judging by all the hate for Restaurant Eve's Tasting Room, I'd go with that. I love the place.

                        On the flipside, I like IHOP. Simple food, snappy service, no attitude, and they don't stick you with a bill for the month's rent. The sandwiches are actually not bad, so long as you tell them to hold whatever "sauce" they tend to drown it in, be it mayo, Ranch, or half a gallon of cheese.

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                        Restaurant Eve
                        110 South Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: monkeyrotica

                          I like the harvest nut pancakes at IHOP. Given the scarcity of decent breakfast places in NoVa, IHOP isn't terrible. I'll take it over Silver Diner or Friendly's any day.

                          1. re: chowser

                            IHOPs crepes are also suprisingly good. And don't get me started on Silver Diner. Apparently, people want to go to a diner for "heart smart" reduced fat/sodium menu items because they suffer from flavor intolerance. Bewildering. At least IHOP tastes like something, even if some of it tastes bad. Bad is still "a flavor."

                            1. re: chowser

                              Definitely second the harvest nut pancakes at IHOP. They are really the best!

                            2. re: monkeyrotica

                              I haven't run into too much hate (strong words!) about RE Tasting Room on Chowhound. I certainly don't see much here about people saying it is a place everyone hates but you.