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Best restaurant in Merrifield for lunch

beanodc Aug 5, 2010 08:36 AM

Besides the 4 Sisters, what would you recommend for lunch? Any type of Asian food is preferred - Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, etc. TIA for any ideas.

  1. s
    Steve Aug 5, 2010 09:37 AM

    Not right in the same location - I have Myanmar in my top five places in the DC area.

    Ginger salad is a MUST ORDER. Too many good things to order here, but the watercress fritters and the pork with fresh mango or the mutton curry are excellent. They make their own balachaung which is a garlic and dried shrimp condiment you can sprinkle over the food to give it a truly authentic flavor. But it is over $5 and you have to like dried shrimp.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Steve
      Dennis S Aug 5, 2010 12:04 PM

      And now Myanmar is also in my top 5 in the whole metro area. But I have to give the nod to the green tea leaf salad.

      The whole crispy fish a couple of weeks ago was passable, though.

      1. re: Dennis S
        Bob W Aug 5, 2010 01:11 PM

        I'm a big fan of the ethereal squash fritters and the chinese long bean salad too.

    2. w
      weezycom Aug 5, 2010 09:43 AM

      Haven't been, but some decent buzz about the Elephant Walk (?) thai restaurant in the shopping center on the NE corner of Gallows & 50 (where the Grevey's sports bar is, across Gallows from Sweetwater).

      2 Replies
      1. re: weezycom
        beanodc Aug 5, 2010 11:28 AM

        Thank you. I would not have thought of either place.

        1. re: weezycom
          dmbfiredncr Aug 5, 2010 02:34 PM

          Being curious since I work right down the street, I googled this restaurant. It's actually called Elephant Jumps.


        2. n
          nickdanger Aug 5, 2010 12:01 PM

          Uncle Liu's Hot Pot in the center with the Great Wall. Very good review from Tyler Cowen

          3 Replies
          1. re: nickdanger
            Steve Aug 5, 2010 05:30 PM

            However, I *think* the hot pot is only available evenings.

            1. re: Steve
              fudizgud Aug 7, 2010 03:50 AM

              You can get the hot pot during the day. It is very good and way to easy to order too much for your hot pot. Our last time we ordered cuttle fish and spicy beef for mains, chrysanthemum leaves, king mushrooms and bean curd stick for veggies and left stuffed. While I started out a fan of the Sichuan broth, I would now go with one of the non spicy as the Sichuan is so hot as to overpower some of the more delicate items.

              My only quibble with the hot pot is the sauce bar is a little sparse. But I usually make something with a lot of red tofu, vinegar, garlic & green onion. They have hot oil but it is devoid of the chiles themselves.

              1. re: fudizgud
                sweth Aug 12, 2010 04:52 PM

                They definitely do hot pot during the day, although you have to ask for it since they often assume you want the (surprisingly good) buffet during the day.

                Re: the Sichuan broth overpowering some items--that's why they have a half-and-half pot. :)

          2. r
            rHairing Aug 5, 2010 07:40 PM

            I used to work in the area. I would have killed for a pho joint. Now you have pho cyclo which is quite good.

            1. Mississippi Snopes Aug 12, 2010 01:29 PM

              Based on one meal, Elephant Jumps is now my favorite Thai restaurant in the DC area. Very impressive meal.

              Uncle Liu's is great too, but it's probably too slow to do hot pots for lunch. Blazingly hot.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Mississippi Snopes
                Steve Aug 12, 2010 01:34 PM

                What did you have at Elephant Jumps?

                1. re: Steve
                  Mississippi Snopes Aug 12, 2010 01:50 PM

                  We only had three appetizers, so I ought to curb my enthusiasm until more visits -- but all three were great.

                  (1) Roti green curry chicken. I had no idea that roti was ever used in Thai cooking, but the owner says it's commonly used in street food. I licked my plate. We ordered just "regular" hot and it bordered on incendiary, so I wouldn't recommend assuming the chef will dumb it down for American tastes.

                  (2) Elephant Jumps salad. This is a variant on the pretty common slivered mango and shrimp salads you see in Thai restaurants. The chef substitutes apple for the mango and it worked surprisingly well. The owner said they wanted to try using local ingredients with a Thai base. With toasted coconut and lime juice.

                  (3) Fried watercress salad (I don't see this on the online menu, so maybe it was fried papaya salad, but I don't think so). This was battered and deep fried and then topped with minced chicken swimming in a vinegary chili-spiked sauce. Another licked plate.

                  The owner seems very ambitious culinarily (there's a "fusion" section of the menu with dishes like croissant basil beef sandwich) and the place is kind of elegant. The menus have little plastic elephant statues on them.

                  The name, according to the owner, is based on the fact that the elephant is the national animal and that "he jumps" is a Thai idiom for "really happy." So he says he wants to make Thai food that makes his customers happy.

                  As I say, just one small meal, but very impressive.

                  1. re: Mississippi Snopes
                    Dennis S Aug 12, 2010 02:26 PM

                    Nice report - thanks. It's on my list for after the beach.

                    1. re: Mississippi Snopes
                      alkapal Aug 20, 2010 07:09 AM

                      interesting dishes! will have to try it soon.

                2. m
                  MartinDC Aug 19, 2010 12:23 PM

                  There's a mom & pop korean restaurant at the strip mall where H Mart is located. It's very simple, but they give a nice assortment of panchan, which varies depending on what menu item you order. There you can have a nice relaxing $10 lunch. It's just a couple storefronts from the Office Max/Depot (whichever it is).

                  For quick Korean, try the lunch counter at H Mart. They have a dozen+ items. I usually go or the kimchi stew or bibimbap. You order and pay (cash only) at the register, then sit at a stool while they make your order.

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