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Jaded California food snob seeks like-minded fusspots to recommend good DC restaurants

I am sorry if this post offends others, but California generally has better food than most other places, including DC. Most of the restaurants we've been to in DC so far have been awful, despite excellent Yelp reviews. Case in point: Woodlands in Langley Park has 4.5 stars on Yelp with more that 80 reviews, yet the food was like a bad Hare Krishna lunch. The only conclusion is that people on Yelp in DC have terrible taste in food. This means they're not jaded and snooty like me, and now I fear that many of the Yelp reviewers have never even left Maryland before. Clearly, I cannot rely on Yelp for restaurant reviews.

The solution: I need recommendations from jaded food snobs like me (and you) from California who are really picky. You know the drill: really fresh seasonal food (new American/Cali style), authenticity if it's ethnic, simple menus.... service and decor are generally irrelevant: I seek FLAVOR

Also, good food doesn't necessarily mean expensive....are you listening DC?

yes, i'm a jerk: sorry :)
xoxo
mallhattan

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  1. Yelp is not as reliable as it is in CA. Follow this site and
    http://donrockwell.com/index.php?s=45...

    2 Replies
    1. re: MrsWheatie

      Yelp is not reliable here in the SFbay area either.

      1. re: chefj

        I've found over the years that Yelp people consistently overrate (often with !!!!! exclamation marks!!!) restaurants and services that I've experienced as horrible. You have to wonder when you have a 1- or 2-star experience in a place with all of those 5-star (with !!!! marks) Yelp reviews. In one instance a place I'd seen in decline for years was still packed with new 5-star reviews (with !!!!!), despite it becoming a transparently obvious ripoff operation.

    2. Wow, you do seem like a kind of a jerk ;)
      That being said, Yelp also led us astray to the Woodlands in VA. It was absolutely awful, and I couldn't believe all the "great" reviews it received. Honestly, am still confused.

      1 Reply
      1. Ok, so what did you have at Woodlands?

        5 Replies
        1. re: Steve

          i had one of the thalis, an assortment of stuff, so i feel like i got a reasonable sampling. mostly overly creamy and heavy.

          1. re: mallhattan

            That's very far from my experience, though it's been a while since I've been up there.

          2. re: Steve

            We had the weekend buffet -- which we had been told was supposed to be quite good. But it definitely was not. Bland, and grainy from the spice mixtures....

            1. re: anakalia

              Woodlands in VA was never as good as the one in Langley Park and buffets - even Indian ones- are never a good way to judge a place.

              But it's been a while since I've been to the one at Langley Park.

              1. re: Steve

                Maybe I'll have to try out the Langley Park one at some time, to see if there's a difference. I know buffets aren't typically the best choice at Indian restaurants, but the Woodlands in LA has a very good, popular, South Indian buffet so I (wrongly) assumed it would be the same case at the VA one.

          3. "Also, good food doesn't necessarily mean expensive....are you listening DC?"

            In DC, it usually does. Some great exceptions in the suburbs, but DC itself is an expensive place to eat well. And Yelp reviews are generally horrible.

            1 Reply
            1. re: will_5198

              yes, the best place so far for us was an excellent korean place in centreville

            2. what I noticed when I moved to DC from CA, there's little great to be found in the mid-range, it seemed like every neighborhood in SF has more than just a few good and not expensive places, whereas in DC you really have to do your homework or be prepared to spend some $$.

              1 Reply
              1. re: hill food

                I defer to your larger experience having actually livedthere, hill food, but when we visited we had a plethora a great places to eat. And most of the recs came from CHs with you helping especially. (I'll never forget that "faux gras" at Central.) But ya got do the work. Here's part of what was graciously given to me:

                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/745514

                @OP: where in CA do you live and which restaurants in particular do you like?