New Sichuan place on Washington Blvd. between W&L and Kirkwood
It's called MaLa Flavors, or something like that. Has anyone tried it? It's across from the outdoors store.
It is called Ma La Tang. It is mostly a hot pot restaurant with a few other items as well.
This is run by the same people who run Hong Kong Palace in Seven Corners and Uncle Liu's Hot Pot in Merrifield. I believe they teamed up with a separate entrepreneur, and it is a 'nice' place.
I was there this weekend for some dumplings. They have soup dumplings - called pork water buns on the menu. They are Chengdu-style and not like what many people refer to as xiao long bao or tang bao (like they have at the famous Joe's Shanghai in NYC). They are probably the best of their kind in the DC area. I also had the Zhong dumplings which are large half moons served in a shallow dish with some chili sauce on the bottom. These were excellent. Maybe no different than the ones you can get in Hong Kong Palace. I also had the tofu fries, which are cut in a very thin shape and then fried to death with sichuan peppercorns on top. Very spicy, pretty good, not great.
We've been for the hot pot twice, and have had great experiences both times. Unlike many "traditional" hot pot restaurants, everyone gets their own bowl of broth, which is nice. Then everything else is ordered family style and, of course, cooked in your own pot of broth. We found the "mala" broth to be incredibly flavorful, though not spicy to our tastes. All of the meats and veggies were wonderful and really fresh -- we were pleasantly surprised!
We also had some of the chengdu-style appetizers and would agree that the Zhong dumplings are excellent. We also enjoyed the dan-dan noodles.
Oh, and there is free parking in the garage. Overall, I was really happy with it!