Interesting restaurants in Dupont Circle vicinity?
Will be in DC for a weekend mid-September, staying in between Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan. We'd love to be able to walk to dinner (but don't mind a long walk.) Can anyone recommend any interesting restaurants? We're more looking for ethnic than super fancy or trendy. Love Ethiopian, Middle Eastern, Vietnamese, but am open to suggestion.
(Went to Meskerem last year when I was in town, and was a bit disappointed.)
It seems that so many ethnic recommendations are in the VA suburbs....
Meskerem's star burned out a while back, search this board and you'll find many choices for Ethiopian around 13th and U (there's a shuttle bus from Dupont and A-M but it's not an insanely long walk anyway)
VN - yeah Eden Center in NoVa is the place to go, but the hot ticket for SE Asian (Thai) is Little Serow and dang I want to go some day. www.littleserow.com/info.html
Sakuramen on 18th Street (Adams Morgan) - get the bao, they're great.
Muzette on 18th Street (Adams Morgan) - authentic solid Korean food, in a somewhat odd karaoke environment.
Kababji just south of Dupont Circle - authentic Lebanese dishes, focus on the salads and breads rather than the grilled meats. Pricey, but really high quality dishes.
Zenebech Injera for amazing Ethiopian, long walk, at U (or Florida?) and 6th.
Fast Gourmet at 14th and V - get the Cuban sandwich. Very casual place, in a gas station. Great sandwiches.
Tacos el Chilango - classic taco truck style; 12th and V
Izakaya Seki - tried it this weekend, Japanese deliciousness, also 12th and V
seared tuna sashimi
assorted roast mushrooms
Of those, I really enjoyed the kalbi, the sashimis, the yellowtail jaw, and the beef tongue. This was the best tongue I've ever eaten, by far. The kalbi was very thinly sliced short rib, in a great sweet marinade.
The mushrooms were tasty but oversalted, the fried chicken was quite blah, and the seaweed salad was pleasant and had some very bouncy textures going on.
I liked the feel of the place, very simple and clean. I would return and try some more dishes. There are a couple of other items I'm curious to try, like the rice balls. I recommend you arrive early in the evening if on a weekend, since there are not many tables and not much of a waiting area available.
I ate at Izakaya seki last night. Having lived in DC most of my life I am thrilled to be able to go to small, interesting restaurants with great atmosphere. I sat at a table for four upstairs, but think I would have preferred to be there with one (or two ) others and be at the first floor bar. It's the kind of menu to order one or two items at a time and the bar makes this much easier.
We ordered rice balls. They were loved by the others, I didn't try them. The arugula salad was fantastic. I loved the scallop sashimi. Sea bream and tuna were fresh and delicious as well. The pork belly from the special menu was good, but not very exciting. And the mushrooms were good, as well, but nothing too special and a bit salty. The two youngsters liked the chicken meatballs and udon in dashi.
I think it's quite expensive and was intrigued, but left feeling like I could have eaten much more. I will return.
I just ate at Russia House last night, and it was delicious. We split the borscht, potato and mushroom cocette, elks sausage, and chicken Kiev. They have over 200 vodkas, if that is your thing.
My top choice in the area is Locolat, a tiny super-casual Belgian spot which specializes in savory waffles. Many great topings, but my favorite might be the Queen's Delight which is chicken and mushrooms in a cream sauce. Also escargot, carbonnade, and grilled vegetables. The fruit buttertcream chocolates and the sea salt chocolates here are world class.
Casa Oaxaca has a really good mole negro. I would trust their moles.
If you are going for Middle Eastern, then Astor in Adams Morgan is super-casual and a best bet. Lebanese Taverna is more expensive and not as good.
Churreria Madrid for arroz con pollo, paella, or a milanesa with eggs.
Rincon Espanol for stuffed plantains, tortilla espanol, and Galician soup.
Banana Leaves in Dupont Circle has great Thai dishes (sushi too), and was great when I went. The Banana Leaves Rice was delicious.