What's in DC that's not in LA?
I'm from LA and looking for some great food here in DC that I can't at home. All suggestions welcome!
Rasika and Bombay Club - high end Indian
Komi - high end Greek
Rogue24 - uber tasting menu
DC also does Ethiopian really well, but that's something that LA has (eg., Meals by Genet, Addis, Rahels, etc.) but it's worth a look if you really enjoy Ethiopian in all of its iterations.
I would certainly check out some Ethiopian cuisine. My favorite is Etete and Ethiopic.
You can get Jose Andres in LA now, but why not check out his original restaurant that started it all Jaleo.
Also not sure if you have any high end, gourmet Indian restaurants....even if you do they probably are not as good as Rasika. There are 2 locations---I prefer the West End location.
Finally, you might want to check out some food with a southern bend. For higher end try Vidalia or Acadiana. For a more casual setting you can try Oohs and Aahs.
Swahili Village in Beltsville is the most prominent one. Safari DC in Petworth closed recently. I believe there is at least one more in PG county.
The folks I worked with at the Embassy of Kenya said that Kenyans loved grilled meats, but they don't like the meat in the US, so going out to eat Kenyan food is a bit of a disappointment to them.
Swahili Village was profiled in the Washingtonian Best Cheap Eats article:
There are also a few Nigerian restaurants - this would be similar to Cameroonian food, in PG County: Kingsway, De Ranch, Queensway. I haven't been to them.
Cameroonian are Roger Miller in Silver Spring and Kitchen Near You in Hyattsvile.
Ghanaian: I think three still in DC, one in Adams Morgan (Bukom) and another on 14th St (Ghana Cafe), and on 9th (Rahama) plus in PG: Sahara Oasis, Pinks Cafe Afrika, Cape Coast Cuisine, and there is Rainbow in Gaithersburg. There are others of unknown origin. And then there is Aburi Gardens in Woodbridge, VA
Some will be threatened by development like Sumah's on 7th St which is cooking from Sierra Leone.
Roger Miller is awful. The service is beyond bad and they are always out of multiple menu items. The fish I had was nothing special and was very, very bony and the stew I had was also bland and underwhelming. As far as Ghana cafe, I have no idea how they are still open - my GF and I live a block over and walk by quite often and no one is ever inside that place.
They cater the hot bar at Whole Foods on P Street a couple of times a week and I have NOT been impressed with anything they serve. Granted, they may change some recipes and the food is not as fresh out of the kitchen, but still, it's pretty unimpressive. I honest-to-god believe that Ghana Cafe is a front for something, maybe money laundering, because I simply don't see how it stays in business with no customers on one of the most competitive food strips in DC.
Just like the LA Board, this board covers a lot of territory. Bolivian is probably one of the biggest communities here that I don't think is in LA.
My favorite, Luzmilla's, is in Falls Church , VA open 7 days from noon to 6pm (but check their schedule). They make their own saltenas, which are like football-shaped empanadas with a hard baked shell and hot soup on the inside.
Another good choice is Sibarita in Arlington, VA which has more normal restaurant hours and specializes in silpancho, which is meat and breadcrumbs pounded together until it becomes super thin and translucent. The wildest place is Llajtaymata (Falls Church, VA) where all the clientele is Bolivian and the food is unrecognizable compared to food from anywhere else. Very little or no English.
Continuing on a bit: Do you have Bengali? Chettinad? Palestinian? Eritrean? Jamaican? Jerk, real jerk, not oven baked? Trini? Senegalese? There are few Ghanaian and Kenyan places around, though none I recommend at this time.
There's a soul food joint here that specializes in Coastal Carolina Soul Food like shrimp and grits, lemon pepper wings, broiled crab cakes, called Oohhs and Aahhs. Maybe my favorite meal in the DC area.
I'm also not sure exactly what you have in the way of Lao food.....
I dont know. I was just out there a few weeks ago and both L&E Oyster Bar and Blue Plate Oysterette had some pretty good oysters. Granted its not about local stock so much but more about oysters from all over the country (which makes them more expensive). But they werent lacking for customers.
If only they had Hunan here like they do in SGV where you can find dozens of places that will serve exotic ingredients in true abundance and very spicy by default. Visited Hunan Chilli King while I was out there and Im jonesing for a place that serves chinese like that: drowning in hot pepper (without having to be fluent in Mandarin to prove you can handle it), a bit greasy and with no lack of animal part on the menu.
But then this question is about the yummy things we DO have of which there are many so I'll end my complaint there and echo whats already been said about Ethiopian, Salvadorean and MD crab based cuisines.
Although if someone knows of a secret place thats opened recently that approaches that kind of chinese cuisine in some way do let me know.
re: Insidious Rex
My short list of excellent Chinese includes:
Joe's Noodle House
Sichuan Jin River
Mandarin Gourmet Express
But please follow recs that have been posted so many times on this board.
I'll also mention a couple of outstanding sichuan dishes at Hong Kong Palace which are not on the menu, but usually listed in Chinese on the specials posted on the wall. Ask for the chicken with crunchy peppers and the 100 flavor chicken which is a salad that includes cold sliced chicken on the bone.
Both dishes will be served with a serious amount of heat.
The single hottest Chinese dish in the area will be the Szaechuan Spicy & Dry Beef Saute at Joe's Noodle House.