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droch May 14, 2014 12:47 PM

Hi all- I'm a video journalist looking to do a short piece on a hidden food gem at a restaurant in DC. I'm looking for a particularly wonderful dish that deserves to be talked about, but is currently flying under the radar. I'd love some suggestions!

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  1. echoparkdirt RE: droch May 14, 2014 02:07 PM

    what about the chicken tikki masala or chicken korma at salt and pepper grill on georgia? a hidden gem at a hidden gem

    the wings at kochix

    1. s
      Steve RE: droch May 14, 2014 06:49 PM

      oxtail brown stew at Pimento Grill
      polori with pickled tamarind sauce at Rita's
      Manioc with goat at Chez Aunty Libe

      1. ipsedixit RE: droch May 14, 2014 07:40 PM

        Face bacon @ The Pig

        Apple Pie @ Ambar

        The AYCE deal @ Ambar

        1. d
          droch RE: droch May 15, 2014 02:49 AM

          These are great ideas. Please keep them coming! It is very helpful.

          1. monkeyrotica RE: droch May 15, 2014 03:36 AM

            Kimchi bacon grilled cheese at Cafe Kimchi.

            1. 4
              4X4 RE: droch May 15, 2014 05:07 AM

              There's lots of good ones at Grace Garden (not in DC, but pretty close):


              1. alkapal RE: droch May 15, 2014 12:21 PM

                Amoo's Persian in McLean, VA -- their grilled fish kabob or their double lamb chops. Just won a local CityPaper award. Super food. Chef: Sebastian Oveysi. First dish I ever had there was a chiLean sea bass with saffroN and truffle oil marinade. AWESOME and swoon-worthy. it sold me on the place, which looks very so-so in a small strip center on Old Dominion. GO IN. DO NOT PASS GO! the lamb chops in the photo had some sort of pomegranate marinade, and fresh pom seeds, with pilaf having orange peel and other savory elements. chef is always experimenting with great creativity. good stuff. never disappointed. having a special dinner tonight, if you can wiggle in! (PS -- saffron ice cream is fabulous). just saw this: http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/bl...

                I'm also completely nutty about Bangkok Golden's crispy Rice Ball Salad with Sour Issan Sausage. KNOCKOUT dish. (Falls Church, VA).

                5 Replies
                1. re: alkapal
                  Steve RE: alkapal May 15, 2014 04:15 PM

                  Always hard to argue with that picture! Amoo's is a great address to know.

                  1. re: alkapal
                    Worldwide Diner RE: alkapal May 15, 2014 04:31 PM

                    Did you ask where their Chilean sea bass came from?

                    1. re: Worldwide Diner
                      DanielK RE: Worldwide Diner May 15, 2014 05:03 PM

                      We are still trying to educate Chef Seb on sustainable fish...

                      1. re: Worldwide Diner
                        alkapal RE: Worldwide Diner May 15, 2014 06:12 PM

                        i did not. there are sustainable sources. http://www.seafoodwatch.org/cr/Seafoo...

                        i presume chef is responsible as a buyer.

                        1. re: alkapal
                          Worldwide Diner RE: alkapal May 17, 2014 05:45 AM

                          There are sustainable resources, hence my question. I would love to go try their Chilean sea bass kebab if they're from sustainable sources.

                    2. d
                      droch RE: droch May 20, 2014 05:07 AM

                      Thanks guys. This is helpful. Any dishes that qualify in the "how the heck did they do that category"? Anything you'd want to see a video on about how the chef conceived of and makes the dish?

                      15 Replies
                      1. re: droch
                        Steve RE: droch May 20, 2014 05:34 AM

                        Your OP makes it seem like you are open to anything, but now you seem very closed off to a particular kind of restaurant, chef, and dish. All of the above suggestions are traditional or maybe traditional with a twist, and there are extant similar videos on the internet to any of those dishes.

                        The "how the heck did they do that" category is pretty slim these days with internet videos on all manner of cooking. And it definitely does not cover a journalistic view of a Jamaican family laboring in obscurity lovingly creating brown stew for an underserved population.

                        I marvel at the textural masterpiece that is the yum pla dook foo or yum pla krob at Thai Square in Arlington, as well as the Korean fried chicken at Bon Chon, which looks like it is wet and covered in sauce yet is dry to the touch.

                        But I'd be surprised if instructional videos can't already be found.

                        So what are you trying to do?

                        1. re: Steve
                          droch RE: Steve May 20, 2014 04:54 PM

                          Thanks for the note and giving me a chance to clarify. I think all of the above options are really good. Im just asking the question in a different way to see if it will jog other people's minds and get some more input. I'm definitely not looking for molecular gastronomy or anything terribly fancy, though if I found the right dish in that vein I would be open to it. I asked the question in a different way because there are some dishes that are not "hidden gems", but that we are interested to know "how they do it". One example of that is the spinach at Rasika. The Oxtail Brown Stew that you mentioned is potentially a great example of a hidden gem that also makes us question how they do it - and how they do it so well. Korean Fried Chicken - also that you mentioned- is another great example of "how do they do it". I'm not after anything fancy necessarily just looking for examples of great dishes that leave us in awe, no matter how traditional or fancy.

                        2. re: droch
                          ecjg00 RE: droch May 20, 2014 06:47 AM

                          At Rasika last night, we were wondering how they make their food so much more flavorful than any other Indian restaurant. Not sure if this is the kind of thing you are looking for, though.

                          1. re: ecjg00
                            Steve RE: ecjg00 May 20, 2014 11:17 AM

                            Where do you live? The suburbs have a number of very good options that I prefer to Rasika, though Rasika is indeed a good place.

                            1. re: Steve
                              souvac RE: Steve May 20, 2014 07:39 PM

                              Steve, what are your Indian options in NoVA?

                              1. re: souvac
                                Steve RE: souvac May 20, 2014 09:26 PM

                                Thanks for asking. I just had a terrifc Pakistani 'breakfast' at Toosso in Sterling (they serve this until 2:30pm on weekends). This includes halwa puri and nehari. also excellent from the regular menu served anytime is the qeema, and they make a mean biryani. Almost everyhting here is very good.

                                There is a bengali hole-in-the-wall in Arlington, Gharer Khabar. Start off with the moghlai parotta. The roast chicken, the fish curry (but not the dried fish curry), and most other items are very good.

                                Saravana Palace is a purely vegetarian South Indian restaurant. Dosas, chili paneer, chaat papri, chaat samosa (spinach) standout.

                                Hopefully luckyfatima will see this thread and expand upon my choices, she is far more knowledgeable.

                                If you are ever in Bethesda, then Passage to India is a knockout. I adore the spinach with buttermilk and peanuts, the baby gourds, the black dal, and order the spices and pickles from the last page. Thsi is a better meal than Rasika, and I've traveled there many times from Arlington.

                                1. re: Steve
                                  DanielK RE: Steve May 20, 2014 10:06 PM

                                  For Maryland, I second Steve's recommendation on Passage to India, and add Indique Heights in Chevy Chase. Stunning decor, and brilliant flavors.

                            2. re: ecjg00
                              droch RE: ecjg00 May 20, 2014 04:54 PM

                              Yeah - this is a great idea. Is it the spices, where they source their ingredients, the technique or a mixture of it all. Great idea.

                            3. re: droch
                              alkapal RE: droch May 20, 2014 06:56 AM

                              oh, maybe you are looking for the fancy "experimental food" chefs. here, we are talking good TASTING food.

                              1. re: alkapal
                                droch RE: alkapal May 20, 2014 04:56 PM

                                That's it - just looking for great tasting food that leaves us in wonder. That could be anything from fresh fruit with chile and lime on the street to the fanciest of composed desserts. I'm interested in everything.

                                1. re: droch
                                  alkapal RE: droch May 20, 2014 08:55 PM

                                  amoo's saffron marinades are intriguing. chef combines saffron with other ingredients for marinades, yet strikes a good balance of flavors.

                              2. re: droch
                                Elyssa RE: droch May 21, 2014 10:47 AM

                                I would love to see all the various ingredients that go into the Palak Chat at Rasika. It's certainly not flying under the radar but there has to be about 20 ingredients in there and I can only really identify about 6 of them.

                                1. re: Elyssa
                                  Steve RE: Elyssa May 21, 2014 10:50 AM

                                  Here you go:


                                  1. re: Steve
                                    hill food RE: Steve May 21, 2014 09:55 PM

                                    I coulda sworn there was a touch of balsamic vinegar in that...

                                  2. re: Elyssa
                                    revets2 RE: Elyssa May 21, 2014 11:43 PM

                                    Indeed a great dish. I'm almost sure it had a fair amount of shallots and not red onion as the recipe suggests.

                                    We had a couple of misses there the other day. The lamb mirchi korma was not as elevated as some of their other dishes and pretty pricey at $18 for four cubes of very overcooked and dry lamb. The bhindi was also a little flat.

                                    That being said I'm still dreaming of the dal dungharee and dum ki biyrani...oh and of course, the palak chaat.

                                2. r
                                  revets2 RE: droch May 21, 2014 11:48 PM

                                  The soup, but especially the coconut lime bao at Toki Underground in Union Market.

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