Thursday, March 15, 2018

bantam king

bantam king
501 G St NW, Washington, DC 20003
tel202) 733-2612

what was consumed: chicken ramen, gyoza, fried chicken plate (with chicken drippings to rice, of course)

bantam king is owned/run by the same people at daikaya (one of my favorite ramen places in the city), so i was excited about trying out bantam king.

at bantam king, it's all about chicken: chicken ramen, fried chicken, etc. the various types of ramen come in a chicken broth. and while that might be unconventional for ramen purists, it's still delicious (haha). and oh, the fried chicken. to me, the fried chicken was a sort of cross between american style fried chicken, japanese style karage, and some chinese spices, altogether a great combination for light and delicious fried chicken. and for those who aren't fans of ramen (who are you and why are you not a fan?!), there is also a rice option. be sure to enjoy the punch of flavor thanks to the chicken drippings. YUM.

also a quick nod to the time and effort put into bantam king's decor. so many references to japan-based pop culture. love it!


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

il canale

il canale
1065 31st St NW, Washington, DC 20007
tel202) 337-4444

what was consumed: bread to start, pizza (la regina), lobster ravioli

delicious il canale! good for small groups or large groups, veggies or meat eaters, even those who are gluten free (i know, odd for a pizza/pasta place).

il canale has been on my radar for a while as one of the earlier places in DC that has a coveted D.O.C membership (and is part of the italian associazione verace pizza napoletana). that means different things to different people. for me, that means i can go to il canale and be assured that the pizza (and the rest of the meal) is going to be delicious. and it surely was!

m and i head over for some good food and god company. neither she nor i had been, despite our many collective years in the DC area. we made sure to order (and share, of course!) pizza and pasta. the pasta's sauce also went will with the additional plate of bread that we ordered (and devoured). so many yums here!


Sunday, March 11, 2018

the block

the block
4221 John Marr Dr, Annandale, VA 22003
tel571) 275-1135

what was consumed: chicken tacos and bahn mi from balo kitchen, brussell sprouts, and bubbletea from snocream company

looking for a fun place to grab a quick and delicious lunch in va? head to the block! located in annandale, in the midst of all things korean is a pan asian treat. whether it be asian-style chicken tacos, thai street food, or taiwanese-style shaved ice dessert, the block is the place for you! classmates and i went out to the block (not too far of a drive from FSI) for a delicious lunch, and a nice break from the rigors of japanese language training (haha).

the block is fast casual, so you should always find a place to sit. if it's packed (which it is likely to be), grab a drink and eye the menus until a seat opens up (and one will. soon!).


Saturday, March 10, 2018


808 V St NW, Washington, DC 20001
tel202) 847-4980

what was consumed: grandma hazel's zucchini bread, steak tartare, salad of winter citrus, sticky crunchy ribs, chicken mapo, gnocchi bokki

looking for a yummy place to have a nice dinner? check out hazel. they do small-ish plates (meant for sharing), so i recommend going with others who are willing and wanting to try a bunch of different things.

hazel doesn't have a super huge menu, but i was looking forward to so many things! highlights for me included grandma hazel's zucchini bread (i'm a sucker for foie gras mousse), the steak tartare, and the gnocchi bokki. definitely get that. a great fusion of the korean street food rice cake snack and italian flavors. YUM.


Thursday, March 8, 2018

the federalist pig

the federalist pig
1654 Columbia Rd NW, Washington, DC 20009

what was consumed: the sampler platter (your choice of 3 meats plus two sides). we got the ribs, brisket, and pork belly, along with mac 'n cheese and fried brussel sprouts

after a couple of years of delicious bbq homemade by friends (i'm looking at you, fleischmeisters), i found myself spoiled AND wanting bbq more often than not. i like dry rubs over wet, and i like the option of all the sauces (but not pre-drenched bbq, please). lucky for me, there's the federalist pig that will appease any bbq craving.

located on columbia road in adams morgan, i'd passed their sign and outdoor seating on a number of occasions. but it wasn't until a cold winter night that we finally made it over there. we squeezed in with the rest of the diners (there'll be more seating when the weather is good; there's indoor seating, but not a whole lot). the federalist pig has a bunch of options - a variety of different bbq-ed meats (chicken, turkey, and beef, though mostly pork) as well as sandwiches. i should also mention that they have a bunch of sides that even my veggie friends look forward to enjoying.

i've heard that the federalist pig serves until they run out of food. i.e., they run out of things, especially their popular dishes, before they close for the day. don't let that be you! run to the federalist pig and get in on that bbq action.


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

ivy city smokehouse

ivy city smokehouse
1356 Okie St NE, Washington, DC 20002
tel202) 529-3300

what was consumed: smokehouse fish board, crab stuffed grilled branzino

what do you know about ivy city? before this, i knew very little (i'm ashamed to say). but i'm glad i ventured out to this part of DC to enjoy ivy city smokehouse.

just like yelp reviews say, ivy city smokehouse is not a four-legged animal sort of smokehouse. rather, they specialize in smoking the delicious thing from the sea.

a and i were finally able to find a date where we were both free, so we decided to make a night of it. we head out to ivy city after everything we'd heard about ivy city smokehouse. we took the yelp recommendation and ordered the fish platter (sort of a sampler of the smokehouse's signature offerings). it's definitely meant for sharing (though i'm pretty confident i could enjoy it alone. it would take me a while, but i'm ready for the challenge!). the plate also comes with two bagels, but beware! don't fill your belly too much because you're gonna wanna enjoy other things on the smoke house's menu.

i look forward to going back to the smokehouse when the weather is warmer and we can sit out their outside deck, maybe when there's a band. and enjoy their all-you-can-eat maryland crab. and the fish board again. and everything else on the ivy city smokehouse menu. yum!


Sunday, March 4, 2018


4445 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008
tel: 202) 450-1312

what was consumed: fisherman style octopus, 20-year aged prosciutto, 72-hour beef short ribs, pasta tasting (our choice of 3 house pastas. i forget which ones we ordered), soft polenta with mushrooms, italian soft serve gelato, tiramisu panna cotta

happy birthday to me! c&j took us out for my birthday (and for their date night). j passed sfgolina on the regular and suggested this place. and what a delicious suggestion it was! turns out, sfgolina is in the family of what is becoming the best family of italian restaurants in the DC area (to include fiola mare and del mar, among other DC favorites). there always seems to be a dearth of good italian places in any area, so i'm glad to have included sfgolina included in my dining experience.

for dinner, bjl and i were delayed, so c&j started with a few appetizers of their own. lucky for us, we got there just in time to get a taste and they were super delish. we then continued in tasting through the menu by selecting the pasta trio option as well as some of sfgolina's popular main dishes. my thoughts? after all of my raving about how delicious and flavorful i thought everything was, my only complaint was that i wished there was more of everything (and more room in my stomach to consume). don't miss out on the pastas (get whatever looks appealing to you!) and def get the short ribs. YUM.

and don't forget about dessert! the soft serve gelato is simply delish.

see you again, soon, sfgolina!


Friday, March 2, 2018


423 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003
tel: 202) 558-9934

what was consumed: chicken spring roll, cumin lamb stir fry (noodles), wagshal's brisket

short for chinese korean, chiko is a welcome addition to the DC eating scene. located near eastern market on barrack's row, this fast casual restaurant can get super crowded (no reservations!), but it is totally worth the wait.

bjl and i head over for my birthday. while this was a more casual meal for a birthday, i'd been wanting to try out chiko for some time. i'd heard that one of the chefs is also the chef/owner of mandu. definite bonus points, imo. we walked over right church, beating the large crowd that almost immediately followed us (great timing!). we were seated at the "bar" (it is a 4-seat bar that is usually reserved for those doing the tasking menu, which i wished we were doing), and that was great because we got to see the kitchen staff put together all the meals.

some of the dishes (like the wagshal's brisket) really reminded me of some dishes i used to eat as a kid (though, admittedly, what i ate was not as fancy as chiko's version!). but the slab of butter that binds the bowl together was not only delicious, but also brought back so many happy memories of yummy dishes my mom would make in my childhood. YUM.

bjl and i gifted one of the "kitchen counter" meals to c and j for christmas and they totally loved it. note that it's a little bit of everything on the menu, so be sure to have an empty stomach and be ready to gorge on some delicious food! i can't wait to go back.

Sunday, February 25, 2018


915 F St NW, Washington, DC 20004
tel202) 849-6933

what was consumed: succotash's happy hour menu (smoked chicken wings, pulled pork sliders, pimento cheese, deviled eggs).

may the influence of korean america continue, this time with chef edward lee! (and may my support of them live long!). i've been a fan since top chef (of course. i've even read his book!), but this was the first time i got a chance to dine at any one of his establishments. i'm so glad he made it to the DC area!

k and i met at succotash, opted to sit at the bar, and proceeded to order the entire HH menu ... and we were not disappointed. even someone who is not a fan of chicken wings (k, not me) gobbled quite a few down. and if the deviled eggs aren't on the menu, be sure to ask for them: each bite has a hidden but delicious bit of kimchee. yum.

succotash is located in a really convenient location (i.e. take public transportation. parking in chinatown is sometimes difficult), an easy location to suggest for people to meet. it's located in a former bank location and it looks like they've kept some of the previous architecture/style, which i actually really appreciated. its location also means that the professionals from around town will also gather at succotash (understandably). but don't mind all of the suits when you go. just look forward to the tasty treats!

the national harbor also has a location, under the same "succotash" name. i'll have to get out there one of these days to see how it compares. i'm sure it, too, will be great!