Saturday, December 10, 2011

america eats tavern

america eats tavern
405 8th street NW, washington, DC 20004
tel: 202) 393-0812


what was consumed: hangtown fry (with oysters, eggs, and bacon), vermicelli prepared with pudding (the grandfather of today's mac 'n' cheese), jumbalaya, strawberry shortcake dessert, wiiiiine~~~

i am a jose andres fan. let's just get that out in the open right now. i've been trying to get reservations at 'mini bar' for some time now and am willing to dish out bucks to eat there. and so, i'd say, jose andres can do little wrong in my book.

when america eats tavern took over cafe atlantico, i was a little sad because i enjoyed much of what cafe atlantico offered (mostly the guacamole. which i can eat gallons of). but when i heard about the join effort between jose andres and the nat'l archives, i was intrigued (as was the rest of the dc/metro community, i imagine). so, when friend made the suggestion and was able to score some reasonable reservations, we were on our way. yay!

we walked into the restaurant and were quickly seated in our seats. the interior of the space is the same as cafe atlantico (of course) in that there are multiple floors of dining, but the space is rather ... narrow. but wide enough to have some privacy among different dining parties. the walls are also filled with historic (?) american art reflecting some of the history of u.s. food. there were already quite a few diners present, already eating food. the interior seemed the servers quickly came to take our drink order and explain the concept behind america eats (their website does a far better job than i could, so i'm going to forego that story here. but it's really cool!).

m and i decided to split a 3-course meal between us. i figured that'd be enough food (and it was). we picked a few favorites (mac 'n cheese) and an oyster dish (i had read that some sort of oyster dish was a must! works for me! and yes, i read about food (and others' opinion about food) rather frequently) that i heard was really good. they also had great oysters on the half shell (which i enjoyed on a subsequent visit to america eats) that was served with a variety of citrus add-ons. i will have to say that the mac 'n cheese made with vermicelli is something i could eat every day. loves it.

for our entree, we chose the very shareable jambalaya (in fact, it's supposed to be shared). it was chock full of shrimp, sausage, and other goodies, served with a fresh salsa/salad of peppers that was a nice and cool addition to the piping hot jambalaya. the jambalaya, while prepared in the kitchen (of course) is plated right at your table. very nice, very nice. i will have to say that the jambalaya was a bit of the salty side. but it's supposed to be that way ... ??? frankly, i really would've have it another way. so much so that i had it again at a subsequent visit. haha.

and, of course, dessert. neither m nor i are big sweets fans. but we do appreciate fresh and in-house-made things. our strawberry shortcake dessert was fresh, light, not too sweet, and a nice end to our meal.

america eats has a nice selection of beers and wines as well, and options that aren't overly expensive. that's always nice to see.

i've both been back to america eats as well as visited the exhibit at the national archives (though, both times i've been to the archives, i hurried through the museum because i was running short on time. maybe the third time will be the charm? and really, i can't seem to see the declaration of independence and constitution enough! do you blame me? nerd.) and still look forward to going back. again. next time, i'll be sure to get something other than the jambalaya. but it's so good! sigh.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

the sweet lobby

the sweet lobby
404 8th street SE, washington, DC 20003
tel: 202) 544-2404
hours: monday-thursday 10am-9pm, friday-saturday 10am-10pm

what was consumed: macarons! i've had a variety of flavors, but my favorite is the salted caramel. by far. once, they didn't have any (they were making more) and i almost cried. seriously. k also tells me that their cupcakes are delicious. i trust her opinion. you should too.

i'm not big on sweets. i've even once said, albeit facetiously (because all presents are wonderful), that i'd waaaay rather receive a bag of beef jerky over a box of chocolates (and FOR SURE over flowers. flowers suck. no offense). i'm also the lame restaurant patron who will ask if a side salad or fries (always fries!) may be substituted in a price fixe menu. nevertheless, my desire to try all things food does not preclude me from trying delicious desserts. so, when k told me that i had to try the "perfect macarons" from the sweet lobby, i couldn't resist. per usual.

after a nice lunch, k and i were looking for a little something to have with our mid-day cocktails (yay mid-day cocktails!). she mentioned that there was a (relatively) new place on barracks row that i had to try. she knows that i'm not one for sweets (she really isn't either), but she said that i just had to try the macarons. i, of course, was happy to oblige. so, we head over to the north end of barracks row into a really tiny tiny store front, where we were greeted by a glass case of cupcakes, neatly lined up. looking oh so sweet and pretty. on the other side of the L-shaped counter was the glass case of the macarons we were there to enjoy.

i don't have lots of experience with macarons. i've had some delicious ones in san francisco, but that's about it? i understand, though, that the texture is just as important as the flavor of the macaron. agreed!

k and i got a box of 6 to share. the sweet lobby has a variety of flavors for you to choose from. some are more ... traditional flavors as well as unique and new flavors. we got a few of the more interesting flavors (including passion fruit and green tea). she told me that i just had to try the salted caramel, her favorite; we each got one.

the macaron shell was just perfect - light, soft and yet crisp on the outside, just the right texture. the filling was chewy, but not gummy, sweet, but not overwhelming. i'm glad k suggested i get the salted caramel - it is now my favorite macaron. a nice combination of salty and sweet. YUM.

the sweet lobby also has a neat story - be sure to check it out on their website (they do a far better job telling the story than i do).

k has since gone to, and returned from, paris and had authentic macarons. i'll have to ask her how the sweet lobby compares. in the meantime ... i'll take another salted caramel macaron, please! thanks ^_^

Sunday, July 10, 2011

thai x-ing

thai x-ing
515 florida avenue NW, washington, DC 20001
tel: 202) 332-4322
hours: tuesday-sunday 5:00pm-10pm


what was consumed: fixed price special dishes menu (chef's choice!) which included a cilantro and onion chicken salad, soup (2 kinds), squash curry, poached fish, mussels, noodles (like drunken noodles ... ?), and dessert (mango slices with sticky rice)

thai x-ing had been on my list of "must eat" for some time now. but the thought of making reservations well in advance and a fixed price menu was sort of intimidating (i'm not sure why). but when friend m invited me along, i was in!

our entire party met at the east u street exit, out of convenience (the nearest metro is shaw/howard university), then walked the loooooong walk (ok, it wasn't that long. but it was a hot summer DC night. blech) over to the ledroit park location. when we approached 515 florida avenue NW, a rowhouse turned restaurant, i was quickly overwhelmed by the delicious scents that were coming out of the place.

thai x-ing has a downstairs and an upstairs. after a quick peek downstairs (it's super duper tiny - looks like that's where the kitchen is?), we head up the stoop stairs, took off our shoes (as directed), then head to the upstairs dining area.

thai x-ing has take-out options (or so i hear), but the way to go is to make reservations (which you will have to do well in advance) and enjoy the chef's specialties available through the fixed price dining option. i found the multi-course dinner to be well worth the money that i paid. we even left with food to go! which means we had a lot of food considering the size and characteristics of our group (i.e., i was in the group and i eat A LOT). thai x-ing also does not serve alcohol, but is not opposed to you bringing your own and enjoying it during the meal. we surely did!

our meal began with a fresh chicken and cilantro salad. it was chock full of cilantro and onions, had a really fresh flavor, and was lightly dressed with thai flavors. while i love the flavor of cilantro and onions, i don't particularly enjoy chewing them. i.e., the salad was quite tasty, but i didn't eat a whole lot of it. the others at my table seemed to thoroughly enjoy.

next was the soup. we were given 2 kinds! one was similar to tom yum soups i've had at thai restaurants in the past (maybe that was what it was. i don't know what all of these dishes are called and our server referred to them simply as "soup" - haha. despite the heat of outside, the warm soup was delicious. i prefer it more spicy, but it was still delicious. a lighter broth filled with veggies, and welcomed hints of lemongrass. the other soup had a light broth with cooked cucumber stuffed with beef (or was it pork? anyway, stuffed with some sort of meat) which i hadn't seen too much of, but still greatly enjoyed.

next was a squash (i think) curry and poached whole fish (there were, like, 3 huge fish for the 8 of us. i love it!). this was, of course, served with (white) rice. we piled the rice onto our plates, then drowned them in the curry sauce that was flavorful and chock full of squash, veggies, and other goodies. and the fish! i love fish and wish i was better at preparing it myself. the fish came out with a sauce that we poured all of the fish. the sauce helped to take away what others would describe as the "fishy" smell (it's a fish, what else is it supposed to smell like?) and don't enjoy. anyway, we proceeded to devour the fish, leaving pretty much just the bones.

after the fish and curry, and we (mistakenly) thought we were finished with the main portions of our meal (we were pretty full), we were served baked thai-style mussels that had its own sort of curry on top of it. it's sort of hard to see, but there were grilled veggies that accompanied the mussels, which were topped with basil, garlic, etc. - the usual delicious toppings that often accompany thai cuisine. oh, and it was not one, but two plates of mussels. we were thoroughly stuffed by the end of this course.

and then, AND THEN, noodles. i love noodles! but i was so full, i didn't get to eat that much of 'em (we took the leftovers home), but i made sure to at least have a bite. so delicious! our noodles were similar to what you would get if you order drunken noodles (that is, the noodles were fat), but the noodles were covered with much more curry/sauce.

our meal ended with some dessert. yes, there was even dessert - sticky rice with sliced mango. the sticky rice was just the right sweetness (i.e., not a lot), and a great end to the meal, despite me already being totally full. i passed on the mangos (i'm not a fan of fruit AND i was overly full), but my party kept telling me to try as they were really delicious. i'm sure they were!

we all rolled out of thai x-ing, leftovers in hand, talking about how great our meal was. agreed, agreed, agreed!

do you have reservations for thai x-ing? do you have an extra spot? let me know! i want to go! delicious delicious delicious!

online: http://www.thaix-ing.com/

Saturday, July 9, 2011

medium rare

medium rare
3500 connecticut avenue NW, washington, DC 20008
tel: 202) 237-1432
hours: monday-sunday 5pm-10:30pm, saturday-sunday 11am-2:30pm


what was consumed: bread, salad, steak & frites (seriously, there are no other options) ... oh, and wine

i love the concept of medium rare: fresh ingredients, well prepared fare, set menu ... so, on a slow-ish weekend, c&j and i head out to get our fill of medium rare. c tried to call and make reservations (recommended), but couldn't get one (i forget the reason why). we decided to take a shot and wait for a table - are we glad we did!

we walked into the basement-esque first floor of the building to medium rare, already hustling and bustling with people. while we were worried about getting seated within a reasonable amount of time, the hostess assured us that we would be seated in 20-ish minutes .. and we were! (in the end, we resolved that that the tables turn over pretty quickly here, despite people taking their jolly time, because all of the time hemming and hawing over what to order is automatically cut out - good call!). the hostess showed us to our table, and our server soon came to our table, took our drink order, asked how we liked our steak cooked ("medium rare!" we all shouted. seriously), and off he went! that was it. simple.

medium rare was delicious. soon after our server took our "order," he returned with some freshly cut bread and butter (i know freshly cut because i saw the server actually cutting the bread) - chewy, crusty, delicious. then came out plates of crisp salad, lightly dressed with a sort of honey mustard. i'm usually not a big fan of honey mustards, this dressing wasn't too overwhelming with mustard flavor, so it was a nice compliment to the fresh greens. then, just as we polished of our salads, our server came with our plates of steak and frites. the steak was cooked to perfection - medium rare. the steak is served with a steak sauce that is liberally poured over the slices. while i'm not a sauce person, i happily welcomed the dousing of my steak with this sauce. j described the sauce like the rarebit sauce at meridian pint. i concur! finger lickin' delicious (to borrow a phrase). the frites were nice and crispy, well salted. and what makes a great thing even greater? seconds! that's right. after your first go at he steak and frites, our server came back with another serving of steak and frites and sauce. we proceeded to enjoy every bite (other friends who've been tell me they wrapped up the seconds to enjoy the next day. not us. all gone that night). we literally waddled out of there, totally content with the food we had just inhaled, knowing we would be dreaming of steak and frites that night. DELICIOUS!

so, let me know when you want to go, because i will happily accompany you. i can't wait to go again! yum!

online: http://www.mediumrarerestaurant.com/

Friday, July 8, 2011

luke's lobster shack

luke's lobster shack
624 E street NW, washington, DC 20004
tel: 202) 347-3355
hours: daily 11am-10pm

what was consumed: schooner combo (crab roll, maine root soda, miss vickie's ships, pickle), hurricane's soups (maine lobster bisque)

i didn't grow up on the same coast as the great state of maine. as a result, i'm relatively new to the phenomenon that is the lobster roll. and i am loving it! i have been to a few establishments and have indulged in their lobster rolls (delicious). and no, i have not (yet) waited in that super duper long line for the red hook lobster truck (but my time is coming). but it is true that 'the lobster roll' is becoming a standard addition to many places. also, there seems to be a sharing of NYC's cuisine with us down here in "the south" (well, sort of "the south" here in DC). i welcome them with open arms.

that is, i welcome luke's lobster shack with open arms. friend s and i were trying to think of a place to grab a good bite to eat. yay for the (then) newly opened luke's lobster shack! they have a pretty limited menu as it is primarily seafood rolls, soups, chips, and sodas (making it easier to make a decision because i have a hard time with deciding what to order). it's nice to have a limited number of things to choose from. i like that luke's specializes in something, and does it very well. when i visited, they were out of the shrimp roll. i take this to mean that once something sells out, they are out, until they get a fresh new shipment in. that's a good thing, right? right? right?

so, in the midst of the usually crazy busy chinatown area, we walked in to a pretty empty luke's (we luckily got in before the dinner/pre-verizon center crowd), ordered our meals from their window, and proceeded to scan the (sort of small) dining area as we had the pick of our seats (yay for early dining!).

i opted for the crab version of the schooner combo (s got the lobster, and she tells me it was delicious!). it was chock full of crab meat, lightly seasoned (with mayonnaise? butter? lemon? some combination of the 3?) on a lightly butter-toasted bun. i really appreciated that, while buttery, the roll wasn't dripping with butter. that just seems to take away from the flavor of what is supposed to be filling the roll - the seafood!

i also couldn't resist the lobster bisque. i know that the bisque is usually made with cream, and cream often upsets my stomach, but i was willing to take the risk. the bisque was delicious! creamy, just seasoned enough, filled with lobster meat ...

i will have to visit luke's again to try the lobster and shrimp rolls. and with the way my appetite has been lately, it will be during the same visit! yes, i eat a lot. oink oink. but i will make room for the fares from luke's lobster shack! nom nom nom ...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

graffiato

graffiato
707 6th street NW, washington, DC 20001
tel: 202) 289-3600
hours: monday-friday 12pm-5pm, sunday-tuesday 5pm-12am, wednesday-thursday 5pm-1am, friday-saturday 5pm-2am


what was consumed: fresh fennel vegetate (with stone fruit, hazelnuts, moscato), green salad (with apple, radish, mint, ricotta salata), ham plate (with prosciutto di parma, porcsalt holiday ham, and a prosciutto of the day ... i think), pork & beans pizza (with pepperoni, sweet peppers, white bean puree, arugula), prosecco "on draft", tony starr cocktail, and ff coppola 'sofia' can (with straw)

what is it about local 'top chef' cheftestants that i can't seem to get enough of?!?!

i really anticipated the opening of mike isabella's new restaurant in the dc/metro area. and then, when k sent me an article that said that graffiato had prosecco "on tap," i needed (not wanted. needed.) to go. immediately. fresh ingredients, great flavor combinations, and wonderful things to drink? no need to twist my arm.

k and i met up after a long day of work. when k arrived, she tells me, she had the pick of seats. when i got there (soon after! i wasn't that late!), the place was bubbling with people, and in the middle of our meal, i looked around to see the place pretty packed with people. good sign!

the graffiato bar is well stocked, including prosecco on tap! what a genius idea, one that totally makes sense and that i think should be more common (imo, of course). we sat on the other side of the restaurant, at the part of the bar that was in front of the woodfire oven. i love that the kitchen is exposed and works well with the exposed brick that adds to the decor of the restaurant. seeing all of the food being prepared also was an inspiration as to what we would ultimately order - it was really neat to see ingredients go into the oven and come out cooked, then to have the cooks plate the food using all sorts of different sauces with a variety of different colors and textures. i could barely contain my growling stomach.

k and i initially had a hard time deciding what we were going to order. pizza or pasta? veggies or not? yay or nay on the cured meats? everything looked really good and we were starving. we opted for a some veggies and cured meats to start. the server made sure to let us know that all of the starter dishes are served at room temperature. we weren't really sure what that meant, but we went with it. and, in the end, it didn't really matter. the fennel salad was delicious. the light dressing covered all of the salad's components just right and the roasted hazelnuts were a delicious addition to the dish (in fact, i would have enjoyed more!). the cured meats came out on a platter, all 3 kinds. each had a bit of a distinct flavor, all delicious. of the 3, the porcsalt was my favorite - salty and meaty. the meats were drizzled with honey (which we only later realized. i know. too much prosecco already - hahaha).

we also ordered a salad, which came out later than everything else (slight mess up - no biggie), but it was totally worth the wait. the light, citrus dressing , the small cubes of fruit, and the crumbled cheese made this simply salad simply delicious.

and the pizza! our pizza was delicious. you know me, i love pizza. the pizza at graffiato are made "for one" (i.e., one person could probably eat the entire thing, neopolitan (is that right?) style). i like my pizza with arugula on it (and k was totally cool with going along with it). the 'pork&beans' pizza used bean puree instead of tomato sauce, making the crust really crispy and flavorful. coupled with the salty pepperonis and the sweet peppers, along with the fresh arugula, each of the slides of pizza were quickly gobbled up.

graffiato also had a series of desserts, which we politely declined as we opted to drink our dessert calories (haha). graffiato, we will be back. and soon!

online: http://graffiatodc.com/

Thursday, May 5, 2011

cava

cava
527 8th street SE, washington, DC 20003
tel: 202) 543-9090
hours: monday 5pm-10pm; tuesday-thursday 11:30am-2:30pm, 5pm-10pm; friday 11:30am-2:30pm, 5pm-11pm; saturday 11:30am-11pm; sunday 12pm-10pm

what was consumed: some variation of the following - taramosalata (whipped salmon roe, citrus), green beans (sautéed, roasted garlic, dill) lollipop chicken (fried, honey, walnuts, greek yogurt), shrimp orzo (san marzano tomatoes, wilted bitter greens), grilled baby octopus (baby octopus, grilled to perfection), kokkinisto (braised beef short ribs, tomato, cinnamon, burgundy, evoo crisped fries), roasted beet tartare (dodonis feta, sea salt, evoo, onions), donuts, and monday half-price wines (yay!)

yay small plates, yay sharing, yay cava!

right as you sit down, a friendly server (all male, btw. i thought that interesting) comes to take your drink orders and drops off some tasty bites of pita bread with oil, olives, and tapenade-like spread. now, this spread. it is so delicious. a bit spicy, the spread ended up finding itself on all sorts of things as the meal progressed. apparently, you can purchase it retail (maybe at whole foods?). as for drinks, cava has a variety of specialty cocktails as well as the standard beer and wine. they also have a half-off bottled wine day which is always wonderful, especially because i think their wines are good and reasonably priced (even more so when they're half off!). cava also has their own lemonade (with and without alcohol). it was a bit sweet/sour for my palate, but when i mixed it with a glass of club soda, it was perfect (i know - weird), though that was on a non-drinking day. some cava lemonade, a splash of club soda, and a clear adult beverage sounds wonderful.

on my first visit to cava, it was a seafood day - taramosalata (whipped salmon roe) and grilled baby octopus. i love seafood (not see food), i love roe, i love octopus. so, while i'm biased in that i probably have a higher tolerance for bad seafood, i most confidently say that these two dishes were wonderful. the taramosalata was lightly whipped, great as is or spread on some pita. i probably could have eaten twice the amount that was served, on my own, in one seating (though sitting with k prevented me from such gluttonous activities. i share, people!). and it was just the right amount of roe-y-ness. if you don't like roe, don't try it! but if you do, or are curious, it's a must. the baby octopus was also delightful. grilled just enough so that there's a bit of char and crunch, fresh octopus that is soft and chewy at the same time ... and with some lemon sprinkled? wonderful.

at subsequent visits, i've had the pleasure of trying out more plates (not-pictured as where we were sitting was light enough as a diner, but too dark to take some good photos). as a whole, i can confidently say that i thoroughly enjoyed all of the plates that i have the pleasure of tasting. i would recommend getting a number of plates and sharing them among you (i guess that's sort of the point of tapas and small plates, no?). the ingredients are fresh, the dishes are well seasoned. and at the end of the night, all gone.

i would also like to note that cava has some great outdoor seating. of course, this also meant that people stopped by to say "hello" to k so often (k is really popular), but it was such a nice day it was worth it! i am more of a washingtonian than i'd like to admit (haha). all the better that the waitstaff is good about making sure we were well taken care of. that's important!

cava, i can't wait to visit you again!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

toki underground

toki underground
1234 H street NW, second floor, washington, DC 20002
tel: 202) 388-3086
hours: monday-wednesday, sunday 5pm-10pm; thursday-saturday 5pm-12am


what was consumed: toki hakata classic, kimchee ramen, curry chicken hakata, masumi vegetarian, pan-fried pork dumplings, fried beef dumplings, taiwanese style cold tofu, pickled cucumbers, dessert bento box, warm cookies
toki underground is FINALLY open!!! woohoo!!! toki's chef, eric, let m know that they were doing a sort of unofficial opening. bunches of us, then, put ourselves on the reservation list and counted the days. yeehaw!

i remember when, while still under construction, i had the pleasure of visiting the (then future) site of toki underground. i got the low down on what the space was going to look like, some of the knick knacks that they planned on putting up, and the flare that sort of represented their version of youth. the space was once described to me as "a boy-hood playground for me," and i think it pretty accurate (haha). the decor of toki underground is chock full of skateboards, bar-like seating, plinko, and japanese culture-infused figurines (ok, so i probably butchered what all of the things are called. sorry!). point is, the decor is a lot of fun, well thought out (minus the hooks for ladies' bags - i hear they're coming), and a great effort regarding the efficient use of space.

we started our meal with some appetizers. one of the things that they want to make sure they get good at is dumplings - a great pairing with ramen. i personally like the pan fried option the best. when we went, admittedly the dumplings needed some work - the deep fried ones were too fried and the pan-fried ones were fried strangely. BUT, m went back and said that they adjusted their dumpling times and now, they're just right. and delicious. that's great to hear! so yes, pan-fried pork dumplings is what i would recommend.

in addition to the dumplings, we also enjoyed some of their other appetizers. for some reason, i looked at the cold tofu and thought it said cold noodles (i know - brain fart). but that's ok becuase they were delicious. the soft tofu was in a more salty than sweet sauce, topped with all sort of goodies (fish flakes? what are those things called?). i could eat this all day long - i love tofu. m got the pickles (yay pickes!), cucumbers that were slightly pickled in the asian way (i.e., more salty, a bit sweet. not dill or sweet like american pickles). yum.

and then, the ramen. i love ramen (makes sense, seeing that i love noodles. i've mentioned that here, i think). all kinds. even the cheap-o top ramen (seriously, you can make it pretty darn tasty), though that's not necessarily my "go to" (obviously). i've had real japanese ramen (i.e., ramen IN japan) and have had delicious japanese american variations. i got the kimchee version of the toki hakata classic (a way for me to get a taste of eric's kimchee along with the ramen. the kimchee was good, but i prefer my mom's kimchee. isn't that how it always is?). the pork broth was delicious, full of flavor, and salty as ramen should be (i know that it's just the right amount of saltiness when i, in the middle of eating, have the need to dilute the broth with some water. i know. gross. but i like it that way (and i do it, hopefully, discreetly). leave me alone!). i wish there were more noodles; i will order the extra noodles the next time i go. the noodles, in and of themselves, were also delicious - just the right amount of chewiness, not soft and mushy at all.

m had the vegetarian option and it was GOOD. i mean, really good! the broth had a lot of flavor, resulting from seaweed/dashi, soy sauce, radish, etc., i imagine. i tried making a vegetable broth (also for m) when making seaweed soup once and it was hard (though i'll have to say that mine didn't come out half bad. i will try again). oh, and i like the pork broth. what's wrong with that? nothing! haha ... for me, i think if i was wanting a lighter ramen option, this vegetarian bowl would be great. lots of other little toppings came along with this bowl. i wish all of the other bowls of ramen came with it as well. a girl can dream~

w had the curry chicken ramen. i was curious as to how this would be, as japanese style curry has its own flavor and flare. i would say that the chicken was cooked well and the broth, while chock full of curry, was more along the lines of se asian-style noodles in broth. the curry wasn't overpowering, which is good, and a nice option for those who may want an alternative to the more pork-y ramen (i don't know who says no to pork, though). now, w doesn't eat a whole lot. but while i was barely halfway through my ramen, he had demolished the whole bowl and was on the verge of licking (literally) up the droplets left. now that's a good sign!

to round out the meal, we had dessert. i'm not really one for dessert, but the containers that the dessert came is was just so darn cute. the dessert bento box was filled with chocolate truffles, all a different flavor (coconut and lemongrass, some sort of liquor, miso, and sea salt). we all literally took tiny bites of them, just to taste. delectable. i didn't think i would like some of the flavors because they sounded so ... odd. i mean, miso powder on chocolate? weird. but delicious. i like miso, i like chocolate (for the most part), why not put them together! i didn't get to taste the milk and cookies (and yes, it comes with actual ice-cold milk), but the presentation (imo) was just lovely.

i think there are a few kinks that the staff at toki are trying to iron out. it's also super hipster (for those of you who are not into that), but it's also on H street NE, so i guess you can't really avoid that (no offense). nonetheless, it sounds like it's already a great hit (yay!) and have full confidence that it will soon join the others on the list of DC's "must-dos." yay yay yay! now, if only i could get a seat ... hee hee~

online: http://tokiunderground.com/