Friday, December 26, 2014

daikaya izakaya

daikaya izakaya
705 6th street nw, 20001
tel: 202) 589-1600

what was consumed: sauteed edamame
with garlic, extra virgin olive oil, chili and lemon; chawanmushi (steamed egg and dashi custard with braised shiitake, parmesan, and enoki mushrooms); chicken kara-age with chili-kewpie sauce; mentaiko mini domburi with fish roe, green onion, nori, and soy-kewpie over a bowl of rice, pork and brussels sprouts skewer “okonomiyaki-style” with kewpie mayo, okonomiyaki sauce, bonito akes, and aonori

on the second floor, above the daikaya ramen shop, is the daikaya izakaya. they focus on japanese style "small plates" that draws from classic japanese izakaya dishes and a bit of fusion flair, creating deliciously interesting flavors all within the japanese lens. YUM.

so, when the baseball game we were supposed to attend got rained out, we head over to daikaya izakaya in hopes for a respite from the wet rain (we looked for delicious options on the green line). our group had already shared some ben's chili bowl chili fries at the ballpark, but really, that just whet our appetites and we were starving.

with it being a school night and because of the rain, daikaya izakaya had a few available seats (though the ramen shop downstairs was packed). we quickly sat down, was greeted by a bubbly and knowledgeable server, and ordered a variety of dishes with the intention of sharing. good idea!

and when you go, don't forget about the ramen on the first floor of daikaya (turn over is pretty quick, so stick around for a bit if there's a line). the broth is just the right amount of salty (yes, i recognize that japanese-style ramen is known for being on the salty side - YUM) while still being a rich pork broth. i like my ramen with extra veggies (the kitchen chars them just right before placing them in your bowl) and a side of the spicy pork paste that you can add as an option. sometimes, i will get the veggie ramen with a side of pork (chashyu). i don't know how they make the veggie ramen broth, but it is rich and super duper delish! photos forthcoming. 

i can't wait to go again. good times with good people and delicious delicious food! nom nom nom ... 


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

the coupe

the coupe
3415 11th street nw, 20010
tel: 202) 290-3342

what was consumed: kale salad, quinoa cake, shrimp and grits, grilled chicken, hush puppies ... 

i hear the quality of the food and service of 'the coupe' got better once they moved from an 'open 24-hours' format to a open early, close late plan. either way, i'm glad to see the coupe added as an addition to the 11th street restaurant options.

the first time i went to the coupe, c was still super preggers and mentioned to me that she wanted to eat the coupe's kale salad. before departing the wdc area, i remember hearing about the forthcoming addition to 11th street, so it worked out well that i could check out this new restaurant as well as feed a pregnant lady's cravings.

i sometimes dream about their kale caesar salad. it's so simple, but the light dusting on top of super shopped kale with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese on top is simple and delicious. one order is enough for a two-person appetizer, though i've frequently contemplated getting an entire order for myself. hahaha ...

in addition to the kale salad, the coupe offers a variety of new american fare. be sure to try the quinoa cake (not a dessert cake, and totally savory, of course).

the coupe is also a great place to sit awhile and grab a cup of coffee. they have a separate coffee bar area where you can order your cup to your liking or just grab a cup of the day's coffee. be sure to grab a seat and sit for a bit as you do a bit of people watching!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

district of pi

district of pi
910 f street nw, 20004
tel202) 393-5484

what was consumed: kale salad, hummus plate, meatballs, thin crust pizza, deep dish pizza ... district of pi has it all!

sometimes, all you want is a slice of some chicago style deep dish pizza and then a slice of thin crust pizza after a bit of salad from a place that uses fresh ingredients and offers kind service.

after an afternoon of jazz in the sculpture garden, our large-ish group (there were 6 of us) were hungry and wanted to find a place to grab a solid bite to eat. we decided on district of pi because it was close, they could accommodate our group, and let's face it, pizza any time any day is delicious

in addition to their delicious pizzas, district of pi has a great variety of salads and appetizers. i highly recommend their kale salad (i love kale) that has a light citrus dressing, and their olive plate. nom nom nom ... if i recall correctly, district of pi also has a nice beer selection, complementing pizza quite nicely.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

seasonal pantry

seasonal pantry
1314 1/2 9th street nw, 20001
tel: 202) 713-9866

what was consumed: the meal of the day

seasonal pantry? what is that?

i had heard murmurs about this place for some time. at what felt like the beginnings of the price fixe and "family dinner" popularity, i heard about seasonal pantry and wondered what their schtick was. specialty market by day, restaurant by night? i liked that they wanted to use ingredients that are "in season" when feeding their patrons and having a set and creative (and constantly changing) menu based on the culinary creativity of chefs is always intriguing.

so, when friend e wanted to go, i was happy to accompany her despite the high price tag of the meal (though, if you think about it, the meal includes the price fixe meal (we had probably 10 courses), wine, tax, and tip. so, yes, on the pricey side, but good for special occasions (or when on per diem - hahaha JUST KIDDING). we purchased our tickets for dinner in advance (from the seasonal pantry website) and patiently waited for our culinary adventure.

on the day of our meal, i arrived at seasonal pantry, though i wasn't really sure what i was supposed to do or where to go. the website implored patrons to be on time (i was a few minutes early) as they only have 1 seating. the market was closed and no one was there. turns out, i was early (for once! kdk, do you hear me? i can be on time!! hehehe). once the chef opened the doors, i selected our seats.

i can't even begin talking about how much i enjoyed the meal. from the fresh radishes that started the meal to the perfectly prepared steak medallion to the interesting combination of flavors in the salads, breads, spreads, and and and ... while i ended the meal stuffed, i was ready to start from the beginning. again. i appreciated that while the executive chef was in charge of creating the menu, he also had a small team of TWO that were learning the craft, sort of as his apprentices. he took great pride and responsibility to train and teach new chefs the craft.

the seating situation is also interesting. only 12 seats are available at the dinner table on any given night. you might be sitting with the other members of your party of 12 or, as was our case, you sit next to a couple celebrating a birthday, another couple celebrating a graduation, and a couple who just really enjoyed good food. what great dining partners! the great conversation as we got to know the people around us and as we chatted about what we were eating definitely turned out to be one of the great highlights of the meal.
i also watched the chef's "top chef" appearance (SPOILER ALERT if you haven't seen top chef season 10) and was devastated when he didn't make it. at all. i think he would've made a quality (and entertaining!) cast member. hehehe ...

i hear rumors that the seasonal pantry chef is going to close down this establishment. say it isn't so! i look forward to my next delicious meal there - CAN'T WAIT!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

queen of sheba

queen of sheba
1503 9th street nw, 20001
tel: 202) 232-7788

what was consumed: sambusas, the vegetarian platter, lamb tibs, and lots of injera. queen of sheba also has the whole wheat injera (i still prefer the regular. and queen of sheba's injera is super delish).

my new favorite ethiopian restaurant! the ingredients are fresh, the injera is delicious, the clientele is ethiopian, and the service is good. win win!

so, i super love ethiopian food. there's something about the delicious flavors that are made more delicious with the sourdough-like injera and made more fun because you eat with your hands!

as is the case other recommendations i've made at ethiopian restaurants, i suggest starting with sambusas, then ordering a veggie sampler and then meat dishes, depending on the number in your party. the sambusas at queen of sheba are fried to order, it feels, as they are piping hot when served. the wrapper is crispy on the outside and the lentils on the inside have a light and simple dressing that's just a touch peppery. foor the veggie sampler, you are given an option of 4 or 7. i like ordering their lentils and their split yellow peas - pretty standard findings in lots of other restaurants' veggie platters. but my favorite is always the collards. i might have ordered double servings of the collards and intentionally ordered the larger option just to do that. i'm just saying. haha. for the meat options, i like ordering lamb dishes at ethiopian restaurants because the spices that are used ensure that the game-i-ness of lamb, that people don't like, is minimized. also, be sure the tibs you order come in the berbere sauce (is that what it's called? the red, ethiopian curry?), sort of spicy curry. once, c and i ordered lamb and it came out in a broth instead. while delicious, i prefer the curry. and we still pretty much demolished our order.

and, always, share-sies

i find myself ensuring i eat ethiopian food at least once while in the wdc area. queen of sheba is also open for lunch, so be sure to stop by! and if i'm in town, CALL ME. i will certainly go share-sies with you.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


422-A annandale road, 22003
tel: 703) 942-6995

what was consumed: all you can eat korean bbq!

despite my blanket statement about wanting to refrain from eating asian food (as i knew i would be enjoying a lot of it in seoul), i found myself eating a lot of asian food. because i love it. so, when friends wanted to eat at the new-ish korean bbq place (near honey pig and in that same vein), i happily obliged.

once we made it out to annandale, rain and all, we were famished. good thing, though, because that made us ready for some all you can eat korean bbq! kogiya has a basic all you can eat option and a fancier one. we opted for the basic and that was more than enough (also because you could order more of everything!). we cooked our meat, talked about how our lives had changed in the last 2 years, and speculated on how our respective next 2 years were going to be. delicious food and great company - i couldn't ask for more!
as for kogiya's decor, there's also something quite nostalgic about sitting there. the round, can-like chairs that open up so you can put your belongings inside, the tables, the grills, etc. i couldn't help but to be taken back to all of the days, in seoul, sitting at korean bbq joints eating delicious food and among great company. ahhhh~~~

like many new restaurants, kogiya has a few service issues to hammer out, but so be it. that should not stop you from visiting and enjoying korean bbq, kogiya style.

Sunday, December 14, 2014


1323 connecticut avenue nw, 20036
tel: 202) 524-5210

what was consumed: fried chicken, donuts

fried chicken and donuts. together or separate, i will take them all please. at gbd (gold brown delicious), you can do just that.

e and i met up for HH/dinner in dc (the first time since Q8!) and it was also going to be my chance to meet the future mr. e (hehe). gbd seemed like as good of a place as any. i was running late (of course. what happened?!), but that have e and mr. e a chance to start their drinks. upon my arrival, we quickly agreed upon our order.

mr. e was on his own. he ordered the luther: fried chicken between a sliced glazed donut. and while that sounds questionable, trust me when i say that it looked totally delish (mr. e was a total gentleman and offered, but e and i declined. we opted for the deconstructed version).

that's right. e and i opted to split a whole fried chicken and donuts for dessert. the chicken was nicely fried, though i prefer my batter with just a tad bit more salt. that said, gbd also offers quite a few sauces, so perhaps the seasoning is intentional? point is, get the fried chicken, get the sauces, and enjoy! nom nom nom ... 

sadly, they were out of the donut i wanted (i should have reserved one as soon as i sad down! alas) and the glazed donut that i requested (to order) came under cooked :( our server, though, was really hlepful about the situation and successfully worked with the kitchen in order to secure us a delicious pb&j donut. and so, in the end, we were happy campers.

oh fried chicken and donut combo, i hope you're here to stay!

Saturday, December 13, 2014


1516 connecticut avenue nw, 20036
tel: 202) 232-4141

what was consumed: rice and noodle bowl

what is not to like about the chipotle model? and how about a south east asian cuisine version of it? yes please!

after a few episodes of "90-day fiance," j and i looked for a light, quick, and delish option for dinner before calling it a day. her residence in dupont circle offered us loads off options. as i had never been to (the?) shophouse, we both decided that it was time.

just like chipotle, you walk in and get in line next to their counter. you go through a series of options and build your bowl. noodles or rice? what kind of meat? which veggies? sauce/curry? here are my thoughts: as much as i love love love noodles, i think rice is the better way to go. and, off course, get as many veggies as they'll allow. and spicy? yes please. they also had this roasted or grilled or charred (i don't remember how it's described) tofu. veggie or not, i totally recommend it. tofu is delicious and whatever it is that they do to the tofu at shophouse, i wanted more. a lot more please!

shophouse is also a good place if you're looking for a bite to eat for lunch. my guess is that it gets pretty crowded in there, so adjust your timing accordingly. but fur sure include it on your list if you're looking for a quick and tasty treat! i'll for sure be back.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

we the pizza

we the pizza
305 pennsylvania avenue se, 20003
tel: 202) 544-4008

what was consumed: pizza! and salad. and homemade sodas

when spike mendelssohn opened good stuff eatery, we were all super excited. we were coming off of the top chef high and enjoyed what we perceived as the start of more celebrity chefs setting up shop in wdc. so when we heard about him opening a pizza shop right next door, our excitement continued.

and then, i moved out of the neighborhood, i moved out of the country, blah blah blah ... so it wasn't until a few years after we the pizza opened that i finally got a chance to enjoy. n recently moved to the area and i was more than happy to accompany him as he looked around the area that would be his home for who knows how long.

now, i love pizza. so, think what you will. hahaha.

we the pizza offers a variety of delicious pizzas. you walk in, see the options, and select slices. you can order whole pies, but i like that the 'by the slice' option offers variety and i can try all of the different combinations the pizza chefs have put together for me to try. and while my eyes tell me that i want to eat slice after slice after slice, my stomach and i performed poorly by consuming just 2 slices (plus salad - haha). still. sigh. this just means i have to go back again and try the rest! yes!

i also really enjoyed all of the homemade sodas. the strawberry lemonade was refreshing and fruity, not sour, and not sweet. this made me curious about other flavors - i can't wait to try them all!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

right proper brewing company

right proper brewing company
624 t street nw, 20001
tel: 202) 607-BEER (hehehe - clever)

what was consumed: grilled cheese sandwich! and fried chicken livers. nom nom nom. they have quite a selection of beers as well.

what a pleasant surprise to see how the shaw/howard area has changed!

friends that i missed so much over the past couple of years were finally all back in town (myself included). we decided to check out right proper brewery and all they had to offer.

we weren't sure what the dining situation was going to be like, so we made reservations. and it was a good thing. rpb has quite a bit of seating, but the seats seem to go pretty quickly. the eatery has quite a bit of seating in the back bar area. and because you can pretty much order food at any of the bars AND benefit from the expertise of the bartenders, that is my preferred seat. hehehe.

the food at rpb was pretty rockin'. i'm biased because they have fried chicken livers and i'm a huge fan. on top of that, they have an entire corner of their menu dedicated to variations on the grilled cheese sandwiches. with bacon and veggies, please, is my preference. and the results are delish - thick and nicely toasted bread, generous helpings of cheese, thick bacon (i opted for bacon, of course), and wonderfully seasoned greens that i could have eaten as an entree all on its own.

right proper also has a great selection of beers. their servers are well versed on what is good and what to recommend, so be sure to ask questions!