“There are not many good, moderately priced restaurants in Chinatown, this place will be missed!”

asian spice
717 H Street, NW via Asian Spice

A reader reports last week while I was gone:

“I stopped by and the restaurant was dark with a closed sign on it. I ate there last week and the place was packed, any idea what happened?? There are not many good, moderately priced restaurants in Chinatown, this place will be missed!”

Asian Spice wrote April 12th:

“Asian Spice is closed. The employees wish to thank all our fabulous regulars, neighbors in Chinatown and all the other people who made Asian Spice a special place for the last ten years. We will miss you.
Best regards,
The staff of Asian Spice”

Updates when we learn what becomes of the prime space.

19 Comment

  • I saw the same thing last week – a sign on the door saying closed and a business card from the DC Office of Tax and Revenue. According to the Facebook post comments, the owners owed a LOT of money to the tax man, so they skipped town. Also owing the employees a few dollars.
    .
    I am sooo gonna miss that place. Besides the fab sushi, the staff was always great. Wonder where sushi chefs went, gotta get my Burn Baby Burn sushi roll somewhere. Sad Face all around.

  • Not surprised. The only time I hear about anyone going to Chinatown anymore is for a Caps game.

    • Tsar of Truxton

      There is a huge lunch crowd, tourists from the mall, caps and wizards crowds, concert crowds, etc. Chinatown may not be a trendy place to go out to eat, but there are plenty of people in that neighborhood every day of the week.

    • Happy Hour is big for obvious reasons. But it definitely fades out after on a Friday night as the crowds moves to U street/Admo/Dupont/home

    • “It’s too crowded – nobody goes there anymore”

    • Or for work. Or for a Wizards game. Or a Georgetown game. Or to catch the Chinatown bus. Or to visit the Portrait Gallery. Or to go to the Navy Memorial. Or go to a co-working space at WeWork or Cove. Shall I go on?

      Lots of people go to Chinatown, just not you.

    • Ally

      Still decent (and new restaurants opening up there). While it’s not my #1 destination (and wouldn’t be for a date night… mainly a lunch spot for me), I still think it’s probably the most populated metro stop in DC for restaurants and entertainment. May not be your jam, but it’s not exactly a wasteland.

  • I really hope this space dosen’t sit vacent for 4 or 5 years with big For Lease cardboards in the window.

    • With all the office space in the area, I can’t imagine it will take that long. If they weren’t paying the tax man or the employees, who else weren’t they paying? It might go fast casual for the office crowd (I honestly don’t know how big the space is), but I strongly suspect the landlord has good reason to take any reasonable lessee.

      • If I recall its a fairly good sized space. Bar area, first floor dining, and upstairs dining. Its been a few years though…

  • Penn Quarter/Chinatown is one of my favorite neighborhoods in all of DC. Some of my favorite spots:

    – Bantam King
    – Jaleo
    – HipCityVeg
    – Beef N Bread
    – Mings
    – Daikaya
    – Graffiato

    And, there are plenty of bars, including:
    – RFD
    – Flight Wine Bar
    – Denson Liquor Bar
    – Free State
    – Bar Deco
    – the Whiskey Bar opening in new Pod DC hotel

    Penn Quarter/Chinatown can hold its own.

  • Try Full Kee. It looks like a total hole in the wall, but the food is good (in my experience).

    • Also, Eat First is very good. I recommend the Seafood Chow Mein or the House Special Chow Mein.

    • Ooh, we used to go to Full Kee or Eat First all the time for their cheap lunch special, we loved it. Haven’t gone there since I changed jobs, glad to hear they’re still around!

    • That was your mistake, you went Full Kee. Never go Full Kee.

    • I like just about everything I’ve had at Eat First. Full Kee has some outstanding dishes – especially their dumpling soups – I find the rest to be pedestrian. I still like Charlie Chiangs for dimsum.

    • Agreed — Full Kee is lacking in ambience, but has some great food.

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