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Friday Question of the Day – What DC Restaurant Meets/Surpasses the Hype?

by Prince Of Petworth February 21, 2013 at 10:22 pm 211 Comments

For today’s Friday Question of the Day I’ve simply got a random proclamation for ya and I’m curious to know yours. I’ll say – Thai Xing is absolutely phenomenal and surpasses the hype. If you haven’t been yet – go. I had huge expectations and had heard so much about Thai Xing that I didn’t think it could possibly be as good as everyone said it was. But it was. And since we live in the land of best of lists and random proclamations – what restaurant do you think most meets or surpasses the hype it’s received?


515 Florida Ave, NW

  • anon

    good choice… Thai Xing is great and I agree.. surpasses hype.

    • ShawShank

      Agree with Thai X’ing. Probably my favorite restaurant in the city. Would also add to the list Little Serow, Sundevich, Central and Toki.

    • Yeah, it really does surpass the hype. I think it’s because they keep everything really simple – no pretentious staff, no “scene”, modest decor, and 100% of the focus is on the food.

      And the type of people who go there are folks who are there for the experience. It’s an out-of-the-way spot that requires planning. Keep the d-bag quotient non-existent, unlike the scene’y places downtown and on 14th.

      • kken

        Actually, to those of us that live by Thai X-ing and go there because it’s local find the people who come in from out of the neighborhood for the “experience” to be the d-bags.

        • lb

          Harsh bro. So walking 20 minutes from my neighborhood to yours to support local business makes me a dbag?

        • JL

          Ah yes, nobody should be allowed to travel outside one’s own neighborhood to eat out. And nobody should ever go to a restaurant for any reason other than convenience. Because if you do, you’re a dbag.

        • manimal

          i’m sure you can tell where everyone is from.

  • Anonymous

    You know what, I can’t think of a single one. But I cook amazing things at home so my expectations may be unreasonably high. And I haven’t been to Thai Xing yet.

    • Dave

      Always has to be one of these people responding.

      • fnt

        My thoughts exactly.

      • PeachyKeen

        ^^ made me laugh out loud. Lawd!

      • Anonymous

        they didn’t mention NYC however, so it could be worse. I’m sure that has happened in the responses below this that I haven’t read yet however.

      • Caroline (forgot to sign my name before)

        You guys are hilarious. I was just being honest! I can’t afford to dine out every week like most of you presumably do, so I haven’t had the opportunity to try every hyped-up restaurant in DC yet. I have been impressed by meals I’ve had in DC but they weren’t at the “must-try” places that this question addresses.

        • Anonymous

          Go back to cooking your amazing things.

    • Hey, I get where he/she is coming from. I have a rule where I try to order things at restaurants that I am not able to cook at home (like steak, which I cannot seem to make into anything but hockey pucks.) But, as you become a better cook, that list becomes smaller and you stop really seeing the value in paying $18 for pasta you can make just as well at home for $2. On the other hand, there is always something delicious any restaurant can make better than me. Like sushi.

      • Caroline

        Exactly, and that’s why I tend to put a higher value on service and ambiance. That’s really what I’m there for, not the food that I could recreate at home. And most DC restaurants have problems in those areas, especially the hyped ones that have to deal with lots of customers.

  • Anonymous

    This place is in Trinidad, yes? On Florida Ave? I’ve always wondered how they were able to get a restaurant smack dab in the middle of a residential area.

    • No, it isn’t in Trinidad. It’s on the edge of Bloomingdale on a part of Fl Ave that isn’t smack dab in the middle of a residential area.

    • mla

      it’s in Ledroit Park/Shaw.

      • This is the correct answer. It’s basically across from Shaw’s Tavern.

    • Anonymous

      That stretch of Florida Avenue is all zoned commercial despite being mostly row houses and apts.

    • Anonymous

      There used to be a 24 hour cafe on that stretch of Florida.

  • A restaurant that hasn’t received any hype (that I’m aware of) and was a great surprise for me was Tortino on 11th St. Decently priced, great Italian food. Currently averages 4.5 stars on yelp too!

    • Anonymous

      +100

    • kc

      Tortino’s is UNBELIEVABLE! The chef trained at Tosca, the pasta is homemade and the bolognese is equal to Tosca’s off-menu version. Plus no attitude. Love it.

  • RozCat

    Rays the Steaks fits the “appropriately hyped” label for me. I’ve never had a poorly prepared steak there and never feel like I’ve been robbed by the prices. At the end of the day, the “hyped” foodie culture is just annoying; as if every single meal has to be some blissful journey through a culinary wonderland. I enjoy flavorful, soulful good cooking— hyped or not.

    • Anonymous

      Yup. I haven’t been to the original Ray’s, but The Classics is my family’s goto place for special occasion dinners.

      • CDM

        Rays the Steaks is NOT in DC…

        • Anonymous

          Ray’s East River is in DC

          • Anonymous

            I heard it closed.

  • The fried spinach (palak chaat) at Rasika is hyped as a “must eat” dish, and it easily surpasses the hype. It’s one of the tastiest things you can get in DC.

    • Anonymous

      +123435465768

    • ^^ this is the correct answer ^^

    • ET

      I have had fried spinach elsewhere (not in this area) and when done right….yum, yum, yum.

    • dcd

      I feel the same way about the Dal Makhani and the green chicken at Rasika. It almost makes me look forward to jury duty. Almost.

    • Anonymous

      +++

    • meh. I love spinach, but not deep fried. To me this is a gimmick dish kind of like kale chips…veggies for people that would rather be eating fries. Rasika is great, but not for this.

      • Caroline

        That’s exactly how I feel about it. It’s good, but I prefer traditional chaat with chickpeas and potatoes. The spinach just doesn’t have enough texture and body. However, I was impressed with how well it was prepared– spinach is not an easy thing to deep fry.

    • This person is wise and beautiful. I love Rasika and go whenever I have the chance. Get the tasting menu and let them know that spicy is fine.

      • manimal

        every single thing i’ve eaten at rasika it’s been among the best meals i’ve ever had. even their drinks are great. to me they can do no wrong.

    • The Rasika fried spinach, green chili chicken and other favorites can also be found at Fusion in Petworth – and at less-than-Rasika prices.

  • anon

    Chipotle.

    • Lauriol Plaza.

      • ama

        Yuck. Have to disagree with Lauriol Plaza. I’ve been dragged there so many times by overenthusiastic friends and have never once been impressed.

        • monkeyrotica

          Sorry. Forgot the [/sarcasm] html tag.

  • Greek deli on 19th

    • +1. Worth waiting in line for!

    • Anonymous

      What’s good at Greek deli?

      • Anonymous

        I’ve never had anything bad. But the spanikopita is indecently delicious. We all go there to pick up lunch and then sit around the conference table moaning. “Oh my god. Oh… this is so good. Mmmmmmm…”

        • monkeyrotica

          Greek Deli is one of the few places where there are no bad meals. I usually get whatever the special is: lamb shanks, roast chicken, orzo, whatever. It’s also the only place in DC where I will wait in line for the food.

          • Anonymous

            That’s assuming you get there early enough. I usually see the grouchy old man in the Greek sailor’s hat crossing off the specials one by one as I’m waiting in line.

      • Anonymous

        Pastisio and Moussaka are amazing. The bread is fabulous. Order quick, though.

      • alexa123

        the lentil soup. my god, the lentil soup. and the big fat piece of bread that comes with! a filling, delicious meal for under $5 in downtown dc. i want to try the avgolemono but every time i go there, i just wind up getting the lentil! though this passover i’m definitely trying their matzo ball.

        • The matzoh ball soup at Greek Deli is amazing.

          • alexa123

            now i really can’t wait for passover. i just tried the avgolemono for the first time and i can’t believe i waited this long to try it. SO GOOD

      • Anonymous

        Everything is good at Greek Deli!

        The avgolemono (spelling?) makes the worst day better!

        • alexa123

          ok, maybe i need to try the avgolemono… today.

        • Proof, Restaurant Nora, BLT Steak, Central, Eatonville.

        • The avogolemno is to die for. Easily the best thing I’ve gotten at Greek Deli.

      • takeonebakeone

        Spanikopita all day!! And the baklava is the best I’ve ever had – I think it’s the honey. Hungry now!!!

    • Anonymous

      YES!

    • Anonymous

      Tuna Pita my friend! Who’s next?

  • CAV

    Pasta Mia

    • Kate

      +1. Pasta Mia is amazing.

    • TribalistMeathead

      +1

    • Anonymous

      Ugh, no way. The one time I went they didn’t wash the mushrooms. Eating dirt is just gross.

      I would include Pasta Mia on a list of over-hyped restaurants.

      • Agreed. I thought the post above was sarcastic. Then I realized that it wasn’t.

        • Anonymous

          Absolutely – tried Pasta Mia after hearing such wonderful things and it was a massive dissapointment. That is, a massive amount of disappointing food.

          • Been there twice, both times disappointed, and I think it’s overpriced.

    • Anonymous

      I’m always very shocked to hear people’s such varying experiences at Pasta Mia. I, for one, find the food to be extremely flavorful.

  • Not really joking

    Nearly every bulletproof carryout place.

    • CAV

      I wish that were true, as there are so many on Georgia Avenue and Upsure. Unfortunately, they are either too dirty for me to give a chance (I mean just clean your bullet proof glass) or I’ve tried them and found them to be of poor quality. Just last week I convinced some friends to get food from Dannies to give them a chance, then we watched them pull pre-cooked chicken from their fridge for moo-goo-gui-pan which tasted rubbery as a result.

      • Anonymous

        you gotta just get the chicken wings. Seriously, any carrout wings i’ve ever had have been truly delicious.

  • Manimal

    I’ve never understood the issue of hype. Say lots of people you talk to love a place, maybe it gets lots of press, and is always busy. So you go and you don’t like it. Does that mean it’s over-hyped? To mean it just means I don’t like it. Say no one you talked to likes a certain place you love? To me that’s fantastic because it means I won’t have to wait.
    I’ve been to Thai x-ing ( which I’ve heard people pronounce “ex-ing” …. It’s Thai crossing) and I really liked it. But it’s not for everyone. If you don’t like family style and not getting to be specific about what you get, you won’t like the place. If you need clean, exquisite, sterile environments, this ain’t it.
    Nothing will ever please everyone. And thankfully so.

    • Anonymous

      ” If you need clean, exquisite, sterile environments, this ain’t it.” You are definitely right about that. There were cats walking around the place when people were eating. My girlfriend almost freaked out. Really dirty place but extremely amazing Thai food.

      • AllTheThings

        Ah, that just makes me want to go there more!

    • +1

  • Anonymous

    Little Serow

    • dcd

      Was going to post this. It’s amazing, and worth the wait (and I wouldn’t say that about most places).

    • Yes. Amazing and well worth the price and hassle. I want Johnny to cook for me every night while screaming indie rock.

      • dcd

        The hassle factor is high, and you have to really, REALLY like spicy food. But price wise, I think it’s pone of the best deals in the city, considering you’re getting a meal cooked (and often brought to your table) by a 4-star chef for $45. That’s a steal.

        • Rich

          If you’re going to call a complex cuisine “spicy”, you probably shouldn’t go there in the first place. Thai food is more than firey curries and the like.

          • Anonymous

            whaaaaat? it’s bad to call food “spicy” now?

          • dcd

            Are you under the impression that complex and spicy are mutually exclusive? Don’t be a doofus. There are a lot of people who can appreciste complex food who simply couldn’t handle the heat of several of the dishes at Little Serow. If you don’t understand that, I’m not sure what you think you have to contribute.

    • hma

      Amen!

  • Spike’s new Public Enemy themed artisinal offal eatery, “Don’t Believe the Tripe.”

  • Anonymous

    Maple. Never had a bad meal there!

  • RescueDownDog

    So’s Your Mom (well in the Breakfast Section at least)

    • +1.

      I’d cry if anything happened to this place.

    • kken

      +1000

      So’s Your Mom is the only thing I miss about living in AM. OK, maybe I miss the mountains of jumbo slice paper plates on the street on Saturday morning just a little.

  • Estadio

    • kc

      For the over-hyped list, right?

      • JB

        Seasonal Pantry is an awesome experience that always lives up to hype.

    • anon

      estadio is waaay over hyped for what it is. The dishes aren’t interesting or particularly flavorful. (also my wallet got stolen there so it was a bad night, but before I noticed my wallet was stolen, I was disappointed in the food)

  • Anonymous

    Churchkey for beer. I’ve only had appetizers there (and they were pretty good), so I don’t know much about their food. Go for the beer, and get there early – it fills up fast!

    • The Birch and Barley pairing menu (downstairs in the restaurant of Churchkey) is pretty damn good from the few times I could afford it. I like doing that for special occasions.

  • brightwood

    Central. Delicious. Makes me want to go to Citronelle when it reopens — even knowing I’ll be forking out an entire paycheck just to feed my face. Sometimes, it’s worth it.

  • BenColHeights

    I went to Harrar Coffee and Roastery at 2904 Georgia Ave just to support a new local joint, but was blown away by how good the home roasted coffee and other goddies were!

    Now I can’t stay away!

    • Agreed. That coffee is like crack. I keep going back.

  • Great Wall Szechuan House on 14th St.! I will vouch for anything on their Ma La menu. I think their hype is artificially low due to people ordering the American dishes (general tso, etc.) and walking away disappointed. Their authentic dishes are absolutely delicious and spot on.

    • Hey logancirclegal :-)

    • youdon’tknowsichuan

      For someone who lived in Sichuan for a couple of years, Great Wall is disgusting. Their food is aweful, oily, and in no way authentic. (I ordering off the Ma La menu in chinese, so I would have gotten the authentic stuff). For good sichuan, go to Sichuan Pavilion. Best chinese food in the city by far.

      • Anonymous

        How about Mangialardo? That place is pretty fantastic and it gets virtually no publicity.

  • Anonymous

    Florida Avenue Grill — Im being serious. Yeah, the food is probably not the healthiest, but when you just wanna forget the diet for one night and get some delicious soul food, this place is the place to go!!

    • Anonymous

      +1

  • Anonymous

    Churchkey for beer.

  • bb

    Sundevich.

    • Anonymous

      how do you deal with all the garlic breath?

      • saf

        I dunno about bb, but I just ignore it. I live with a garlic eater. I hang out with garlic eaters. We will all have garlic breath, so brush your teeth and then don’t worry about it.

  • Anonymous

    I’m gonna say Suna. Yeah, I know there’s no hype surronding this restaurant, but there should be. It’s been two months and I’m still thinking about the root vegetable salad.

    • Anonymous

      Yes yes yes yes yes.

      • Caroline

        I can’t wait until I have a special occasion so I can try Suna. It sounds like such a unique dining experience (and when I’m done I just have to walk through the alley and I’ll be home!).

  • abefroman329

    Tony Cheng’s. Both the Mongolian barbecue downstairs and the dim sum upstairs.

    And while we’re in the neighborhood, Chinatown Express.

  • Anonymous

    POP BTW GREAT REVIEWS FROM THE NEWLY OPENED PH9 WHISKEY BAR ON 9TH STREET NEXT DOOR TO SEASONAL PANTRY. VERY HAPPY NEIGHBORS WITH THE $0.99 DRAFTS AND AWESOME RAVE WITH THE FOOD WHICH IS ALSO 50% OFF THIS WEEK ONLY.

    • Boris S. Wort

      Why are you shouting at me?

      • IT IS FIRE!!!!!!!!!!

        • Monkeyrotica

          +1

      • Anonymous

        it must be a very loud bar.

    • A few more abbreviations and misplaced superlatives and you’ll be ready to be a Realtor around here…just make sure you keep the cap lock on.

    • Anonymous

      perhaps a comment from the owners? can anyone else vouch for this?

      • anon

        Looks like barely disguised self-promotion to me.

    • petwurf

      when you’re in the MOOD (for a) LOUNGE . . .

    • Lisa

      MAYBE IF YOUR RESTAURANT HAD AN ADDRESS ON IT’S WEBSITE I WOULD GO TO IT.

  • Anon

    Churchkey

  • Lauren

    Toki is unbelievably good, and well worth the wait.

    • Yep, I was going to say Toki too. And now that they do carry-out, I can have my delicious bowl of ramen within 20 minutes!

      • akgreen

        +1 to toki carryout. id never wait two hours again when i can have it in 20 and eat it on my living room floor.

    • AllTheThings

      Also agree with Toki. I get sick of everyone complaining about having to wait and about how “ramen is broke college student food.” I definitely think it is worth the hype, and I’m someone who typically stops liking things when they get popular. :)

  • Anonymous

    Komi’s an obvious choice, but Komi it is. Just a tiny tick below Jean Georges in NYC, so a tiny tick away form the platonic idea of a restaurant meal.

    • Anonymous

      Komi is totally overhyped. Restaurant Eve or Rogue 24 are both much better, in very different ways

  • Anon X

    I dont feel like there’s much hype about any restaurant, really. Mostly just negativity. I think that DC gets a terrible reputation for food, when in reality, the entire DC Metro area has places on par with any other metro area.

  • Anonymous

    Komi. It’s an experience you’ll never forget, and in my opinion, the best restaurant in DC.

  • Atpdc

    District Taco. Can’t wait till PA Ave location opens up.

    • anon

      District taco! Can’t wait for PA Ave. The Chipotle on the Hill is the worst Chipotle I’ve ever been to.

  • mmk

    Rasika (both locations), Proof, Menomale, and Boundary Stone in the District. Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore.

    • Anonymous

      LOVE Woodberry! (I’m from Baltimore originally) I would eat there so much more often if only it weren’t for: a) my budget; and b) always getting closed out of a reservation because I stink at planning ahead.

  • J Bell’s Wing House off of Georgia Ave, right next to Howard Univ.

    It’s not on your radar, but it should be! So. Damn. Good.

  • Toki and Churchkey. Both worth their national and international adulation.

    • Toki is celebrated nationally and world-wide? I’m assuming that you’re being sarcastic. If so, good show.

      • e
        • Nice article. But does a rundown of trendy restaurants in a magazine = national and international acclaim? Pretty low bar. If so, Don Shula’s Steakhouse should be on the list because United Airlines’ magazine says it’s one of the best steakhouses in the country. I can also tell you some great dentists I read about there. I guess I see this as more of an example of hype than proof of quality. My experience with Toki was okay, but nowhere near worth the wait or the hype.

      • http://dc.eater.com/archives/2012/10/23/jose-andres-hits-toki-underground-with-ferran-adria.php

        Ferran Adria enjoying Toki. Bourdain is a fan. David Chang. These are important people in global food culture.

        Stop thinking that because things are “trendy” there is no larger value. It’s really funny how people visiting DC enthusiastically enjoy our offerings while the people who live down the street are f**king haters.

        • It’s great that food personalities like it. They probably didn’t have to wait 2 hours to eat there either. I guess I just don’t care what foodie celebrities think. Like I said, I think Toki’s okay, but not as good as I expected after all I’d heard.

          • dcd

            Okay. I wasn’t going to wade into this, but I can’t resist. If you are referring to Ferran Adria, Gaston Acurio and David Chang as “food personalities” and “foodie celebrities,” you’re makign yourself look silly. These are not just rich people who like to eat, or some hacks on the Food Network. Ferran Adria was, for years, the head chef of and inspiration behind the consensus best restaurant in the world. Gaston Acurio presides over an international restaurant empire, and has a restaurant on Pelligrino’s top 50 list (of the world, not the US). David Chang has one restaurant on the top 50 list, another in the top 100, and started out as the chef of what is likely the most celebrated ramen joint in the US (and another place that is more than worth the hype). His pork buns are one of the 3 or 4 best things I’ve ever eaten in my life. You don’t have to like Toki – everyone’s taste is different – but to summarily discount the accomplished chefs who do like it is ridiculous.

          • I’m glad you “waded in.” I’m familiar enough with the people mentioned to know that many take their opinions seriously. Great. That matters not at all to me because all I care about is what tastes good to me, not to Anthony Bourdain (who certainly is a food celebrity). If you take their opinions as Gospel, then great. Please accept my apology for not showing enough respect to your foodie idols.

        • And none of that constitutes “national and international acclaim” either. But I appreciate the irony.

          • kken

            um… so what DOES constitute national and international acclaim to you? recognition by the united nations and the hague?

          • petwurf

            methinks theheights is havin’ a bad day. somebody spray some avgolemono on ‘im . . .

          • Fair question (and I’m having a great day, thanks – just not a Toki fanboy). National and international acclaim would mean that people nationally & internationally know of and talk about something. When I travel to other cities in the US & abroad & O say I’m from DC, no one ever says “Is Toki Underground as good as I’ve heard?” My guess is, most people (foodies even) have never heard of Toki Underground outside of DC. Little Serow, on the other hand, is certainly more widely acclaimed. I get that people like Toki. Cool. But as with so many of the trendy things around DC, it just gets overhyped and a claim like that is perfect (although unintended) proof.

      • Anonymous

        The New York Times “46 Places to Go in 2013” specifically mentions Toki Underground:
        http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/01/10/travel/2013-places-to-go.html

  • Adams Express in Mount Pleasant for good, inexpensive, quick Korean (provided it’s still there — I haven’t been that way in a while).

    • DC

      It is! And it’s still great.

    • Anonymous

      Love Adam Express! Great Korean food.

  • I’ve had good meals at Range, Pulpo, and Founding Farmers. I really want to try Little Serow – nothing but good reports from people who have been there.

  • saf

    Cityzen – both the dining room and the bar menu.

    Corduroy – both the dining room and the bar menu.

  • RegO

    Et Voila in Palisades is very good. It seems to fly under the radar, partly due to its location.

  • Anonymous

    Moroni, baby. I eat the puttanesca there once a week.

  • Apparently this has just turned in to what restaurant do you like thread. Most of these aren’t hyped at all especially the ones that people are saying you’ve never heard of but will love. Anyway I think El Centro DF has been pretty hyped and is by far the best Mexican restaurant in the city. Well priced, clean, great happy hour and nightly deals. Always very good and quick service and the multiple dining rooms and roof deck are fantastic. It’s like going to Lauriol Plaza except it’s the opposite of going to Lauriol Plaza.

    • Anonymous

      “El Centro DF […] is by far the best Mexican restaurant”

      no.

    • AllTheThings

      Their happy hour is pretty fantastic. I can drink a whole bunch of those delicious $4 margaritas in an evening.

      But their regular menu is SO over-hyped. Well, I don’t know if it is actually hyped at all, but it not that great and way, way over-priced. I was disappointed by it.

  • N

    This is a great Q of the day! I think Taylor Gourmet’s hype is worth it. It’s so hard to find sandwiches like this in DC- they’re standard in the Philly/NJ/NY area. But I have to agree that Sundevich and Fast Gourmet are awesome, but definitely a different kind of sandwich.

    • D

      Couldn’t disagree more about Taylor. Place makes me think Philly sandwiches are supposed to be dry and flavorless.

      Agree with others about Little Serow and Rasika. Both incredibly hyped, but still somehow exceed the hype.

      • B –

        Taylor – totally dry and flavorless. Worse $10 sandwich I ever had. Subway would have been better.

      • Couldn’t agree more. Everything was so dry and way over priced. It’s actually difficult to find a good sandwich shop in these parts unless of course I’m missing something. Suggestions?

    • David

      I have to say that Fast Gourmet has suffered quality-wise as of late. I have been a huge fan since they opened and went regularly, but I think there was an ownership battle or falling out recently. I had their new sandwich last week and ended up throwing 3/4 of it away. Hoping that they recover…

  • Anonymous

    Kangaroo Boxing Club. Best brisket I’ve ever had. Hands down. People told me it was good, but I was blown away when I finally went.

    • Their johnny cakes are also worthy of the hype.

    • AllTheThings

      Yeah that place is great. Although I think of it as a hidden gem, not a place with a lot of hype.

    • Carmelized bacon!

  • AllTheThings

    I think that Open City is lives up to hype/popularity. The food is always good and well priced, and its a great place to go with a large group with differing tastes. And the draft beer is usually a good deal.

  • Izakaya Seki. Especially if you get a seat downstairs, it’s like you’re really in Japan.

  • akgreen

    Tapas, they are small plates but they cost the same as regular plates.

    • manimal

      i’ve never been to a place where the tapas cost the same as the entrees.

  • You know what, I have to say Mama Chuys. Partly because they have little hype, and partly because they are incredible.

    • What is incredible there? I have yet to have anything close to resembling incredible, although all I’ve had there is their tacos and a torta.

  • Thai girl here

    I’m sorry, Thai X-ing is the worst Thai restaurant I’ve ever been too. I’ve gone three times and never again. Their pumpkin curry isn’t bad, but the papaya and everything else I’ve had was just gross. Little Serow is good, but for if you’re willing to drive out to VA, you can find better and cheaper.

    • NoKethup

      Let us know those places outside of the District that you mention?

    • What about Duangrats?

      • ThaiLer

        Maybe a little too authentic for westerners. I didn’t even think it was legal to serve dung rats in the US.

  • Anonymous

    Pasta Plus in Laurel.

  • TakomaNick

    I love Thai-Xing. It’s a shame that so many people know about it now.

  • Anonymous

    Fiola did NOT live up to my expectations

  • kken

    Tossing my hat in the ring, Taqueria Distrito Federal surpasses what little hype it gets, compared to all the other taco places that have opened up in its wake.

    • kc

      +1 — and light years ahead of El Centro. Pity it doesn’t have a liquor license.

      • byob. Or at least I’ve seen people bring beer with them to DF and the employees didn’t seem to object.

        • they serve beer at the Petworth location, but you can’t have more than three.

  • Palena. Taking simple dishes like a burger or a roast chicken and making them into something exquisite…

    Totally surpasses the hype.

    • dcd

      +1. The roast chicken really is amazing. This is what happens when a former White House chef makes an everyday dish.

    • Good call. Palena’s burger is one of the best I’ve had.

  • Aprilintransition

    Fish in the Hood. I could eat their fried fish and greens every day.

  • takeonebakeone

    Graffiato – it’s definitely not a hole in the wall, but everything on the menu is amazing. Pork belly and the lobster risotto are 2 of my favs!!

    • takeonebakeone

      That and Horrace & Dickie’s on H St. Been there forever, and serve awesome fried fish sandwiches on white bread with hot sauce. I’ll eat that all day!

    • Anonymous

      overated you can get a better pizza at pizza paradiso

  • EarlyTimes

    Blue Duck Tavern. Would agree with Thai-Xing as well. To whomever mentioned Taylor…those are less than mediocre sandwiches in a town of mediocre sandwich places (I have yet to try Sundevich but hear great things).

    • hma

      Agree 100% RE: Blue Duck & Taylor.

  • Stephanie

    Tracy’s pizza at Chief Ike’s. Thin crust and oh so delicious! Yes this dancing dive bar serves food :)

  • Otis Gal

    Surprised no one has mentioned Two Amy’s. Delicious.

  • Anonymous

    The Atlas Room on H St NE is fantastic!

  • I really like Tono Sushi in Woodley Park. Kind of unassuming, not difficult to get a table, really well made matcha, good value on special rolls, and comfortable inside. I don’t like restaurants that try too hard or have “too many trappings,” I suppose, just a nice plain good meal.

  • electresssophia

    under hyped= The little Chinese/carryout place in Brookland at 12th & whatever street the gas station is on. If you’re looking for fresh vegetarian Chinese, this place can’t be beat. I only wish I knew its name.

  • Jenny Boom

    Meridian Pint! Fabulous. And totally agree about Thai X-ing. I wish it was still a hidden gem.

  • JGK

    Bibiana. We’ve never had a bad meal, or even dish there.

  • On the Hill

    Totally answering the FQOTD on Wednesday, but such is life.
    Overhyped: Founding Farmers. Food and service were both meh. Ambiance/decor was nice. But no reason for there to be so much hype/difficulty getting a reservation.

  • nc33

    Pete’s Pizza. Best damn pizza in DC.

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