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Dandylion

Wow. Spent a quick weekend in Toronto. Dandylion was superb. Easily one of the best meals this year so far, and I have had a ton of amazing meals this year travelling the world. Everything was perfect, plating was beautiful. Of particular note there was a baby broccoli special with a nice garlic dressing. Absolutely delicious. I contemplated ordering a second to go. Also they had a gorgeous simple desert of Ontario berries with cream. Raspberries, blueberries, currants, etc. Superb. Highly recommend this restaurant.

Eating in or around Tsukiji Market

There are a lot of places that sell food on the street - sushi, grilled oysters and scallops, tomago, ramen, etc. You won't have an issue.

Feb 23, 2015
Adam23 in Japan

February 2015 Tokyo/Osaka Trip Report

It is warm and he uses red vinegar so it is red colored and quite seasoned in my view.

Feb 10, 2015
Adam23 in Japan

February 2015 Tokyo/Osaka Trip Report

Did a quick jaunt to Tokyo to dine at Noma and threw in a few days in Osaka and Kyoto for good measure.

Pretty much ate tons of sushi and overall food was outstanding. Here is where we hit up in no particular order:

TOKYO

Sushi Yasuda – I'm honestly not sure why I booked this place. I think it was the combination of the lower price point and the possibility to have a conversation with a Sushi Chef who is fluent in English. In hindsight I should have skipped this. The Sushi bar clientele was all American (just noting - I tend to prefer a more "authentic" experience where i'm one of the few English speakers in a restaurant (and yes, I realize that conflicts with my want to speak English to a Sushi Chef)). We did the omakase. I think it was 15 or so pieces and miso soup. The sushi was standard US quality and ok but very poor as compared to most anything in Japan. All of the sushi was pre-cut which detracted from the experience.

Sushi Iwa – One Michelin star – Lunch is a great value with 5,000 (12 pieces) and 8,500 yen (15 pieces) options. Quality was superb. 6 seats. All clientele was Japanese. A few friends in Tokyo and two concierges I know noted they are picky on accepting English speakers, though English was zero problem and the Sushi Chef had nice conversations with us. No one piece stood out as compared to the others but the quality was excellent.

Takazawa – I describe this as seasonal dishes with french influences. Wine list is extraordinarily marked up - 300%+ on every bottle, something I saw at no other restaurant I dined at in Japan. 4 tables. Clientele was 50/50 US/Japanese. Chef speaks some English and his wife speaks perfect English. Wonderful service. The platings are very intricate and a bit crazy. For example, a grilled fish was served on sticks next to huge pieces of red hot charcoal which heated the room. The room is set up with a small kitchen to one side so it is a bit theatrical. Very good food. We were torn between this and Narisawa but decided on this given the more intimate setting. Very enjoyable meal.

Sushi Kanesaka – Ginza Branch. One Michelin star. We were the only non-Japanese there for lunch. Superb sushi and chef spoke great English and was very friendly. The chef liked us so we got around 18-20 pieces for the 10 piece price which was a steal. The 10 piece lunch normally is a great value, so even without the extra pieces lunch is a great value. This is a larger sushi counter with two sushi chefs working – maybe seats 12 or so. Quality was excellent and we had some very nice Uni.

Gen Yanamoto – Former bartender at Brushstroke in NY who moved to Tokyo. Superb drinks focusing on seasonal vegetables and fruits. Gen speaks perfect English. All guests were American. Bloody Mary cocktail was among the best I have ever had. I would drink dozens of these. He likes using rare or hard to find liquors. Quite tasty drinks.

Lotteria - I love their shrimp burger.

C&C Fast food Curry - Curry with chicken tonkatsu. Delicious. Perfect post-drinking meal.

Noma – Noma. We dined in Copenhagen a few months prior and this was different but I think better. The setting and view was amazing. Service was outstanding. My wife had a sake pairing and I had the wine pairing. The sake pairing was amazing - tons of unique sakes and so delicious and pairs extremely well. One particularly interesting Sake was a red rice sake made by a female brewmaster outside Kyoto. The wine pairing was also quite good and had nice pairings. House Champagne was Prevost La Closerie, which is quite difficult to get in the US but extraordinarily easy to get in Japan (now I know where it all goes). All dishes were great and for me the tofu and walnut dish was a standout as was the aged duck.

Sushi Tokamai – Sushi Chef is wonderful and friendly and speaks perfect English. He has traveled in the US a bit. He talked to us most of the night. Loads of conversation and a very happy guy who clearly enjoys what he does. His assistants also speak English and chatted with us a lot. This sushi was rocking - the best we had all trip and it seems be firing on all cylinders. Every piece was good to excellent. It was also a good value at around $220 or so per person. All clientele was Japanese except us. He said he doesn't get many Americans or English speakers but supposedly Renee Redzepi was there the prior week to us. Omakase was great. Numerous cooked dishes, this night focusing on fugu every which way. Wonderful sushi – probably the freshest of all of the places we went to. Of note, his tuna is ridiculously good – easily leaps and bounds over any tuna we had on any trip to Japan. Life-changing good. I still remember each piece. So good. One Michelin star. Highly recommend it.

Sushi Sho Masa – I enjoyed this quite a lot and will go back on next trip. Quality was as good as Iwa and Kanesaka and a tiny step down from Tokamai. I think we had 30 or so pieces with lots of cooked dishes. Chef speaks English and other guests were from Taiwan that evening. The chef has a little book he brings out to show pictures of each fish. The meal was quite enjoyable - I liked how he served the same fish several different ways and did some unique pieces. Very good.

Rokurinsha Ramen - We hit it at 9 AM once and at 11:30 and had limited to no wait. This ramen is very heavy fish based – so if you don't like a strong fishy broth this might not be for you. It is hard not to like this, but many American palettes would not like this. Very good.

Kagari - Tori-paitan ramen. So good. Amazing chicken flavor. So good. Sorry mom, this beats your Chicken soup. We waited about 15 minutes near closing. There was something special about this place - the ramen was outstanding. Or maybe it was the cover of Sweet Child of Mine playing over and over again with the chef singing along. Or maybe it was the tiny closet of a place that seats maybe 8 at a tiny counter. Really enjoyed this a lot.

OSAKA

Fujiya 1935 - 3 stars - Probably the cheapest 3* meal I have had - great value. Very enjoyable space, great service and the food was good. Wine list is competitively priced. Had a very enjoyable pasta dish, a wonderful radish dish and a wonderful grouper dish. Solid food in a nice setting.

Hajime - Two stars currently - Beautiful space. Amazing platings. Extraordinary price for the meal - I think our most expensive meal. We did a wine pairing and a non-alcoholic pairing with our meal. Both were nice with very high quality wines/non-alcoholic drinks. Interesting the mark ups on wine were quire fair, with a few bottles prices less than I can buy them at retail in the US. The platings of the food are the star here - they are to another level I have never seen anywhere and intricate and a bit insane. Food quality was excellent - I particularly enjoyed how a different piece of bread came with each course. Of note, a lamb course was excellent as was a sous vide/grilled mackerel course. Food was excellent but a poor value. Also no pictures allowed - very annoying. It is not clear to me why this doesn't have 3 stars. Service and food was perfect.

Kani Doraku - We wanted crab for lunch. It is touristy. But it was quite good. We had crab grilled, steamed, in soup and sushi. All were tasty. We did a lunch sampler which was $20 a person which was a good value and filling.

Tako-yaki - We got them from one of the places with a long line. I didn't love them. I thought they would be denser like a hush puppy but instead they are creamy inside.

Daruma - Excellent kushi katsu. Everything was perfectly fried. I liked the dipping sauce. Was quite tasty after a night of drinking.

Mizuno - We wanted to try a okonomiyaki. Wait was short. We had one with shrimp and kimchee. Tasty and filling.

Feb 10, 2015
Adam23 in Japan

Noma reservations still nigh impossible?

Agree with this method. We snagged two as well; cancelled one.

Nov 02, 2014
Adam23 in Europe

Latest Opinions on L'Arpege??

We went to L'Arpege on Thursday. Overall a nice meal but in hindsight, far too expensive for what it is.

Some courses were extraordinary - the tomato consomme with vege tortellini; a pumpkin and walnut soup; the beet tartare; onion gratin and the vege sushi. All, among the best vege dishes I have ever had.

One course sucked, plain and simple - the vege merguex; great in concept; terrible in execution. We sent it back. Terrible, bland, no seasoning. Passard made us another. It was a bit better.

The proteins were decent. The lobster dish was overcooked. The monkfish was overcooked. The chicken was quite nice.

It's an interesting experience. You can chat with Passard for hours.

We didn't get our souvenir knives everyone talks about.

Nov 02, 2014
Adam23 in France

Porte 12 ,Paris

We had an excellent meal there on Friday night. Outstanding food. Each course was great to excellent; one of my better meals this year. Of particular note, the cod was outstanding. We had no issues with dishes lacking flavor.

Nov 02, 2014
Adam23 in France

Quick Trip Report - May 2014 Tokyo

Yes, most definitely. It was small and entirely full, mostly regulars. I thought lunch was a very good value - about $75 a person including a few beers.

Jul 01, 2014
Adam23 in Japan

Quick Trip Report - May 2014 Tokyo

Expected an older more sophisticated crowd than early/mid 20 somethings. I've eaten at dozens of 3* establishments but this was a dinner with lots of quite young guests.

Jul 01, 2014
Adam23 in Japan

Quick Trip Report - May 2014 Tokyo

My wife and I went to Tokyo for about a week early in May. It was a truly wonderful trip and I wanted to thank everyone who posts to Chowhound for all of the great tips. Our concierge at the Conrad handles all of our reservations effortlessly. We tried to go to a different type of cuisine each night to the extent possible. The food was amazing everywhere. No bad meals on this trip at all.

Here is the quick run down of some highlights:

Rakutei - We wanted to try a highly-rated tempura. Rakutei did not disappoint. Everything was excellent. The wife of the owner spoke some English and was very friendly. Everything is cooked by an older gentleman and his son and it was great. In particular, we particularly enjoyed the large live shrimp that they killed and fried up in front of us. Absolutely delicious.

Sushi Imamura - We wanted to go to lunch for some higher-end sushi and Imamura is open for lunch on weekends. We ate sushi at a number of places on our trip and Imamura was our favorite. The atmosphere is relaxed, the chef speaks some English and his wife speaks more. The restaurant has a nice relaxed atmosphere and we were the only non-Japanese at the restaurant. All of the others appeared to be regulars. Everything was outstanding. We started with a number of cooked dishes prior to the sushi courses. In particular, a grilled scallop was delicious. The sushi was excellent all around. The fish quality was superb and extremely fresh. I would highly recommend Imamura, which doesn't get much discussion on here, but we found it on tablelog and were not disappointed,

Sushi Yoshitake - We wanted to go to one "3 Star" sushi restaurant. Yoshitake was very good but on the price/quality spectrum, I don't think it was nearly as good of a value as some other places (like Imamura). Everything was excellent though, in particular the abalone dish with abalone liver, which was outstanding. Also, the smoked bonito they smoked in front of us was unbelievably good. Service was great. The chef is friendly. What we did not particularly like was that every diner was non-Japanese. We were there with one korean couple and one Chinese couple. Both of them were under 25 yrs old, which was a little odd as well. Felt a bit like I was at a prom dinner.

Den - Wow. This was great. They had one waitress who spoke wonderful English. The chef spoke some. Basically, the chef told us they do an few dinners a week where they put all of the English speaking guests together, so we dined with some nice Australians. This dinner was creative, delicious and fun. The chef has an amazing sense of humour and it shows in his food. Particularly good were some Wagyu beef dishes we had and the salad from the chef's garden. I highly recommend Den. It was fun and great.

Hirosaku - I wanted to try really good soba noodles and lunch at Hirosaku did not disappoint. There is no English spoken here, and the restaurant was very hot since you sit around the stove, but this food was great. Everything was great - we had some sashimi, tempura, the noodles, green tea ice cream and a few other items. The staff were friendly, taught us how to eat the various items which was helpful. We enjoyed everything and it was a very very good value at lunch.

L'Osier - I love French food. Numerous people told me that L'Osier was the place, so we had to try it out. Not sure what to say other than this had to be the most perfect meal technically and service-wise I have ever had. Absolutely everything at L'Osier is orchestrated perfectly and delicious. The facility itself is amazing. Gorgeous design, plush carpets, the finest linens, gold tiles in the bathroom, multi $$$ hand creams for after you wash, etc. etc. If you want to dine somewhere and feel like you "made it", this is the place. All of the staff was amazing. All spoke English, though the manager, from France, took a liking to us and we talked with him most of the evening. It seems the restaurant gets very few if any English-speaking staff. (I would have thought it would have been inundated by wealthy tourists, but I was clearly wrong). Every dish we had was superb and perfectly cooked. And beautiful - the plating and the plates they use make for an absolutely stunning display. I'm not even sure how to distinguish which dish was the best, since all were that good. I particularly enjoyed the abalone dish which was superb. Also, the cheese cart was excellent. As was the dessert cart. Everything was that good.

Jun 08, 2014
Adam23 in Japan

Help us find "Philly-ish" places in DC?

I think these recs are exactly right.

DC's food scene is very very different than Philly and will be quite a change for you. There really isn't a BYOB scene here like Philly and we don't really have 5 table restaurants like Philly. This is something lacking in DC but the lack of population densities and high rents make this hard for a restaurant to survive on these economics.

2. I will add that Rockville also has a lot of asian restaurants as well depending where you end up living - could be closer than VA. But generally speaking, unlike Philly there are no ethnic sections of DC. DC didn't develop that way because of its transient population but the enclaves of ethnic food mentioned are worth a visit.

3. I would add Lebanese Butcher for superb lamb and wonderful take out.

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Lebanese Butcher & Restaurant
109 E Annandale Rd, Falls Church, VA 22046

Tenley?

Masala Art is the best around there. There is Steak and Egg if you like filthy diners. The peruvian chicken place is decent too.

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Steak and Egg
4700 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016

Masala Art
4441 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, MD 20016

Tourist hot-spots - for both OOT and locals

How about the flocks of people from the city who go to the burbs? I live and work in DC. I think I rarely have a meal in DC other than lunch.

I look at restaurants two ways. Some are designed to attract people into town. The places you mention, Jaleo, Rasika, and Zaytinya, are designed to drive tourists into town to dine and eat at a scene. They are backed by popular chefs with big PR machines. Not saying the food is bad, I love all three, but saying you go to these places for the scene first, food second, and that is what they are delivering.

Then there are truly local restaurants. When the bachelorette party of 15 from Olney is holding up Yannis, then we have a problem.

I don't really have a problem with people visiting these places. DC needs the cash and I like to see restaurants in DC succeed, which makes it a better place to live. I'm ok with it.

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Rasika Restaurant
633 D Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

Zaytinya
701 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Soft Shell Crabs in DC

If you can get up to/metro up to Rockville, I had a fabulous soft shell crab at Bobby's Crabcakes in Rockville Town Center. Huge size. Perfectly cooked.

Blacksalt is also a very good choice.

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Bobby's Crabcakes
101 Gibbs St Unit C, Rockville, MD 20850

Napa: casual + great lunch after DiRosa Preserve

Also agree with Fremont Dinner. Had lunch there yesterday after DiRosa and the Brisket and pulled pork sandwiches were outstanding.

Jun 04, 2010
Adam23 in San Francisco Bay Area

Where can I buy clotted cream in DC?

If you mean real, British, fresh clotted cream - it isn't available. No one produces it in the states.

You can get the pre-packaged Devon Cream and Devon Clotted Cream at Whole Foods or Wegmans. It is decent, but nothing like the stuff you get in Cornwall.

Where do I find Passover groceries in D.C.?

Wegmans has a nice selections.

Heading to DC in April, Where do i eat for under $45/person?

Palena Cafe and Dino in Cleveland Park would be good options and about 15 minute walks from your hotel or one metro stop.

What type of food?

Ray's The Steaks is a mediocre steak house at best.

This post cracks me up and is also pretty much inaccurate since the new location opened.

1. Reservations are accepted.

2. No comment other than you are entitled to your own opinion. I think the steaks are in the top tier of what is available in DC. Always cooked perfectly as ordered.

3. The wine list is rather good with lots of unique choices. Not sure if we are talking the same place but since their new wine director has arrived, i'm impressed with the options.

4. Having been to way to many steak houses in DC over the past few weeks, I have to say Rays is easily the best value in town on the food quality/price ratio. I think I payed $44 or my fillet at Cap Grille last week, when the comparable choice is $30 at Rays (may even be less). That's almost 50% more for Cap Grille and in my mind, food-wise, Cap Grille not 50% better.

Sorry you didn't have an enjoyable experience, but that leaves more room for the rest of us.

Rambutans in DC?

Wegmans has them from time to time. Only place i've seen them in the area.

Drinks near Van Ness?

I'll second Acacia Bistro. Other option is Epicurean and Company at the top of the metro stop. It is more a dining hall but serves booze.

Your best bet is to really meet in Cleveland Park, lots of options like Dino, Palena, Ardeo, etc.

Business Dinner Recommendations - DC, Arlington

$40 is going to be the biggest issue especially if including tax and tip. For that price, I would try Clydes or Old Ebbitt. They have large rooms and cheaper menus. Maybe you could rent a room at Rays?

Best Thing You Ever Ate - VA/DC/MD/Baltimore Edition

Agreed. Love that tuna foie gras thing - probably one of the best things i've eaten ever anywhere.

Whole bellied clams?

Agreed. Also I have had them at Hanks Oyster Bar

Heritage India - given up

Also agree as well. We have eaten at Masala Art several times now and it's our go-to place when we don't feel like spending at Rasika's price point. Service and food are excellent and its a good value. Very very happy this opened close to where we live.

Great butcher in DC?

You can ask the butcher at Wegmans to order whatever you need. They will typically accommodate. Wagshals may be another option if you are in DC.

Looking for the best macaroons

Macaroons are typically coconut lumps, with vanilla and whatnot or the cans of coconut-based treats eaten on Passover.

Anyhow, for macarons in DC, I highly recommend the ones made at Cafe du Parc in the Willard. They sell large and small ones and are very good.

The best are the ones from Michel Patisserie. No storefront, but they drop off at ACKC some place in Restonr or they deliver. All are excellent.
http://www.michelpatisserie.com/main.htm

Advice needed along DC red line

What kind of food do you both like? There are a great deal of options on the red line. My quick thought would be Jaleo or Zaytinya in Chinatown for tapas.

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Jaleo
480 7th St. NW, Washington, DC 20004

Zaytinya
701 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Anyone tried the newly opened BGR the Burger Joint in Dupont Circle?

Been there a few times since it opened, primarily because its next to my office. I, and most of my coworkers agree, its better than Five Guys, but nowhere near the same league as Hell Burger.

The good: The fries are excellent, crisp, not greasy, nicely salted - very good. I would go back for these over and over again. The burgers themselves are good - I like the bun and the fixins are tastyand the patty is good quality, though not as juicy as Hell Burger.

The bad: Expensive. The lunch special is an ok deal but any other time, it is very pricey. I went with my wife last night, two burgers, to sides and drinks set us back $27.

Suggestion for a casual place to get a good piece of fish?

Blacksalt or Pesce would be my choice. Both are our go-to places when we are in the mood for fish.

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Pesce Restaurant
2016 P St NW Ste 1, Washington, DC 20036