In spite of its name, Cafe Chocolate embraces the spirit of a Korean karaoke bar instead of a French coffee shop . The eatery keeps the nightlife alive until as late as 2 a.m. throughout the week, encouraging patrons to belt out their favorite power ballads while sipping a drink by the bottle, pint, or pitcher . To accompany the spirits and spirited singing, Cafe Chocolate also features a menu of eclectic comfort foods. Dishes such as the kimchi-spiked fried rice and the seafood pancake are unquestionably borrowed from Korean cuisine. However, the chefs also prepare crispy, Japanese–style tonkatsu as well as classic bar foods, including buffalo wings and curly fries.
Smoothie King smoothies combine fresh fruit, natural juices, and special nutritional enhancers into more than 90 flavors (you can customize, add, and subtract the extras) of icy delight, all of which focus on achieving one of seven nutritional goals. Try an antioxidant-rich Pomegranate Punch with pomegranate, bananas, blueberries, apple juice, soy protein, and Turbinado sweetener to stay healthy. Weight-conscious en-smuthiasts can trim down and float away with the Celestial Cherry High, packed with bananas, black cherry, papaya, Turbinado, and honey, and unpacked with fat. You can also customize any smoothie by adding enhancers or “make it skinny” by cutting out the honey and Turbinado.
Taco Del Mar's bright tiki-bar ambience nicely matches the vibrant colors in the food. Try to one-hand the Mondo burrito with meat, beans, rice, sour cream, and pico de gallo ($5.89), or flatten out the situation with a cheese quesadilla ($3.69). Taking a break from the tortilla, Taco Del Mar offers food in its primal pile form with a burrito bowl ($5.89) and two cabbage-slawed, chipotle-sour-creamed tacos ($4.39). Dive into an edible Mexican cornucopia with the enchilada-taco combo platter ($7.99). Those seeking a bit of satisfaction can nab smaller "Mondito" burritos ($3.99) or a taco salad in a baked, rather than fried, shell ($5.99).
At Rice Pot Asian Cuisine, chefs hailing from Hong Kong specialize in flavorful comfort food, regularly adding to an already extensive menu with newly devised entrees. In a bowl of soup, broth's golden window reveals pillowy shrimp wontons, green onion circles, delicate noodles, and slices of red-rimmed pork. Juicy bone-in lamb chops luxuriate in a spiced sauce, and vegetable tempura's bright hues peek through a crisp cloak of fryer-fresh batter. Clay pot dishes unite the likes of chicken, eggplant, and fish, or meat, seafood, and tofu. At the end of a meal, or at the start of meal on Leap Day when everything happens backwards, cr?me br?l?e cheesecake, mango mousse cake, and hazelnut mousse cake compete for dessert lovers' affections.
You may have to search a bit to find Joong Mi. Located on the basement level of a commercial building, it draws new patrons with its reputation, rather than with a fancy fa?ade. Once guests arrive, however, and find themselves surrounded by a haze of savory scents, they know they've found the antidote to their hunger. Korean noodles, soups, dumplings, and entrees enthrall all five senses. Bright vegetables and inky sauces juxtapose with an earth-toned dining room, and the specialty here is the combination bowl. It's served in a round, white dish striped with single dividing line, and includes a choice of two types of dishes?for example, sweet and sour pork on one side, and spicy seafood noodle soup in the other.
Korean specialties such as barbecue short ribs, kimchi, and?of course?tofu soup fill the menu at this casual restaurant with outposts in Annandale and Centreville. Among the chefs' crowning offerings are steaming bowls of bi bim bap that cradle bulgogi (Korean-style marinated beef) as well as heaps of bean sprouts, corn, and fried egg. Depending on personal tastes, the spice levels of each dish can be custom calibrated from ultra-mild ?white? to three-alarm ?spicy spicy.? But not all dishes served here come to the table piping hot, including the cool naegn myun soup, a refreshing summer dish loaded with buckwheat noodles, slices of beef, and hints of Noreaster.