Using the same recipes they use at home, Herbal Thai’s owners prepare traditional Thai dishes using time-honored family recipes and incorporating scintillating Thai herbs and spices. Friendly staff members plop plates of pad thai and panang curry in front of patrons as fish fillets sizzle under a three-flavor sauce in the kitchen. Twice a month, Herbal Thai’s cooking classes introduce amateur chefs to the process of crafting Thai curry and soup using raw shrimp, vegetables, and mushrooms. During both class and dinner, a panoply of aromas fills the restaurant with the tangy notes of chili-lime dressing and curry powder.
Under the guidance of pie professionals Iris and Mike Wasserman, Pizza Stop's chefs handcraft batches of dough daily for pizzas in between artfully assembling subs, sandwiches, and pastas. The bacon pizza ($8.75 for 10", $14.75 for 16") rouses slumbering taste buds with a meaty wake-up call and the white pizza ($7.75 for 10", $12.75 for 16") eschews pigmentation for a savory, snow-hued canvas. Mouths can embark upon a Hellenic sojourn through the pita-swaddled chicken-souvlaki sandwich ($5.95), speckled with feta cheese, homemade ziti dressing, and tiny tomato Minotaurs. The steak-and-cheese sub ($5.75 for 7") quiets howling stomach sirens with a slab of 5-ounce rib eye and pastas such as lasagna ($8.95) toboggan down the esophagus. Diners can feel the breeze ripple through their knuckle hair in the outdoor eating area, weather and opportunistic clouds permitting.
Perch on high-backed chairs to peruse the exhaustive menu of Latin-American flavors and start with a beefy app such as the taquitos ($8.95) or the Mexican pizza with melted cheese, guacamole, and shredded beef and chicken ($8.95). Vegetarians can advance directly to platanos con crema y frijoles, an order of deep-fried sliced plantains sided with sour cream and beans for dipping ($6.95). For heartier appetites, try an order of fajitas for two. The combo platter includes marinated steak, shrimp, chicken, and pork ribs, served with grilled veggies (tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers) and south-of-the-border toppers (guacamole and ranchera sauce), all for $31.95. For an authentic mouthful of El Salvador, stick your fork into a few pupusas, cheese-stuffed corn tortillas with a choice of six fillings, served with pickled cabbage and carrots ($1.75 each). Diners will also find a variety of burritos, chimichangas, enchiladas, and egg-centric entrees.
The chefs at Max's Kosher Café craft a menu of eclectic comfort cuisine under the watchful eye of the Rabbinical Council of Greater Washington. Slices of rye, kaiser, whole-wheat, or pumpernickel bread juggle the harmonious entities of corned beef, pastrami, coleslaw, and russian dressing that make up the We Meat Again ($12.95), or they may strain under the weight of the roast beef ($10.95), which may be bumped up to 3/4-pound of meat ($5 extra) and can come with two people to help eat it. Shawarma ($5.50–$10.95) and falafel ($4.95–$7.50) adorn dishes in an array of fractional states, and two pieces of chicken ($6.95 for white meat, $6.50 for dark meat or an assortment) emerge from the fryer intent on reuniting with long-lost french fries.
Woomi Garden's expansive menu teems with authentic and fresh Japanese entrees and schools of sushi. Net a banquet from beneath the waves with an appetizer of lightly battered and fried soft-shell crab ($10.25), followed by a dive into special sushi rolls, such as the Rock 'n' Roll, a mouthwatering medley of fresh tuna, eel, flying-fish roe, and crab that sings Elton John songs ($13.95). Jaws begin courting a plate of unagi donburi, broiled eel on a bed of rice ($16.75), and customers use its latent electricity to charge cell phones. Meat dishes fill bellies with specialties such as tonkatsu, a breaded pork cutlet in tangy sauce ($20.75), and the vegetable tempura entree adds a pleasing crunch to fruits of the earth ($16.75).