Though the design in Fire & Sage’s dining room exudes modern elegance, the eatery’s kitchen relies on a decidedly more Old-World device: a wood-fired brick oven. Serving as the kitchen’s cornerstone, the oven bakes signature flatbread pizzas whose flavors range from the classic pairing of mozzarella and basil to an eclectic mélange of sopressa, pepperoni, chorizo, and goat cheese. These upscale twists on finger food represent Executive Chef Stephen Malfatti’s entire menu of refined American classics such as crab-cake sliders on potato rolls, sage-marinated organic chicken over sweet-potato risotto, and sea scallops topped with wild-mushroom ragout. As a starter, the gooey artichoke dip was described as “so generous with lump crab, we imagine it comes from the recipe files of Daddy Warbucks,” by the Washington Post. Regional microbrews join domestic and international beers on the drink menu, which also boasts eight signature cocktails ranging from a tiramisu martini to a cucumber-based concoction with Skinnygirl vodka. Inside the Washington Marriott at Metro Center, diners sit at high-top tables in the bar area or in plush, lime-green booths with giraffe-print accents in the dining room. The colorful booths and chairs play elegantly against the golden-hued wood of the walls and floors, all of which are illuminated by oversize hanging lamps.
Owner Med Lahlou took the U from U Street and combined it with the beginning of his last name and a restaurant he owned named Tunnicliff's to form Ulah Bistro, according to the Washington Post. Ulah's chefs, who have more than 20 years of culinary experience, handcraft American cuisine, pleasing palates from coast to coast to the pizza-laden streets of New York and back.
Fresh seafood steers the menu ocean-side, with fresh shrimp, scallops, and calamari enlivening linguine, and seared tuna and Atlantic salmon sweeping up the hearty new york strip steak in their currents. In the eatery’s brick oven, golden-brown pizzas sport combinations such as Ulah’s signature medley of crab, tomatoes, olive oil, and parmesan. Alternatively, a make-your-own option lets pizza-lovers personalize pies with vine-ripened tomatoes to reflect their rosy cheeks, or sun-dried tomatoes to reflect their third-degree sunburns.
The idea for sushi restaurant Oh Fish came in a sandwich shop. As chef Kaz Okochi moved through the line choosing his bread and toppings, he realized: why not sushi? He spent years figuring out how to translate the concept of customization to the sushi market (not to mention how to incorporate the diversity of ingredients he had encountered in Osaka). The result is a restaurant where, in addition to dining on crunchy shrimp, spicy tuna, and other [signature maki] http://www.ohfish.com/sign-maki.html), customers can design their own rolls for chefs to create in front of them as they shout "Thanks chef, you da man!" Starting with bases such as spicy salmon or shrimp salad, they add veggies such as cucumber, kimchee, cilantro, or carrots. They continue with sauces, making tough decisions between wasabi soy sauce and spicy mayo before finishing with bread crumbs, sesame seeds, or Japanese chili-powder.
It takes more than good burgers and beer to keep a pub open for almost half a century. In addition to its quality eats and drinks, Sign of the Whale can attribute its longevity to its regular parties and constantly updated technology. The 18th Street landmark boasts an extensive menu executed by Head Chef Donny Frazier and anchored by its famed burgers, charbroiled patties topped with everything from fried eggs to tater tots. Bartenders wash down the hearty meals with craft beers that flow from taps at three different bars, including a private loft bar.
For entertainment, the owners mounted 16 plasma screen TVs around the bar’s circumference, including a 72-incher that gets fed a constant stream of live sporting events via satellite. When the Sun clocks out and night falls, they turn down the televisions and crank up the digital audio system, fueling birthday bashes and karaoke parties with powerful beats.
At both of Himalayan Heritage’s locations, chefs pull marinated chicken and lamb from charcoal clay ovens. The tandoori dishes are a staple of Indian cuisine, but Indian is only half the story here. Much of the menu is dedicated to Nepalese food, which, as Tom Sietsema explains in his glowing Washington Post review, is similar, but not the same. For an introduction, he recommends the momo—dumplings made of spiced minced chicken or vegetables that are steamed inside flour dough and served with aachar or chutney sauce.
Diners enjoy their meals at white-linen covered tables in a dining room with bright orange walls and a golden ceiling from which intricate lanterns hang. The space is flush with cultural artwork, including a large thangka painting that acts as a blimp in an emergency if you add enough balloons.
Before guests to Japone—or its less-formal sister eatery, Café Japone, located upstairs—even take their first bites, they notice the restaurant’s unusually colorful environment: an attached lounge area dubbed Sango Sho surrounds patrons in oceanic hues and fiber-optic luminescence, and regular DJ performances keep toes moving so that they don’t get caught by a shark. Karaoke kicks off at 9:30 p.m. every night in both Japone and Café Japone, giving guests two places to show off their pipes on a continually updated list of the latest hit English, Japanese, and Spanish-language tracks.
To keep mouths happy, Japone's French-trained chef fuses Japanese and French flavors. Entrees include curried jumbo shrimp and scallops, plated with fresh veggies, japanese mushrooms, and a dollop of rice, while sushi specialties include the Arizona roll with shrimp tempura and carrot.