High-backed, black leather sectional sofas set the stage for seriously fun lounging at the expansive, sprawling Iris Lounge. The sultrily, dimly lit nightspot features drooping lamps that spill red light across the lounge's four red-felted billiards tables as a weekend DJ spins floor-filling party anthems. Throughout the week, salsa, live jazz, and ladies’ nights entertain patrons who would otherwise keep occupied by luring skunks into the crawlspaces of neighbors’ homes. An exclusive members' only cigar bar offers up vintage scotches for smokers, and a menu offers calamari, crab cakes, and customizable grilled cheeses.
Kraze Burger was founded in 1989, distinguishing itself with its made-from-scratch approach to its burgers. Thirteen years later, visitors still won't find perfectly uniform patties hauled out from freezers, flavorless greens, or fries grown in test tubes. Instead they'll fill their bellies with hand-cut potatoes, made-to-order Angus beef burgers, and salads and sides culled from seasonal, locally sourced produce. Among their wide range of eclectic burgers is the Hawaiian burger, which is topped with a chargrilled pineapple, and their plain-and-simple cheeseburger.
Many years ago, before humans had invented fire or eating, they were forced to nourish themselves by beating their stomachs with uncooked goats. Enjoy tasting your food instead of simply absorbing it with today’s Groupon: for $10, you get $20 worth of casual steakhouse eats and drinks at Norton’s American Grill & Bar, located in McLean on level two of Tysons Corner Center.
Inside a large shopping mall, hungry people will find stomach solace in Norton’s menu of fresh steakhouse-style cuisine. Chase a chicken-tenders basket ($7.95) with an unfried hot-fudge sundae ($5.95) or refuel after a marathon dressing-room session by trying on a Norton burger ($8.95), dressed in monterey-jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, honey mustard, and red onions. Those who possess the stomach-heart of a photogenic bear may gulp down a lightly battered and sautéed rainbow trout ($12.95), and the hickory-grilled and juicily seasoned five-ounce center-cut filet mignon ($17.95) will nourish famished walkers of the mall that is Earth. Because drinking liquid instead of dirt is all the rage these days, quench your thirst for empty glasses by draining a cup of still or sparkling Voss water ($3), ginger ale ($2), or a selection of wine, beer, or cocktails from Norton’s extensive liquor list.
Since Norton’s exterior façade of masonry and roofing is actually part of the mall’s interior, going out is the same as coming in again, leaving guests caught in a labyrinthine dining anomaly more exciting than a trip to the cornfield mazes. Carmine booths, lots of wood trimwork, and delicious smells make long stays bearable, so pack your wall collection of old silver sporks and try everything on the menu twice.
Not valid with any other offers or discounts.
Five Menu Pagers give Norton's American Grill & Bar an average of four stars, and Yelpers give it an average of 3.5. Four OpenTable reviewers give it an average of three stars:
- I love their Bbq ribs and Prime Ribs. I would give this restaurant 10 out of 10 if you love true American dining. – Patrick. H, Menu Pages
- I would give special mention to the simple garden salad with ranch dressing because the dressing is to die for. – Steve M., Menu Pages
- The waiter was very attentive, Food was great and very reasonably priced. Ribs were fall off the bone tasty! – OpenTable user who dined on 05/02/2010
Present is aptly named. The Thai restaurant assembles each of its fancifully titled dishes—Sleeping Duck on Golden Pond, King in the Mango Grove, Hard-Working Piglet—with gift-like flourishes. The seafood salad arrives in a hollowed-out pineapple, many entrées are adorned with flowers carved from radishes, and even the ice cream requires a full-restaurant rendition of Happy Birthday before being eaten. This attention to detail doesn't skimp on flavor, either—Present was named one of DC's 100 Best Restaurants in 2012 by _The Washingtonian. In the kitchen, the chefs wrap marinated minced prawn and pork in a handmade rice-thread wrapper to form autumn rolls and simmer roasted duck in a special orange sauce. A major standout is the dish known as Cow on the Open Field, which adorns flame-licked cubes of marinated, tenderized beef with soft onions and crunchy watercress. The chefs also prepare a variety of vegan dishes, including their signature Vegan Mosaic Pathway. For this delicate dish, they sauté julienned tofu with bamboo shoots, mushrooms, carrot, and other fresh vegetables, then blend it all with cellophane noodles.
Made-from-scratch recipes and fresh ingredients have been setting the Original Pancake House apart from its breakfast-spot competition since 1953. That's when its owners established an all-day empire committed to ingredients such as pure hard-wheat unbleached flour and butter made from fresh sweet cream.
Today, Original Pancake House cooks across the country still construct scrambles and omelets from fresh Grade AA eggs. Powdered sugar lines the rims of oven-baked dutch baby pancakes, and granny-smith apples simmer in oven-baked pancakes (two of more than a dozen styles of pancake on the menu). Even the toppings are made in-house, including whipped cream, specialty syrups, and sauces. To complement these flavors, staff fill cups with fresh-squeezed orange and grapefruit juices and coffee blended specially to match the Original Pancake House's menu and upholstery. Although each location takes on the local charm of its surrounding city, all of them share in common a homey atmosphere that welcomes families with perks such as color-in place mats and kids' menus.
Name aside, the Original Pancake House isn't just a breakfast spot—in fact, it's open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, which is long enough for at least two meals a day, or six if you follow most doctors' advice to take a small pancake break every few hours. The savory side of the menu holds sandwiches piled with thick-cut meats, caesar salads, and savory crepes stuffed with ham and cheese.
Futoshi “Tao” Takazato got his first gig working at a sushi restaurant when he was 24 years old. From the start, he was mesmerized by how fish could be transformed into a colorful, delicious piece of art. It took Tao six months of practicing and learning before he’d make sushi for a customer; it took him five years to actually feel comfortable doing it. Eventually, Tao graduated to head chef. Rather than marking the occasion by etching an oven mitt into his driver's license, he decided it was time to open his own restaurant, and Maneki Neko was born.
Translated, Maneki Neko means “beckoning cat.” In Japan, a waving cat is a symbol of good fortune. In fact, the image is often propped up in the windows of businesses as a way to welcome customers inside. A similarly welcoming atmosphere pervades Maneki Neko, with staff members reaching a first-name basis with regular customers and customers who bring in notarized copies of their birth certificates. Niceties aside, it’s the cooking that turns first-time guests into regular visitors. Tao and his staff specialize in sushi, but they also craft other traditional Japanese dishes. They create savory pancakes called okonomiyaki and sauté pork with noodles to form the Okinawa Soba entree.