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.
Traditional Indian spices flavor the tandoori, curry, and rice dishes served at Masala Magic. In the kitchen, chefs marinate boneless chicken in yogurt before sliding the dish into a clay oven, simmer pieces of lamb in a creamy spice-infused sauce, and dunk homemade cheese cubes into buttery makhani sauce. During the lunchtime buffet, patrons can gather curries, veggies, and mounds of rice to pile onto their plates or pour into the motorcycle helmet they prefer to eat out of.
Sunflower had an unexpected visitor in 2011. Their Asian-inspired vegetarian dishes drew in none other than the Dalai Lama. Though with a mission centered on peace and the preservation of nature, it’s not surprising they attracted such a guest.
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Flaxella sprinkles its menu of wholesome bites with flaxseed, a natural source of protein, fiber, and heart-healthy omega-3s. Start the day with an invigorating flaxseed mocha ($3.25–$3.95) or a sunrise sandwich, which tops a croissant with a fresh egg and a serenade from a rooster ($3.75). The veggie delight sandwich whisks antioxidants to mouths on a rainbow of red tomatoes, yellow squash, and roasted green zucchini ($6.50). Instead of dining in a sleeping bag, make lunch snugglier with the Dakota Roll-Up ($5.75) or a bed of romaine salad with a chicken-salad pillow and a flax-vinaigrette blanket ($6.25).
Behind an entryway guarded by brass and ceramic figurines, Rasoi—which means kitchen in Hindi—serves up traditional Indian fare bursting with aromas of cumin, garlic, and ginger. Black, lacquered tables populate with salmon and lamb dishes roasted in a clay tandoori oven. A full menu page of vegan and vegetarian dishes mingles fresh chickpeas and eggplant with dry mango powder and green cardamom. And, after sopping up the last of a three-course Thali feast, guests can sip on a sweet mango lassi or rub the mint-green walls to test whether they’re scratch-and-sniff.