Sushi, American Style
Sushi purists will find much to please the palate at Sticky Rice, like deep red tuna sashimi, delicately sweet squid, and tender broiled eel. But this eatery also specializes in playful fusion. Regulars swear by the Bucket of Tots, which is exactly what it sounds like: a heaping bucket of hot, crisp tater tots served with a signature dipping sauce. Wasabi-laced burgers, spicy-sweet ribs, and ahi-tuna sandwiches are a few other non-traditional favorites. And hosted events such as karaoke, bingo, and DJ'd dance parties keep the ambience here as unconventional as the menu.
A Haven for Meat-Free Foodies
"You're never stuck eating avocado rolls at Sticky Rice," according to the Washington Post, which named the spot one of DC's best restaurants for vegetarians and vegans. Instead, meat-free diners have their pick of options such as Garden Balls?a vegan dish consisting of bean-curd pockets that chefs stuff with shiitake mushrooms, peppers, and spicy rice before deep-frying. For extra (though un-vegan) zing, try the cucumber-and-cream-cheese G.I. Jane roll; it's rolled in a coating of crushed wasabi peas.
Above all else, Toki Underground is fun. The concert-poster wallpaper recalls a music venue or skate shop more than a restaurant. In that open-minded spirit, the chefs have built an eclectic menu with Taipei curry-chicken ramen and Taiwanese-style tofu.
Sake and Asian-inspired cocktails pull most of the weight at Kushi. The izakaya’s monthly sake tastings introduce guests to liquor and food pairings to the tune of live music. In keeping with the social atmosphere, many of the dishes are shareable, including platters of sushi, grilled skewers, and small plates.
Boneless duck and buckwheat noodles in a savory soy-based soup. Fried chicken tossed first with sweet teriyaki sauce and then a heap of egg noodles. At Absolute Noodle, these Asian noodle feasts are two of seven signature dishes. Seven is also the number of noodle styles that form the foundations for create-your-own dishes, ranging from fettuccine and ramen to rice or glass noodles.
Appetizers such as pork-belly sliders and shrimp croquettes afford diners rich noodle alternatives, and glasses of siam punch and organic iced green tea complement any edibles. Meals unfold in Absolute Noodle’s spacious dining room, whose copper walls showcase traditional Asian art. The soft, romantic lighting sets the stage for intimate conversations on dates or performance reviews.
Jerry Bailey began homebrewing with friends in 1989, hopeful that the craft would bring fulfillment that his 9-to-5 failed to provide. Fulfillment it brought, along with numerous batches of tasty brew. Bailey couldn’t keep his inventions to himself; he quickly decided to open his own brewhouse as well as distribute his goods to other local establishments.
Today, Bailey proudly stands at the helm of both Old Dominion Brewhouse and Old Dominion Brewing Company. In the pub, chefs add variety to liquid meals with food such as burgers, crab cakes, and thin-crust pizzas while 30 flat-screen televisions keep patrons entertained with sports. The chefs also exhibit flair for Asian cuisine, slicing and rolling sushi and offering create-your-own mongolian stir-fries. At the bar, eight handles remain perpetually reserved for Old Dominion's craft beers, such as the award-winning Baltic porter and the Oak Barrel stout, which is loaded with flavors of vanilla and the color brown.
The sound of slurping is encouraged at Daikaya, so don’t hold back when it comes to showing your appreciation for the chefs, who stick close to tradition. They spend 16 hours preparing the Chitan soup base and import all of their noodles from Sapporo, Japan. Be sure to peruse the menus fully—they’re glued onto Japanese magazines and comics.