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.
Samantha's Restaurant melds a variety of Latin American culinary traditions into a single menu rife with fresh seafood, sizzling fajitas, and stuffed poblano peppers. Washingtonian magazine highlighted the masitas de puerco, a traditional Havana dish of bitter orange-marinated pork, as well as the "peppy mariachi soundtrack" that fosters a lively atmosphere. As appetizers of citrus-and-ginger-infused ceviche disappear like a repossessed magic kit, diners can turn their focus to mesquite-grilled fish or a refreshing cocktail from the fully stocked bar.
The cooks at Sierra's Grill & Taqueria have plated heaping portions of classic and contemporary Mexican cuisine since 1989. Fish tacos with pico de gallo and guacamole join house specialties such as the Acapulco Princess—crabmeat, baby shrimp, and white-wine sauce wrapped in a flour tortilla—which is served atop a single pea. The cuisine masters also fuse American flavors into Latin American recipes, crafting empanadas stuffed with buffalo chicken and served with sticks of celery. Cocktails such as margaritas and beers such as Dos Equis and Shiner Bock complement each meal.
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.