Jireh Bakery Cafe specializes in traditional and Korean-style pastries, and the staff bakes more than a hundred of them fresh every day. They press custom paninis between freshly baked multigrain bread and dish them out with potato chips, which are what Mr. Potato Head uses during poker. The café offers a panoply of beverage options to accompany the food, from horchata and Korean tea to coffee drinks and bubble tea. Chilly treats of bingsoo ice balls combine shredded ice with fruits, syrups, and red-bean or green-tea ice cream. Jireh's bakers and cake artists even create custom cakes on request. The cozy dining room promotes a calm experience and sends out waves of free WiFi.
The sounds of sputtering grill tops, clattering utensils, and lively conversation fill the dining room at Honey Pig Gooldaegee Korean Grill, earning it praise from the Washington Post in 2010 as "one of the most entertaining barbecues around." The menu brims with both familiar and adventurous meats, including pork belly, beef ribs, and pork neck. Diners soak in Korean culture via both the food and K-pop, selecting a protein-rich spread and watching as the servers sear their orders on solar-heated tableside grills.
Little Italy Deli gives patrons a warm, fuzzy feeling with homestyle Italian-American meals. Piled-high sandwiches deliver packages of fresh greens and tomatoes along with prosciutto, smoked turkey, or mozzarella cheese over Italian sausage. Strands of linguini embrace simmered mussels, chicken breast, and tomato sauces, giving them one last hug before they depart to find their destiny on the end of someone's fork. Younger gourmands can check out a kid-friendly menu with spaghetti and meatballs and macaroni, making sure to save room for imported and house-made Italian desserts.
Dragonfly Bistro brings Vietnamese flavors and pop culture to America's capitol. The restaurant's chefs specialize in the country's classic recipes, making 10 distinct types of pho, as well as pork ribs and catfish in clay pots. They follow up savory creations with signature desserts such as cardamom-infused wild black sticky rice and banana sacs—fried bites of fruit filled with sweet cheese and coconut served over a dish of ice cream.
The spacious dining room boasts wide-open hardwood floors, providing ample elbow room and space to lie down for a post-meal nap. After the last drop of pho has been served, the open area transforms into dance floor, where guests can get down to DJ sets and live music.
Nuovo peppers its heavy Mediterranean influence––evidenced from the menu to the decor––with a delicious nod to pan-Asian cuisine. Italian and Spanish dishes explore the flavors of land and sea with lemon risotto and slow-roasted veal or lightly fried shrimp, scallops, squid, and salmon. A library of Asian entrees, meanwhile, chronicles favorites such as pad thai and deep-fried pork, as well as lesser-known dishes such as Korean bibimbap––a rice bowl with steamed veggies, egg, beef, and sauces such as spicy peanut or red pepper.
Across one of Nuovo's walls, monochrome depictions of Italian and Spanish landmarks inspire Old-World flashbacks. On the opposite side a bar hosts flat-screen TVs above an honor guard of bottles. Red-cushioned high seats face a broad line of picture windows, and a pool table engenders healthy competition beside a long squishy couch and a wall of paintings. Diners can also hone their dance steps or help spoons realize their passion for forks with the aid of live music on Friday and flamenco on Saturday.