When you get a hankering for Asian food, you will have to narrow down what your taste buds crave. Do you want Chinese? How about Japanese? What about Thai or Lao? There are plenty of different cuisines to chose from but the trouble is finding the top places that serve unforgettable dishes. Fear not because 10Best is here to let you and yours know about the top spots to grab Asian food in Washington, D.C.
Looking to enjoy some ramen? (And we don't mean the type you used to live on in college.) Head to Toki Underground for some delicious ramen and dumplings. Another great spot is Daikaya which features its own ramen shop and izakaya on two separate floors.
Sushi is always a favorite in Asian cuisine and you will find a great selection to chose from at Kaz Sushi Bistro, Sticky Rice and SEI Restaurant and Lounge.
One restaurant that has received a lot of buzz since opening in early 2015 is Lao cuisine-based Thip Khao. You will understand the chatter after sampling some of their dishes which can run from mild to hot.
Great Asian food is read to be savored at these top picks in the nation's capital.
SEI restaurant & lounge
Bathed in a white, cream and gold color palette, this Penn Quarter restaurant oozes sophistication along with a an Asian cuisine menu that will satisfy your taste buds. Sink your teeth into their sushi selections including a Kobe sushi roll with the famed meat, avocado, garlic crunch and kimchi or S.O.S. sushi featuring salmon, strawberries and avocado. You may want to book Chef Noriyaki Yasutake's omakase – Japanese for chef-selected menu items. This event is held Mondays through Thursdays and costs $50 per person before tax and gratuity. Reservations are accepted. METRO: Gallery Place/Chinatown. (2027837007)
Kaz Sushi Bistro
Born and raised in the land of the rising sun, Chef Kaz (Kazuhiro) Okochi has brought his own version of freestyle Japanese cuisine to the nation's capital. Opened in 1999, this delightful destination serves up lunch, dinner, drink, dessert and tea offerings. Take your pick of sushi-bar specialties, Bento boxes, salads, small dishes, and rolls. You will want to try their KAZ signature nigiri selections including seared albacore tuna, flounder, salmon, and smoked mackerel. Reservations are available for dinner seating only. Pair your meal with some saki. They have several different types to chose from and you can even buy it by the bottle. METRO: Faragut West. (202-530-5500)
Diners will find classic Thai cuisine blended with modern techniques and skills at this district gem. When looking at the lunch and dinner offerings, consider choosing one of their signature dishes like pineapple fried rice, piaa pow or gra prao ped. Save some room for dessert because you will want to try their selection of ice creams. If you would rather eat at home, they do offer delivery for a minimum order of $20 to a limited area between the hours of 5 to 10 p.m. Reservations are recommended. METRO: Woodley Park. (202-232-1781)
Showcasing a style of cooking known as Sanpi Ryoryon (creative Japanese cooking), this venue utilizes local and locally sourced ingredients and applies Japanese tastes to each dish. While some items do come from Japan, they try to get most of their ingredients from the United States. In Japanese, Sakedokoro means 'place of sake' and makoto translates to 'harmony.' While the menu can change daily and seasonally, they do serve a pre fixe menu for dinner and a la carte for lunch. If you plan to walk in to grab a table, you will be out of luck. They only take customers on a reservation basis. METRO: Farragut North to the D6 bus. (202-298-6866)
So this entry may not look like much on the outside but just wait until stepping inside. This casual, kid-friendly eatery serving Chinese fare is a must visit in northeast. The menu features appetizers and cold dishes, soups, chicken dishes, Szechuan and country style entrees, BBQ, rice, noodle and soups and desserts. Be sure to check out their Xian specials including cumin beef Chinese burger, Shaanxi style homemade noodle and noodle with ground pork and dry bean curb. Don't leave without trying the sweet potato fried pancake. It's worth the extra calories! (202-636-3588)
Serving a mix of American and Pan-Asian entrees in a fun and friendly atmosphere, Sticky Rice brings flavor and attitude to every dish. Known for its sushi bar, the venue has two pages of offerings for the raw meal including godzirra – a large crunchy shrimp with avocado and cream cheese. Their regular menu has gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options. Be sure to check out their events page. They offer fun gatherings like karaoke and a DJ dance party or deals on meals including half off sushi and kids eat free. METRO: Union Station. (2023977655)
There is something special about being able to see a master at work. That's the experience you will get watching Chef Hiroshi Seki serve up minimal yet exquisite Japanese dishes at Izakaya Seki. Try some of their raw offerings like Hokkaido scallop carpaccio or tuna sashimi. Additional selections await your taste buds under menu offerings of grilled/broiled, fried, steamed/simmered, rice/noodles and vegetables. Be sure to try the sake accompaniments including oshinko and tako wasa. Only open for dinner and drink dining, the menu is subject to change but check out the restaurant's Facebook page which is regularly updated with the fresh catch they will be serving. METRO: U Street. (202-588-5841)
Located near the Verizon Center, this casual venue features a ramen shop on one level and an izakaya – a Japanese comfort restaurant on the other. You will want to visit both. Stop in the ramen shop for a quick bowl of Sapporo style ramen noodles which are the same offered in Japan. You can also get a cup of sake to wish them down. Head to the izakaya for dinner and drinks. Try some fun bites like grilled oyster or yamaimo or skewers featuring chicken liver, zucchini or beef tongue jalapeno. You may just want to go straight to the rice and noodle dishes including cod roe spaghetti and pancit udon. METRO: Gallery Place/Chinatown. (202-589-1600)
With a passion to share her Lao culture and food with the masses, Chef Seng Luangrath opened up this restaurant in the Columbia Heights neighborhood in early 2015. Lao food is known for its heat so be sure to check out the 'Let's Go to the Jungle!' menu which showcases meals with ingredients including chili and sriracha sauce. For those whose taste buds prefer tamer fare, this menu offers patrons the option to chose their spice level. Pick mild, medium or Lao hot on such dishes as rice-cured tilapia, crispy fried intestine and grilled beef tongue. A different menu offers starters, soups and salads and large plates. Gluten-free and vegetarian options are available. METRO: Columbia Heights (202-387-5426)
There is just something about a bowl of warm soup and ramen that feels like home. Taiwanese cuisine reigns supreme at this H Street NE venue featuring ramen and dumplings. Try Toki classic, Taipei curry chicken, vegetarian, red miso ramen. Pick your choice of beef, pork, seasonal vegetable, chicken, or seasonal seafood dumplings that may be either pan-fried, fried or steamed. $5 will get you a half a dozen. Sides include cold tofu and kimchi. Wait times to get inside tend to be long so chose their delivery service Caviar to have the restaurant come to you. METRO: Union Station. ((202) 388-3086)
About Gina Gallucci White
Gina Gallucci White is an award winning freelance writer with articles appearing in such regional publications as Frederick Magazine, The Daily Record, Montgomery Magazine and The Gazette. She writes about a wide variety of subjects and holds a Bachelor's degree in journalism from West Virginia University. Gina has two kids, can tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi in a blind taste test and admits to knowing all the songs from Frozen.
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