Washington, D.C. Restaurants Becoming more and more International

Since the rise of our new president, Washington has certainly attracted more international cuisines to the city. In recent years, diners looking for a less predictable menu have migrated to the inventive and ethnic restaurants opening on and around the K Street strip.

These new entrants borrow from the rigorous authenticity of the nearby suburban immigrant communities — where Korean, Vietnamese, Taiwanese, Burmese, Salvadoran, Cantonese and Thai restaurants flourish in strip-mall storefronts. The Capital is also in the midst of a shift in food culture: new farmers’ markets; celebrity chefs, both home-grown and imported; and the healthy and engaged date-night meals of the first couple.  Here are a few we recently tried:

Againn (pronounced ah-GWEN; meaning “with us” in Gaelic) serves what you might call British soul food, with a few hints of post-colonial ingredients (namely, brushes with curry) thrown in. Crispy brussels sprouts with curried mayo at Againn.

When David Mazza and Casey Patten moved from Philadelphia to Washington, they mourned their new home’s notorious inability to produce a decent Italian deli. Their solution was Taylor Gourmet, which tries to capture the appeal of a Philly deli. Taylor Gourmet has perfected the simple deli equation — salt, pepper, oil, vinegar, shredded lettuce and tomato — each item delicious in its own right. The meat and cheese, though, are still the central players.

The Japanese restaurant Kushi has two dining rooms, split architecturally and gastronomically between a sushi bar and a robata, or grilling station, pictured at left. A plate of sashimi at Kushi.

Diners at Kushi. A plate of sashimi at Kushi.

Rasika’s menu combines reimagined and traditional Indian dishes. Palak chaat, sweet fried spinach, at Rasika.

Did anyone get a chance to check out the Buddah Bar we covered a few weeks ago?

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2 Responses to Washington, D.C. Restaurants Becoming more and more International

  1. Elias, my observations are yes DC is adapting to a diverse palate but some restaurants are representing a very superficial approach in their menus & dishes. I am indeed very picky and a global foodie but in DC we have a limited selective restaurants that we frequent where consistency is guaranteed, others I see come & go or do not meet my grading. Shama

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