Need some restaurant recommendations for DC

The Doors family is spending today, tomorrow and Tuesday with my family. Airman and I would like to take them to dinner to celebrate various things that need celebrating, but we’d like some recommendations.

We have food-preference issues going on.

My father doesn’t eat pork.
My mother prefers a “sampler” approach, with more, smaller dishes.
Airman and I will eat anything.
Aaron is kinda picky but is good about trying new foods.

We’re also not looking to spend a whole lot, so whatever it is has to be good and inexpensive (but still nice).

I was thinking dinner in Chinatown, but not being familiar with Chinatown here, wouldn’t know where to go, or even if it’s worth visiting. We’re staying at E and 21st NW, if that helps.



Jaleo is a nice tapas place downtown. A little of this, a little of that, and some nice wines makes for a nice celebration.

Jaleo is good. I’ll second that, unless Aaron is kind of a youngster who will crawl around the table and stuff, because Jaleo isn’t really a family friendly sort of place. Staying with the tapas theme, I really like Cafe Ole, which is up at 4000 Wisconsin NW, and its a bit more friendly in the kid department.

If you want to go Chinese, my favorite is City Lights, about two blocks north of Dupont Circle on Connecticut.

I’ll also recommend Jaleo’s. Try and eat reasonably early though, 'cause later on at night it can turn into a hip-young-singles-with-money-to-burn kind of place.

Do you do Sushi? If so Kaz Sushi Bistro is pretty awesome, and they usually have a lot of small non-sushi dishes for those that don’t go for the raw fish.

The Full Kee is one of my favorite Chinese places. It’s got a lot of weird stuff that you don’t find at more mainstream Chinese places, but also has the standards too. No alchohol. It’s less expensive than the othertwo places I’ve mentioned.

Avoid Adams Morgan on weeken nights, as it’s full of drunk college students. During the week or even in the very early evening on weekends it’s OK, and it’s lined with a lot of good eateries. Try Meskerem for Ethiopean (not for the unadventurous), or Meze for Turkish/mediterranean style tapas.

The Lebanese Taverna is also great and pretty much pork-free IIRC. Obviously you’ll want the DC location. Avoid the entrees and order a bunch of appetizers. The waiters will agree that this is the way to go. The entrees are only there for people who absolutely refuse to do the appetizer thing. Same advice for Meze above, BTW.

Hope this post isn’t too late to be useful.

Jaleo is also what ran through my mind up until the part about not looking to spend a whole lot. It’s not hideously expensive, but it’s tough to get out without giving over some scratch. Honestly, I don’t believe the more small dishes/sampling approach is consistent with cheap.


Lots of crazy chinese places. . .all somewhat near Jaleo if I’m not mistaken. Look for places with greasy ducks hanging in the windows.

You’ll get out of there cheap. Mom will be able to sample. Chinatown is kind of around G&H and 7th & 8th if I’m not mistaken – I kind of just play it by ear when I’m around there.

If Mom & Dad are squirelly, it’s not the nicest looking part of town, but it’s all right.

We ended up making a reservation at Kaz Sushi Bistro, but they’re not wheelchair-accessible. (I’m so used to most buildings being ADA-compliant that I don’t even think to ask anymore.) At any rate, by yesterday evening, we were all so exhausted, we ended up doing takeout Chinese.

I will keep these in mind for later, though, since Airman and I go to DC semi-regularly.