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Kaz Sushi Bistro veteran to open Takumi in Falls Church

Posted by / Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Jay Yu

Jay Yu readies to open Takumi in Falls Church. Photo by Laura Hayes.

By Laura Hayes

Jay Yu may have 13 years of experience behind the sushi bar at Kaz Sushi Bistro in downtown D.C., but his sushi beginnings are much more humble. After moving to the area from China in his 20s, Yu took a job making sushi at Safeway. “Of course, the first roll I made was a California roll,” he says.

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A Dim Sum(mer) Night’s Dream

Posted by / Friday, August 28th, 2015

illustration by James Boyle

illustration by James Boyle

 

(August 2015)

 

 


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Tonight: NBC’s ‘Food Fighters’ stars Woodbridge’s Will Spencer

Posted by / Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Will Spencer competes on NBC's Food Fighters

NoVA’s Will Spencer (left) / Photo courtesy of NBC

By Emily Cook

Hailing from Woodbridge, 37 year-old Will Spencer battles five professional chefs on NBC’s “Food Fighters,” airing tonight. Facing one chef at a time, this health club manager and married father of four stands to win $100,000 in his first-ever televised cooking competition. Here’s Spencer on his dedication to his cast-iron skillet, cooking his first Thanksgiving dinner and what’d he do with the prize money. 

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Hungry for Linkage: Charlie Chiang’s closes; Amannisahan to open in Crystal City

Posted by / Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

Uygher nan in Kasghar, China / Photo by Zeke Spears

Uygher nan in Kasghar, China / Photo by Zeke Spears

Charlie Chiang’s in Crystal City will be replaced with Amannisahan, a Uyghur restaurant. [ARLnow]

Here’s hoping for a trickle-down effect: It’s the year of the bagel in New York City. [New York]

Try limited-edition Port City’s Optimal Wit with Nectarines at Magnolia’s on King tomorrow. [info]

It’s okay to drink rose. [Decanter]

But maybe not to chug cognac at airport security. [The Guardian]


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Rice and Bright Lights at SER

Posted by / Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

ONLINE-ser1

The Spanish-themed SER opens in Arlington.

Words by Stefanie Gans  Photos by Ray Lopez

SER announces itself with Hollywood lights. The name, Spanish for “to be,” and also standing for Simple Easy Real, is written in bright white bulbs on the exterior of a big brick building interrupted with floor-to-ceiling windows. Around the corner from a stretch of restaurants clustered in Ballston, it feels isolated with a huge patio destined for pitchers of sangria.

“We’re not tapas, but we have a lot of starters,” our waitress says, introducing the menu concept. The domination of small plates-themed restaurants now calls for restaurants to explain how they don’t require an onslaught of ordering multiple dishes. Though at a Spanish restaurant, where the tapas life originates, it is an important notation.

We start with a ton of bites from the kitchen nonetheless.

Croquetas reveal bits of chicken and ham in a creamed, mashed potato-like state. There’s no actual potato in these fried balls, explains chef Josu Zubikarai, who co-owns the restaurant with Javier Candon. Instead the kitchen constantly stirs bechamel sauce for up to an hour and a half to bring it to that thick consistency. Grilled sardines become a Mediterranean version of a tea sandwich with slim cuts of housemade bread, pan de cristal, adhered to each side. Porcini cream sits on the side for dipping, but it lacks a brightness, a completeness of pleasing flavors.

That’s what happens most of the time at SER. In this beautiful, airy, light-filled space with funky light fixtures and water glasses that, thankfully, aren’t Mason jars, the food doesn’t elicit the same promising vibrations.

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Opening tomorrow: Sonoma Cellar in Old Town Alexandria

Posted by / Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

Sonoma Cellar opens in Old Town Alexandria

Photo courtesy of Sonoma Cellar

By Emily Cook

 Rick and Elizabeth Myllenbeck’s meet cute? A California winery, of course. 

The two Old Town Alexandria residents are getting back to their roots with Sonoma Cellar, which had a few days of soft service and will re-open tomorrow with Restaurant Week specials.

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Hungry for Linkage: Newcomers Old 690, Spencer Devon, Heritage and Adroit Theory among Virginia Craft Brewers Cup winners

Posted by / Monday, August 24th, 2015

Clockwise: Port City Brewing Company (Photography by Rey Lopez); Androit Theory Brewing Company (Photography by Rey Lopez); Courtesy of Old Bust Head Brewing Company; Courtesy of Heritage Brewing Co.; Courtesy of Mad Fox Brewing Company

Clockwise: Port City Brewing Company (Photography by Rey Lopez); Androit Theory Brewing Company (Photography by Rey Lopez); Courtesy of Old Bust Head Brewing Company; Courtesy of Heritage Brewing Co.; Courtesy of Mad Fox Brewing Company

Winners of the 2015 Virginia Craft Brewers Cup include NoVA’s Port City Brewing Company, Old 690 Brewing CompanyCapitol City Brewing CompanySpencer Devon BrewingHeritage Brewing CompanyMad Fox Brewing Company, Adroit Theory Brewing Company and Lost Rhino Brewing[Richmond Times Dispatch, full list of winners]

The case against salad. [WaPo]

Tales from serving the super-rich. [NYT]

Grill your pickle. [Bon Appetit]

Tired of crabs? Here’s what to do with lobsters. [Lucky Peach]


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DAK Chicken opens today in Shirlington

Posted by / Friday, August 21st, 2015

DAK Chicken

Photos courtesy of DAK Chicken

By Emily Cook

Shirlington’s Korean void—left by Bonsai Grill’s closure this May—is now filled by DAK Chicken. DAK opens tonight.

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Toolkit: Edamame

Posted by / Friday, August 21st, 2015

High in protein, fiber, calcium and vitamins, edamame is more than a legume dipped in soy sauce.

By Emily Cook

 

Sakarin Sawasdinaka/shutterstock.com

Sakarin Sawasdinaka/shutterstock.com

SAVOR
Cross-cultural hummus
Using the supporting characters from a traditional hummus—tahini, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic—the star of Bistro 360’s version is not chickpea, but edamame. “What we’re trying to do at 360 is introduce people to tastes from around the world, many of which they may not have had,” says the Arlington restaurant’s owner, Art Hauptman. Here, edamame hummus fuses two cultures by integrating hummus native to the Middle East with the Japanese soybean.

SHOP
Firm, bright and green
Edamame can be found in many frozen food aisles, but fresh pods are also available at local farmers markets. Marc Grossman, owner of The Farm at Our House, sells his soybeans at Crystal City Freshfarm Market. When shopping, Grossman says, look for pods that are firm and not slimy. Edamame farmer Gwynn Hamilton, of Newport’s Stonecrop Farm, says to find pods with a bright green color. After returning home, rinse edamame—the fuzzy pods can collect pollen and dust—and allow them to dry. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container, and they should last about a week.

STUDY
Naturally divine
The dry-roasted soybean was used as an offering in ancient Japanese Buddhist rituals as early as 927 A.D. because of edamame’s importance in the country’s diet. “Buddhists were thankful for everything that supported their life,” says William Shurtleff, author of “History of Soybeans and Soyfoods in Southeast Asia.” “They would fill the whole altar with these things,” says Shurtleff. Prayers would include sentiments like: “We are very grateful to have this. If we didn’t have any of this, we wouldn’t be here. We wouldn’t be able to survive.”

 

(August 2015)

 

 


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Hungry for Linkage: Purcellville residents angry with Old 690 Brewery

Posted by / Friday, August 21st, 2015

Ralf Beier/shutterstock.com

Ralf Beier/shutterstock.com

NIMBY-ism hits the beer scene in Purcellville. [Loudoun Times Mirror]

Twenty-six trends to know for 2015. [Bon Appetit]

Tomorrow: food specials and jazz to honor the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina at Bayou Bakery. [info]

There’s more to ketchup than Heinz. [Men’s Journal]

The Isabella-fication of the local restaurant scene. [WCP]


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