828 Upshur St. NW, Washington, DC 20011
This was my favorite meal we had while visiting Washington DC!
As an “up and coming chef” James Beard award finalist, I think we will be hearing a lot more about Chef Tien! You will be asked to put a deposit down for your reservation so if you miss it, you loose it – and you’re an idiot. The deposit of $25 per person is added to your check at the end of your meal. The atmosphere is playful, casual, and intimate. They offer outdoor seating and table seating but I suggest you sit at the bar if at all possible. It faces the kitchen and it is always a pleasure watching the magic happen!
Panko Fried Oysters – Sapidus Farm oysters with smoked onion soubise (butter sauce with onion), parmesan cheese, and horseradish. I am not a big fan of fried oysters, I lean towards loving them raw, but done expertly they are delicious! The Panko was light and crispy and the soubise added a slight smoky flavor. The parmesan gave a bit of saltiness and the horseradish imparted a hint of heat.
Hamachi Crudo – I have never had a crudo that impressed me, until now! Japanese yellowtail with orange segments, fish sauce vinaigrette and Yuzu-Tobiko (Yuzu – Asian citrus fruit, Tobiko – flying fish eggs). The yellowtail was amazing and the mixture of the orange segments and vinaigrette was so well balanced and light! The Tobiko provided just the right pop of salty goodness. A perfect dish and delightful!
Nduja Squash – butternut squash with Nduja (spicy spreadable Italian salumi) cream sauce, sunflower seeds, pickled shallots, fried sage and herb oil. The sweetness of the butternut squash was well tempered with a hint of heat from the Nduja cream sauce. The sunflower seeds gave it a great textural crunch and the pickled shallots provided a nice refreshing bite.
Uni toast – sounds simple. I have professed to never order toast. It just seems too pedestrian and I want something a bit more complicated than that if I am paying someone else to cook for me. There is nothing pedestrian about this dish. Nothing! Santa Barbara uni with soft scrambled eggs, chives and Tamago caviar. It was one of those dishes I will remember forever. Perfectly cooked soft scrambled eggs with uni and caviar garnished with chives. It was divine!
Nabe – Crispy skin red drum with roasted mushrooms, sushi rice, garlic dashi, egg yolk and bonito flakes ( dried, fermented, smoked skipjack tuna). The presentation of this dish was fun! They place the bowl directly on the fire to heat it and cook it table side. When it first arrived the bonito flakes were waving from the heat below and it was beautiful. Our server mixed the ingredients in the sizzling hot bowl searing a nice paella style crunchy rice. It was dazzling to watch and even more dazzling to eat. The fish was perfectly cooked and it was truly a bowl of comfort.