Young and Hungry

Gut Reaction: Try the New Traditional Thai Menu at Tsunami Sushi


Despite the restaurant's name, sushi is not what you want to order at Logan Circle's Tsunami Sushi & Lounge. Located above and from the same owners as Thai Tanic, the place was previously limited to so-so spicy tuna rolls and unadventurous nigiri platters.

But about a month ago, the restaurant debuted a new Thai menu, under the name Baan Thai, in response to all the customers who came upstairs asking for Thai food. Instead of Americanized Thai staples like pad thai and panang curry that you'll find at Thai Tanic, the upstairs restaurant features a completely separate menu—no substitutions allowed—with more authentic dishes from across Thailand, including the more sour, funky, spicy flavors of the northern part of the country. It's one of the most unexpectedly delicious meals I've had in a while.

The crispy rice cakes are a worthy starter. The puffed-up crackers come with a sweet-savory dipping sauce of ground chicken and shrimp, ground peanuts, onions, and coconut milk. Meanwhile, a bamboo shoot salad dressed with chilies, lime juice, scallions, shallots, mint, cilantro, and roasted rice powder tastes just like something you'd find at Little SerowRead more Gut Reaction: Try the New Traditional Thai Menu at Tsunami Sushi

Last Night’s Leftovers: Kimchi Edition


Where to find kimchi on everything from tostadas to hot dogs [NoVa Mag]

11 hottest brunches in D.C. [Zagat]

Alba Osteria owner to open French restaurant in Mount Vernon Triangle [WBJ]

Tom Sietsema's number 10 restaurant this fall is Boss Shepherd's. [Post]

Rudy's Mediterranean Grill returns to Tel'Veh Wine Bar. [Popville]

Zabver Thai takes over former Adam Express space in Mount Pleasant. [The 42]

Zentan becomes an izakaya and hires a new chef. [Washingtonian]

Willie's Bar opens in Chevy Chase. [Eater]

Kimchi photo via Shutterstock

Sabra Opens Georgetown Pop-Up Restaurant Devoted Entirely to (Duh) Hummus


Pop-up restaurants are going corporate. Hummus-maker Sabra will be shilling its products with a month-long eatery in Georgetown called Hummus House. The temporary restaurant will serve daily lunch and dinner starting at 6 p.m. today through Oct. 26.

“The focus and star of the restaurant is really hummus,” says former Food Network Star contestant Mary Beth Albright, who will serve as Hummus House chef. “A lot of people eat hummus plain, but we’re putting on a lot of different combinations that maybe people haven’t thought of.”

The menu features hummus dishes almost exclusively: sundried tomato hummus paninis; a microgreen and farro salad with hummus vinaigrette; a “global tostada” that layers tortillas with hummus, guacamole, and cilantro-lime slaw; and of course, just plain hummus. Some other highlights include made-to-order hummus and an “East Meets West” platter that includes three hummus samplings with topping combinations like edamame, crystallized ginger, and sesame oil or roasted pepitas and pumpkin oil.

Read more Sabra Opens Georgetown Pop-Up Restaurant Devoted Entirely to (Duh) Hummus

Chef Barry Koslow Swaps Pastrami for Pancetta at Pinea

Pinea Restaurant – W Hotel Washington DCOne of the biggest differences transitioning from Jewish deli food to Mediterranean? "I can cook with a lot of pork again," says chef Barry Koslow, "which is something I kind of missed." The former DGS Delicatessen chef is now overseeing the kitchen at Pinea, a "Southern European" restaurant that opens Oct. 1 in the W hotel.

But the move is about much more than a bounty of prosciutto and shellfish. "Mainly it was just a great opportunity to open another place and work in an awesome hotel that wanted to do something cool," he says. The new job also gets him closer to his fine dining roots, which means "a price point where I can really go out and bring in the best of everything." (Koslow previously worked at Citronelle, 2941 Restaurant, and Circle Bistro.)

The W decided to go with the Mediterranean theme at the suggestion of a consulting firm's market research and analysis, Koslow says. "It's a way to try to figure how not to do what everyone else is doing, but to do something that still will fit with what is happening in your neighborhood," he says. "A lot of hotels use that sort of formula to come up with concepts." Read more Chef Barry Koslow Swaps Pastrami for Pancetta at Pinea

Last Night’s Leftovers: Apple-Picking Edition


Where to pick apples this fall [DCist]

Native Foods Cafe opens downtown tomorrow. [Post]

Salad spot Toss'd coming to Clarendon. [ARLnow]

Mike Isabella wants to be the next Wolfgang Puck. [Washingtonian]

Sneak peek of Driftwood Kitchen, opening soon on H Street NE [PoPville]

Where you can still celebrate Oktoberfest [Eater]

More and more food trucks are opening up restaurants. [Express]

Photo via Shutterstock

Kushi Will Close After This Weekend


Kushi Izakaya & Sushi will close at the end of this weekend, following an eviction lawsuit from its landlord for unpaid rent.

"It was my first restaurant, and it was a great lesson for me," owner Darren Lee Norris tells Y&H. "I've been a chef my whole life and it was my first try at being an owner and as far as I'm concerned, I was successful." He points out that plenty of restaurants open and close within only a year or two. "I feel good that we lasted as long as we did," he says. The restaurant opened in 2010, helping to popularize the izakaya trend in D.C. that has caught on with places like Daikaya and Izakaya Seki.

The landlord, Edens, filed a lawsuit in D.C. Landlord & Tenant Court in January seeking payment of more than $131,000 from August 2013 through January of this year. In February, Edens also filed a separate civil suit for breach of contract against Norris and his wife Ari Norris as well as fellow lease guarantor Ichio Kushimoto. That complaint stated that the restaurant owed nearly $160,000 in rent and other charges through Feb. 11. The court docket shows the civil case is still open.  Read more Kushi Will Close After This Weekend

Matchbox Food Group Alums to Launch Dirty South Deli Food Truck

IMG_4087Former Matchbox Food Group executive chef Jacob Hunter and former Ted's Bulletin Barracks Row manager Will Fung have teamed up to launch a Southern-influenced sandwich truck called Dirty South Deli. Hunter grew up in Atlanta, while Fung comes from Florida, "so we thought we're kind of Southern boys at heart," Fung says.

The menu will rotate between four to five sandwiches at a time, each named after things that are popular in the South—like Nick Cage and the rapper Birdman. The Nick Cage consists of grilled andouille sausage with pimento cheese, tomato, and pickles on griddled bread. Birdman is made up of slow-roasted turkey, stuffing made out of potato chips, Swiss cheese, lettuce, and Duke's mayo on country bread. There's also a harissa roasted cauliflower sandwich with pickled radish, lemon-thyme aioli, butter lettuce, and cilantro on a baguette. The seasonal sides will include things like corn with queso fresco, cilantro, lime, and chili; a macaroni salad; and chickpeas with carrots, almonds, and fresh herbs. Sandwiches will go for $8 to $10, while sides are $2 to $3.

The truck is expected to launch sometime next month. Fung says they hope to roam both D.C. and Virginia.

Photo courtesy Dirty South Deli

Downtown D.C.’s Sidewalk Cafe Explosion, By the Numbers

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D.C., we're basically Paris! The DowntownDC Business Improvement District is now home to 178 sidewalk cafes—a 7.9 percent increase from last year, according to a press release from the organization. That adds up to a total of 5,541 sunshine-accessible seats. The number of sidewalk cafes is nearly double what it was five years ago in the 138-block area.

The DowntownBID has a nifty interactive map that lets you see exactly where these outside cafes are and click to find out how many outdoor seats each establishment has. Some other fun numbers:

31 —the average number of seats for a downtown sidewalk cafe

3 — the number of seats at the smallest downtown sidewalk cafe

243 — the number of seats at the largest downtown sidewalk cafe

70 —the combined total number of sidewalk cafes along the K Street corridor and in Penn Quarter, the areas with the highest concentrations

Check out downtown's sidewalk cafe growth since 2009 below.  Read more Downtown D.C.’s Sidewalk Cafe Explosion, By the Numbers

Last Night’s Leftovers: New Distillery Edition

shutterstock_96675031New whiskey distillery and restaurant planned for 14th and U streets NW. [WBJ]

Take a tour of Belga Cafe chef Bart Vandaele's Alexandria home. [Post]

Five cool new lunch spots to try [Zagat]

Where to drink Manhattans [DCist]

Mama Rouge opens on the Georgetown waterfront on Oct. 14. [Washingtonian]

Frozen In-N-Out Burgers sell out in 30 minutes—and they're soggy. [Eater]

Seven things to know about Mason Dixie Biscuit Company [Thrillist]

Photo via Shutterstock

D.C.’s Most Expensive Burgers


New York–based chef Daniel Boulud’s ode to D.C. at his just-opened CityCenterDC restaurant, DBGB Kitchen and Bar, is a crab-topped burger—for $22. Seem pricey? It’s not the most you’ll pay for a pimped-out patty. Premium cuts of meat and luxe ingredients like foie gras and wagyu bump up prices at certain swank restaurants. Still, the city’s most expensive burger still uses good ol’ American cheese.

BLT Steak — $27

Wagyu skirt steak, strip steak, and ribeye burger with pastrami slice, fried egg, and American cheese

America Eats Tavern —$25

Hudson Valley foie gras–topped burger with caramelized onions, huckleberries, and grain mustard Read more D.C.’s Most Expensive Burgers