Ananda, web site, 7421 Maple Lawn Blvd., Fulton, MD, 301-725-4800. Hard to get to, but it is there! (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Google | Washingtonian | TripAdvisor | Baltimore Sun | Baltimore Mag | Ylp]

Right now this is the best Indian place around, period. Broadly Punjabi, not at all a spice fest. Super high quality ingredients, vegetables, cooking. Consistent. Occasional Chesapeake connections, such as through crab and crab cake. The best mango lassi I’ve had in the United States, ever. Note the décor is…strange. It feels like the building is a reclaimed mansion house of some kind, the dining rooms are spacious, there are fireplaces, and…there is somebody’s idea of an alternate universe I would gladly spend a lot more time in.


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Chloe, web site, 1331 Fourth Street SE, Washington, DC, 202-313-7007 (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Google | WaPo | Washingtonian | TripAdvisor | Michelin | Ylp]

I have had many dishes here, and 2/3 were excellent, the others so-so. Best were the half chicken, the scallops, the crudo, and the burrata. Basically just get those, or ask the staff, who seem to know the better picks. The sausage was indifferent, same for the pile of green onions. A very good place if you order wisely, and that is not impossibly hard to do. Not cheap, but not outrageously priced either, so I am happy to call this a nice addition to the repertoire.


2018 Taste Experience Chefs: Haidar Karoum



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Quito travel notes

LLapingachos are the way to go: “an Ecuadorian dish of potato patties or thick potato pancakes stuffed with cheese and cooked on a hot griddle until crispy.”

Given the landlocked nature of Quito, the seafood — and I don’t just mean lake fish — is remarkably good. Try the fried corvina at Las Corvinas de Don Jimmy, in the Mercado Central, with a drink and ceviche only $6. Zazu is one of the best restaurants in South America, and many of the dishes are below $15. I recommend La Briciola for Italian food and chocolate ice cream, noting that in Latin America the most boring-sounding pastas, such as the ravioli, are the ones to order.

The 17th century heritage of Quito makes the colonial center feel like central Mexico. Think “built up early, backwater later on, for a long time.” The mix of mestizo and indigenous. The design of the inner city and its churches. The role of crafts. The persistence of particular foodstuffs, in this case potatoes and corn and avocado and palmitos. Popcorn was invented somewhere around here.

The weather is perfect every day.

Compañía de Jesús is arguably the most beautiful church I have seen.

To see the rest of the post and comments, see the original post on Marginal Revolution.


Expat City – Quito Ecuador, pros and cons



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Shared Plates, Shared Minds: Consuming from a Shared Plate Promotes Cooperation


Here’s What Happens When Strangers Unexpectedly Eat Together At The Airport


A meal naturally brings people together, but does the way a meal is served and consumed further matter for cooperation between people? This research (n = 1476) yielded evidence that it does. People eating from shared plates (i.e., Chinese style meal) cooperated more in social dilemmas and negotiations than those eating from separate plates. Specifically, sharing food from a single plate increased perceived coordination among diners, which in turn led them to behave more cooperatively and less competitively toward each other compared with individuals eating the same food from separate plates. The effect of sharing a plate on cooperation occurred among strangers, which suggests that sharing plates can bring together not only allies, but strangers as well.

That is the abstract from a piece by Kaitlin Woolley of Cornell (PDF), via the estimable Chug, with whom I have shared meals.


Fuchsia Dunlop on Chinese Food, Culture, and Travel (full) | Conversations with Tyler


Originally posted on Marginal Revolution – click to see comments and suggestions.


10 Differences: Asians Eating Out VS. Westerners Eating Out


Also see “table fellowship


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Quito, Ecuador bleg

I haven’t been for about twenty-five years, so I very much welcome your recommendations on what to do, see, and eat there. And what should one do with a spare day in Guayaquil?

I thank you all in advance for your extreme wisdom and counsel.

Originally posted on Marginal Revolution – click to see comments and suggestions.


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Port Au Prince

Port Au Prince, web site, 7912 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD, 301-565-2006. Closed Fridays, as they are Seventh Day Adventists, slightly unusual hours so check before going. (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [WaPo | Washingtonian | Bethesda Magazine | Ylp]

They have fried goat, fried turkey, the Haitian classic black rice with mushrooms (always a must), divine spicy red sauce, and very good plantains. This is the most authentic Haitian place the DC area has had. It is also a fun hang-out with a dynamic Haitian and African-American crowd, nice décor, good homey feel. The key is to apply the spicy red sauce liberally to virtually everything you order – ask for extra. There is really no downside to this place, but I will note it is not mom and pop level cheap. The prices are entirely reasonable for what you get, but entrees run in the low twenties, not the low teens. Just know that before going. I’m a big fan and look forward to repeated visits.


Haiti’s Street Food



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Fahrenheit, web site, 1313 Dolley Madison Blvd., you have to enter on Beverly, McLean, VA, 703-646-8968 (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Google | TripAdvisor | Ylp]

Ants on a Tree

How come no one reviews this place? The menu is limited, but it is the best Chinese in this entire area right now, fully Sichuan, the chefs are from Chengdu. There is hot pot on the main menu, but mostly you should use the menu on the chalkboard and then another, only in Chinese menu, written out on a small business card, which you need to ask for. The Ants on a Tree is amazing here, probably the best I have had, ever, including in China. The kung pao chicken I also recommend. Everything is excellent. Do note it is usually a pork-heavy menu. This place would stand out even if it were in Flushing, Queens. Not so many seats, so do call ahead for a reservation.

Mapo doufu

hot pot


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Mirabelle, web site, 900 16th Street MW, Washington, DC, 202-506-3833 (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Zagat | WaPo | Washingtonian | TripAdvisor | Michelin | City Paper | Ylp]


With Charles Philipponnat


Note that the old chefs left and a new regime was installed in mid-2018. However this is still one of DC’s best fancy restaurants. I thought the abalone and tagliatelle courses were both superb, two of the best dishes in town. The duo of lamb was very tasty, the chocolate dessert ordinary but it gave me what I wanted. All for “only” $100. I hear reports that the other courses can be uneven, but of course it is the peaks that matter. You can debate whether this delivers more consumer surplus than the $4 pupusa, but at the very least it is better than most of the other fancy places in town.


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Mayura, web site 1, web site 2, 10406 Venice Blvd, Culver City, Los Angeles, CA, 310-559-9644 [Google | LA Weekly | TripAdvisor | Ylp]

I don’t usually think of LA as a splendid place for Indian food, but in fact it is. The specialty here is Keralan, and that is what you should order. Go to the Keralan section of the menu and get all eight or so dishes there, or fewer if you are alone. The vegetables are superb, the biryani too. I don’t know of any place in North America better for Keralan food. The buffet looked fine, but I doubt if that is your optimal strategy here. Plus it is in a lovely strip mall.


MAYURA SOUTH INDIAN CUISINE, Culver City, CA. by Golfing Country



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The sushi restaurant in the D.C. Trump International Hotel

Sushi Nakazawa, web site, 1100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington DC, 202-289-3515 (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [WaPo | Washingtonian | TripAdvisor | Ylp]

I offer a mostly sociological review in my latest Bloomberg column. When I went the restaurant was completely empty the entire time. D.C. really doesn’t like Trump, or being affiliated with him. But here is my assessment of the food and restaurant:

And what about the food? It may be the best restaurant in Washington right now — and it was the second-best sushi meal I’ve had in America, behind only Masa, the Michelin three-star temple in Manhattan. Sushi Nakazawa flies in lots of sushi from Hokkaido, a premier source of supply, and the presentation is impeccable.

If I have a complaint, it is about the décor and atmosphere: the tacky carpet, highly visible fire alarm and annoying muzak were all magnified by the absence of human beings in the main dining room. The room is ugly without being informal or relaxing or culturally interesting.

And here is my theory of tax incidence:

How much money did I funnel to the pockets of Trump? I don’t know the details of the restaurant’s contract with the hotel, but unless business picks up, I suspect I was merely limiting its losses. Still, there is a small chance that my single meal — or maybe this column — nudges its operators into extending their lease. Then again, if a sushi restaurant is a worse fit for the hotel than, say, another bar or steakhouse, I could just as easily be helping to keep the hotel’s profits down. I don’t feel I have committed a utilitarian sin.

Be there, or be square!

Originally posted on Marginal Revolution – click to see comments and suggestions.


How Jiro Dreams of Sushi’s Apprentice is Making His Mark as a Sushi Chef



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