575 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20001
Neighborhood: Penn Quarter/Chinatown, Downtown
Cuisines: Modern, Pizza, American, Breakfast, Chinese
Open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday 11:30 to 2. Open for dinner Tuesday through Thursday 5:30 to 10; Friday and Saturday 5:30 to 11; closed Sunday and Monday.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Nearby Metro Stops: Judiciary Square, Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter
Price Range: Expensive
Noise Level: Chatty
Pork-belly dumplings; mini-burger; fried bass; Arctic char with Indian spices and raita; prawns in Indian curry; lamb chops with a mint-coriander sauce; blueberry crumble.
Lounge menu small plates, $8 to $16; big plates, $12 to $17. Dining room starters, $14 to $19; entrees, $26 to $60.
Special Features: Wheelchair Accessible, Kid Friendly, Valet Parking Available
Only the top 40 restaurants were ranked in 2011's Best Restaurants list.
Fusion is accused of many gastronomic sins, from violating time-honored traditions to foisting odd concoctions on the dining public. But at its best, as with this Wolfgang Puck–sanctioned marriage of East and West, it can be like experiencing a great cuisine for the first time.
Puck’s style is defined by big, bold flavors and exacting execution, and chef Scott Drewno is faithful to the boss’s vision, whether it’s with luscious pork-belly dumplings, a seared Arctic char with cardamom raita, or a dramatically presented crispy whole fish. And there’s more to this fusion than what’s on the plate. The classic-rock and soul soundtrack and the clubby vibe blur the boundaries between formal and casual.
The downstairs lounge menu is a masterstroke—with small, izakaya-style plates that include a fabulous mini–bánh mì, stellar yellowtail sashimi, and udon noodles tossed with braised oxtail. Weekdays 4 to 6, $20 fetches three dishes. Happy hour and superlative cooking—yet another fusion we’re glad to find.
Also good: Garlic-chive dumplings; scallop-and-shrimp shu mai; spicy prawns with yogurt-mustard curry; grilled lamb chops with chili-mint vinaigrette; crispy glazed quail.
Open Monday through Friday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Saturday for breakfast, brunch, and dinner. Very expensive (lounge moderate).