April 2004 Best Bites: Cafe Mozu

Café Mozu at the new Mandarin Oriental hotel (1330 Maryland Ave., SW; 202-787-6868) has a drop-dead view of the Tidal Basin and Jefferson Memorial.

Café Mozu at the new Mandarin Oriental hotel (1330 Maryland Ave., SW; 202-787-6868) has a drop-dead view of the Tidal Basin and Jefferson Memorial. It also has the talents of executive chef Hidemasa Yamamoto, a longtime fixture at the Jockey Club at the former Ritz-Carlton on Massachusetts Avenue, and chef de cuisine George Fassiasdis, who worked with Yamamoto there.

Yamamoto's training in classical French and Italian cuisine is evident in dishes like gold- and red-beet carpaccio with sake-marinated scallops; lobster fricassee with morel mushrooms, haricots verts, and lime leaves; steamed Japanese snapper with buckwheat risotto, clam broth, and coconut essence; and rack of lamb with Japanese seven-pepper crust. Main courses are priced from $19 to $32. Desserts, by pastry chef James Satterwhite, range from a milk-chocolate raspberry Napoleon with star-anise ice cream to coconut mango tart with banana ice cream to a black-and-white martini shake.

The breakfast menu includes choices like eggs, brioche French toast, citrus-buttermilk pancakes, smoothies, and eggs Benedict as well as Asian offerings. The lineup for the Japanese breakfast includes toasted nori seaweed, Japanese pickles, a Japanese-style omelet, and broiled fish. Culinary adventurers may also want to try the Chinese breakfast–dim sum, vegetable porridge, and a soup of greens and bamboo pith, priced from $7 to $32. There's an interesting leaf tea selection of green, scented, and classic black teas. The 120-seat restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner. Breakfast is served Monday through Friday from 6:30 to 10:30, Saturday and Sunday from 7 to 11; lunch is served daily from 11 to 2:30, dinner daily from 6 to 11.

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