Jasmine Garden

June 2005

It takes a while to recognize the quality and versatility of this restaurant. There is a sushi bar just inside the entryway. The sushi ranges from familiar items to such creations as a crunchy, spicy tuna roll made with minced radish. A look at the menu reveals specialties from Thailand and Malaysia prepared by another chef. There also is a Chinese chef who previously taught cooking classes in the Szechuan province.

If you're interested in something unusual, ask manager Lawrence Liang. He'll recommend a dish you've never seen before, like partially deboned spareribs with rice powder, turnips, and soybeans, or an old favorite like beef with scallions or scallops in garlic sauce. Formerly an owner of a French-Italian restaurant, he has assembled an impressive wine list. What's a good wine for sushi? Try a Pinot Noir. A splurge? The Rodney Strong Reserve Cabernet '99 for $69.95.

Ask about the special entertainment evenings, which may include opera arias. Owner Robin Wang is an opera singer who's getting her PhD in music from the University of Maryland.