Food

Cheap Eats 2007: Hong Kong Palace

You don’t expect to see a woman in a head-to-toe chador carrying a giant bag of Chinese takeout. But this Szechuan restaurant with the Cantonese name makes contrast its strength, tying crunch to creaminess, sesame to spice.

A gorgeous, garlicky salad of Chinese black mushrooms crunches like kelp, a perfect foil for spicy dry beef the servers promote as “Szechuan snack food.” The friendly staff offers enthusiastic and rewarding recommendations: Tea-smoked duck oozes jasmine-tea-scented fat, and a chili-laden fish-and-tofu stew is so good that the busboys wash it down with cans of Bud at a back table.

Cumin ribs are a bit like chugging a Durkee spice rack, and the salt-and-pepper shrimp are forgettable, but the menu is strong enough to make risk-taking pay off most of the time.

Open daily lunch and dinner.

Get Our “Brunches This Weekend” Newsletter

The best breakfasts and brunches to try every weekend, plus our most popular food stories of the week.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.
Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

SIGN UP
We engage readers directly in their mailboxes with topics like Health, Things to Do, Best Brunches, Design & Shopping, and Real Estate. Get the latest from our editors today.
Get The Best Of Washingtonian In Your Inbox!