Cheap Eats 2008: Michael’s Noodles

Why go: Dishes seldom seen elsewhere—including esoteric preparations from Taiwan and mainland China—lift this snug but attractive strip-mall restaurant above the tide of more-conventional Chinese spots.

What to get: Pan-sautéed dumplings glazed with chili oil on the side; mustard greens mellowed by fresh soy beans; Hainan chicken rice, a specialty from the island of Hainan that brings together tender braised chicken, rice steeped in chicken broth, and chili and ginger dipping sauces; slow-roasted beef noodle soup; sautéed slivers of pork with chives and chewy dried bean curd; thick Shanghai-style noodles.

Best for: Those looking for a cozier, more intimate setting than the area’s big dim-sum palaces.

Insider tip: Owner Michael Wang makes only occasional appearances, but servers are knowledgeable about the menu and quick to offer suggestions for putting together a meal.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

See all Cheap Eats 2008 restaurants 

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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.