Dirt Cheap Eats 2009: China Jade

Picture a heaping portion of lightly fried fish filets dusted in ground cumin and tossed with onions, peppers, and chilies: equal parts spicy and crunchy—and irresistible. Called “cumin fish” ($12.95), it’s one of many items on the long and varied menu that will tempt you to keep eating long after you’re full.

There’s also Chengdu-style Kung Pao chicken ($9.95), sweeter and smokier than most; thin-skinned wontons swimming in chili oil ($4.95); long, cool bands of garlicky pickled cucumber ($5.95); and meal-in-one soups, including one with mustard greens, chicken, spinach, and a nest of perfectly cooked noodles ($6.95). The restaurant hedges its bets with a Chinese-American menu as well—sesame chicken, beef with broccoli—but if you want to be dazzled, best to ignore it.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

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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.