100 Best Restaurants 2011: The Source

No. 3

Only the top 40 restaurants were ranked in 2011's Best Restaurants list.

Fusion is accused of many gastronomic sins, from violating time-honored traditions to foisting odd concoctions on the dining public. But at its best, as with this Wolfgang Puck–sanctioned marriage of East and West, it can be like experiencing a great cuisine for the first time.

Puck’s style is defined by big, bold flavors and exacting execution, and chef Scott Drewno is faithful to the boss’s vision, whether it’s with luscious pork-belly dumplings, a seared Arctic char with cardamom raita, or a dramatically presented crispy whole fish. And there’s more to this fusion than what’s on the plate. The classic-rock and soul soundtrack and the clubby vibe blur the boundaries between formal and casual.

The downstairs lounge menu is a masterstroke—with small, izakaya-style plates that include a fabulous mini–bánh mì, stellar yellowtail sashimi, and udon noodles tossed with braised oxtail. Weekdays 4 to 6, $20 fetches three dishes. Happy hour and superlative cooking—yet another fusion we’re glad to find.

Also good: Garlic-chive dumplings; scallop-and-shrimp shu mai; spicy prawns with yogurt-mustard curry; grilled lamb chops with chili-mint vinaigrette; crispy glazed quail.

Open Monday through Friday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Saturday for breakfast, brunch, and dinner. Very expensive (lounge moderate).

>> See all of 2011's Best Restaurants


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 Petworth.