Is Tim Ma the ballsiest chef in Washington? Among the dishes we’ve sampled this year at his Shaw dining room: an offal salad (a chewy mix of tendon, tripe, and chicken hearts), a bowl of congee topped with natto (fermented soybeans), and chocolate cake with veal marrow. Ma isn’t always successful (e.g., that congee), but his cooking is thought-provoking and often delicious. If there were a citywide contest for trendy cacio e pepe pasta, his black-truffle version would rank high. Plus you’ve got to applaud the guy for dreaming big, as he and wife Joey did with their first spot in DC. (They’re also behind Virginia’s Chase the Submarine and Water & Wall.) The result is one of the most alluring, beautifully designed rooms in town. Expensive.
Also great: Fried tofu with black-pepper sauce; crème fraîche wings; snapper with soy-chili paste; scallops with coconut risotto and basil ice cream; flourless almond cake.