100 Very Best Restaurants 2013: Maple Ave Restaurant

Maple Avenue Restaurant. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Who wouldn’t be skeptical of a suburban restaurant that charges
upward of $20 for entrées and looks to be housed in a ’60s-era doughnut
shop? And the menu’s crazy quilt of influences—Korean, Thai, Americana,
Mediterranean, and Moroccan—doesn’t do much to convince you to chance it.
But you should. Chef/owner Tim Ma doesn’t take shortcuts and puts his
heart into everything he sends out. His rendition of shrimp and grits
could persuade a Louisianan that the chef grew up in Bayou Country. A bowl
of mussels in a saffron-coconut broth bests the work of most Thai
kitchens. And pork-fried rice tastes like what a Chinese or Korean chef
whips up when he’s off his shift.
Don’t miss: Crème
fraîche chicken wings with Korean chili paste; scallops with
coconut-scallion risotto; braised beef cheek; whole branzino;
beer-battered fries; chocolate dumplings; yuzu-lime pie;
Open: Monday for dinner, Tuesday through Friday for lunch and dinner,
Saturday and Sunday for brunch and dinner.

100 Very Best Restaurants 2013

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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.