100 Very Best Restaurants 2013: Sichuan Jin River

Photograph by Scott Suchman.

There are get-away-from-it-all restaurants, date-night restaurants, and restaurants for conducting business. This is a go-with-a-group restaurant. With its voluminous menu (you want the Szechuan one, not the Chinese-American one) and low prices, the greatest rewards are to be had by bringing family or friends for a kind of DIY Chinese banquet. The full range of Szechuan cooking is on display: hot and spicy (a smoky mapo tofu), delicate (braised flounder with pickled cabbage), cool and tangy (pickled cucumbers); mild and earthy (lotus-root salad).

The split-level room is nothing to look at, and the servers range from helpful to genially flaky. No matter: You’re here to sample the magic of the kitchen—the finest in Rockville’s Chinatown and one of the area’s very best. Don’t miss: Dan-dan noodles; tea duck; cold noodles with sesame; wontons with chili sauce; spicy chicken salad; General Guan chicken; spicy beef with cabbage.

Open: Daily for lunch and dinner. Inexpensive.

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.