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Does anyone watch the Blacklist? I feel like the Blacklist, except we’re counting off restaurants on Washingtonian’s Top 100 list…and they are….counting….most wanted criminals. Whatever. So we’ve been trying to 1) try new places since there are so many and 2) get through as many restaurants as possible on the Washingtonian’s Top 100 list. Minus those that are $500+. I mean, we like food, but there are limits.
Before the Washington Horse Show, we decided at the last minute to go to China Chilcano, a Jose Andres restaurant in Chinatown. Let me say one thing first….we would go back immediately. There are so many amazing things on the menu which we would love to try. Jose Andres is also the brain behind Zaytinya, which is one of my favorite DC restaurants of all time–we try to go there at least once a year because it’s always a great meal. Except that one time we got ditched by friends on New Years 1/2 way through a 5 course meal. Great food, terrible company, lesson learned.
China Chilcano is a mix of Chinese, Japanese, and Peruvian cuisine. Which is super neat. On the menu there are little icons signifying the inspiration behind each dish. They are a mix of sizes, from ceviche and sashimi to dim sum to noodles to larger meat/seafood dishes. So many things looked appetizing, the menu is quite large, and we had a hard time choosing. Ultimately, we were swayed but dishes we saw coming out around us…we weren’t the only ones, it was the norm to have people pointing at dishes asking what that was so they could order it themselves!
We started with a California “Roll”. But it’s not like any other normal California roll, it has potato causa, jumbo lump crab, spicy mayo, cucumber, avacado, tobiko, with huancaina sauce. The “meat” in the roll is the potato causa (sort of like a very densley mashed sweet potato), with the crab on top. It was such a unique and very delicious take on a normal sushi roll. Highly recommend.
Next came out our dim sum. We got the Concha, which had scallop, pork, jicama, shiitake mushroom, and tobiko. Good dim sum seems weirdly hard to come by in DC, and while not “pure dim sum”, these things were definitely delicious. No complaints, would try other items on the dim sum menu for sure!
Finally, we got a “to-share” rice dish, which was probably the hit of the night. It’s called the Concolon, which is a crispy fried rice pot. It has pork belly, egg, shiitake mushroom, bok choy, and chi-racha. I admittedly was not a fan of the lap chong sausage–it was way to sweet for me–but it didn’t take much away from my enjoyment of the dish. And DH happily gobbled up my share on the sausage.
I enjoyed a Cusquena, which I hadn’t had since we went to Peru! And DH had Sapporo on draft.
I would immediately go back to try out some of the other noodle dishes that looked so, so good, as well as some of the ceviches which have some interesting twists. If you are in Chinatown, I’d definitely recommend China Chilcano–seating is a bit tight, so either book a reservation, be prepared to wait, or try to grab a seat at one of the bar seats that overlook part of the kitchen area.