Sunday, October 18, 2015

DC Spotlight: Three Very Different Asian Restaurants in Three Different Neighborhoods

Today's spotlight shines on three very different Asian restaurants in three different DC neighborhoods, where vegetarians and others with dietary restrictions can dine without stress.  

The first restaurant is Izakaya Seki, a small neighborhood Japanese restaurant near U Street.  A number of items are vegetarian or can be made vegetarian upon request.  I loved my assorted mushrooms, cucumber salad, and fried tofu.  The restaurant also has an extensive sake list.

Assorted mushrooms, cucumber salad, and fried tofu

The second restaurant is Rice, an elegant Thai restaurant on the 14th Street corridor.  The "Healthy Green" section of Rice's menu is entirely vegetarian, "meaning no fish sauce nor oyster sauce," according to the website.  I've eaten at Rice several times and always have left satisfied.  This (very spicy) sauteed basil tofu and mixed vegetables dish is one of my favorites (during the holidays, I also love to indulge in the pumpkin empanadas).
Sauteed basil tofu with mixed vegetables

The third restaurant is Mandu, a traditional yet modern Korean restaurant near Dupont Circle (with a second location near Mount Vernon Square).  A number of items on the menu are vegetarian or can be made vegetarian.  I loved my vegetarian bibim bap served in a hot stone bowl.

Bimbim bap, served in a host stone bowl with egg, veggies, tofu, and gochujang (spice chili and bean paste)

All three of these restaurants take dietary restrictions seriously.  In addition to the numerous, clearly marked vegetarian items, they also offer gluten-free items and are happy to modify dishes to accommodate food allergies and preferences. 

Izakaya Seki Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Rice Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Mandu Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato