On 19th St. in downtown DC, merely a hop, skip, and a jump away from the White House, there’s no shortage of Pan-Asian restaurants looking to lure customers in with the promise of exotic food and drinks at reasonable, recession friendly prices. My favorite out of the bunch is Nooshi, a restaurant that opened its doors five years ago as Oodles Noodles but changed its name after adding sushi to the menu. As soon as you step through the door you get an idea of why the place is constantly packed from night to night. It’s got a great atmosphere, with lacquer-look walls, bright colors popping everywhere, slick black plastic chopsticks, and dishes and platters of varying shapes and designs. On those dishes and platters come standard cuisine from various East Asian countries, including Japan, Thailand, China, Vietnam, and Malaysia. Of particular note is the nabeyaki udon (Japanese noodle soup), which comes in a traditional cast iron mini-cauldron and has a really flavorful broth and poached egg on top; the Firefly Calimari, cut into tender little rings and placed on a small steel grid that allows excess oil to drop off; and the Drunkin Noodles with stir fried peppers and onions. Food and drinks are half off during happy hour (3-7 Monday through Saturday), which makes this an ideal after work spot or place to kick it on a weekend afternoon, and even without those deals the most expensive thing on the menu is $15. Your stomach and bank account will thank you for it.
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