Tag Archives: Clarendon

Sushi Rock

What sushi and rock music have in common is beyond me, yet somehow, Sushi Rock mends the two together quite well (and not just through the name). Located in Clarendon, away from the nightlife scene, this two floor modern restaurant has an industrial architecture inside decorated with warm tones.

I went to Sushi Rock with a friend on a weeknight and was seated immediately. We were greeted promptly by our server who fit the rock/waiter bill perfectly. Well, he had pierced ears, and in my book, that means he probably wears a leather jacket while listening to Axl Rose. That is my definition of a rocker.

Before I even got my hand on the drink menu, our rocker waiter was back asking if we’d like to start with an appetizer. Two seconds later he was back asking if we had made a decision. Pretty sure I still had my purse on at this moment. I had to politely ask for a few more minutes a couple more times until we were ready to order drinks. Searching through other reviews of this restaurant, the majority of complaints pertain to service.

Above is the “Day Tripper.” Both the drinks and food have rocker themes, and yes, I felt like an idiot ordering every single thing. The Day Tripper has raspberry vodka, blended juices and coconut foam. Doesn’t get much girlier than that! Something tells me our waiter never orders this drink.

For dinner, my friend and I decided to go with three different types of sushi.

The sushi presentation is done beautifully. If I remember correctly, above is the Ziggy Stardust roll. Ugh, I feel like an idiot just typing the name of the sushi. This roll has an interesting twist, rather than fish, this is rolled up kobe beef, asparagus, red pepper and a jalapeno mayo. I like the creativity of this roll, but every bite I found myself thinking “wait, this texture is weird,” and then I’d have to remind myself about the beef. Quite the mind game let me tell you.

Our favorite of the evening was the You Shook Me All Night Long (ugh). As the menu breaks it down, it’s tempura shrimp + avocado + cucumber + crab stick + black tobiko + red tobiko + scallion + Japanese mayo. What’s tobiko you say? Fish roe. What is fish roe you say? Fish eggs.

Fun fact: Roe is a rich source of vitamins A and D, fatty acids and zinc.

If fish eggs or sushi in general aren’t your thing, Sushi Rock also has shared plates that range from salmon to meatball skewers.

It’s a fun place to go with friends while taking in a cool atmosphere. While the service was a tad overbearing at times, sometimes you have to remind yourself that every rose has its thorn (nailed the rock reference!).


Filed under Arlington, VA, Washington D.C.

Northside Social

If there is one thing I love more than eating food, it’s eating food outside. It was the outside dining area at Northside Social that caught my eye awhile back.

The locally owned and operated coffee shop and wine bar is owned and operated by the Liberty Tavern Restaurant Group and is located in Clarendon. Fairly new to the area, the restaurant’s laid back feel is evident by the customers coming in with gym clothes while ordering their food at the front counter.

As much as I love eating outside, the heat wave kept me indoors, which led me to exploring the wine bar upstairs. Much of the featured wine is from small family run vineyards that otherwise could be difficult to purchase. The wine bar menu keeps it simple with primarily cheese and meat plates.

You can order wine and beer downstairs, as well as sandwiches, salads, soups and quiches. It’s not unusual to see people working on their laptops or reading a book while sipping on a glass of wine or coffee. Like the guy below, look he’s reading a book and having a beer!

The coffee is also suppose to be a standout, with different types of extraction methods. Those include espresso (their specific espresso machine is only used by two or three other places in the nation), drip coffee, a specialized coffee production per cup method and the french press.

One the 100 degree day that I visited Northside, there were still people crazy enough to eat outside in front of a massive grill. Perhaps the beef brisket they were serving was THAT good. They also have marshmallows that you can toast outside.

If the marshmallows don’t cut it, the front also has cookies, soft serve ice cream (flavors change and are made fresh daily), muffins, scones and tarts that are all made by their very own pastry chef.  I was tempted to try to the walnut coffee muffin.

Given the time of day I went, I stuck to a glass of chardonnay for $7 and the Black Forest ham quiche. The quiche’s flavor was delicious with caramelized onions through and spinach. The crust was thick and flaky, but I would have like this to have been served much hotter. The fruit and simple side salad comes with the quiche and was a nice light side for such a hot day.

When getting up the front counter, my friend asked for the best sandwich they had. The cashier insisted it was the chicken salad. I didn’t have the time to try the rest of their sandwiches to see if this guy was lying or not, but the chicken salad here is quite tasty. I’m not even a fan of chicken salad. When ordering a sandwich, you have the option of side salad, potato salad or chips. Don’t think you’ll be disappointed with the potato salad.

Much of the food at Northside is local, and you can even purchase local milk from grass fed cows.

I’m looking forward to my next trip to Northside which will hopefully involve a giant cup of their coffee and a chunky monkey scone. Fingers crossed it will be cool enough to eat outside.

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Filed under Arlington, Uncategorized, Washington D.C.

Bayou Bakery

I had never heard of this bakery in Clarendon, which is odd because I try to scout any bakery within a 20 mile radius from me. Bayou Bakery opened recently and don’t let the name fool you, they serve more than baked goods. I guess when you have a chef that’s nominated for Food & Wine’s The People’s Best New Chef he’s probably doing a few things right, in addition to the sweets. David Guas is a native Louisianian, and he has brought that style of cooking into the D.C. area.

In a corner space, the Bayou Bakery isn’t anything huge. But what it lacks in space it makes up for in customers. The bakery is also pretty casual with some comfy couch-like seats and chalkboards for the overhead menu at the register.

To be honest, what first caught my eye was the counter full of sweets. Red velvet cupcakes and cookies were on display. In addition, you can purchase pies here — there are even a couple of recipes on their website if you’re not lazy like me and you’d rather bake.

While the pastries all looked amazing, I of course I had to go with the New Orleans specialty: beignets. Fried dough topped with powdered sugar. Ask for a an order at Bayou and you’ll get three large donuts for $3.

They have the type of hot fresh dough that literally melts away in your mouth and before you know it they’re all gone. The only trace left of them was powdered sugar on my jeans. Since I wanted to get a little more of a New Orleans cuisine, I ordered the gumbo. Never had gumbo, and after tasting Bayou’s I wish I would have been eating it all my life. As one food reviewer online said, “There gumbo is yumbo.”

With a kind of chili-like flavor, this dish has rice, sausage and chicken. The above picture is a cup size, but you can also get a bowl. While I didn’t have time to order more, I noticed all around me how popular the sandwiches were at Bayou. Some of concoctions includes the muff-a-lotta, which is salami, mortadella, smoked ham, provolone and olive salad. Another favorite looked to be the arm drip, roast beef & gravy, swiss cheese, sauteed onions and mayo. Yumbo.

There is no doubt that I will be back — especially since I got a promo for a free order of beignets the next time. Yay! If you’re in the Northern Virginia area, I would highly highly recommend visiting Bayou. I mean, you can get cupcakes and sandwiches in the same place? That sounds like perfection.


Filed under Uncategorized