Meiwah Restaurant
The Restaurant The Menu The Reviews Get Your Fortune Celebrity Guests

  by Tom Sietsema  
"Sight for Sore Eyes"

Veteran restaurateur Larry La has been a success in a Basement (City Lights of China in Dupont Circle, which he sold six years ago) and on the ground level (with Meiwah in Washington's West End.) Now he's looking up, with a second Meiwah in Chevy Chase, ensconced on the second floor of a new office building.

It's a snazzy space. A large, old wooden door leads to
an expansive dining room, one side of which is nothing but broad windows, the other of which includes a handsome sushi bar and a wide hall opening onto an
inviting outdoor terrace (too bad winter is around the corner).

Except for the (misguided) addition of sushi, the menu in Maryland is identical to the one in the District: long and familiar, with dumplings and soups, whole fish and Sichuan beef, Mongolian lamb and sweet and sour pork. If you’re looking for esoteric foods, try Chinatown instead. This is neighborhood Chinese restaurant cooking.

Appetizers are generally pleasers. Spicy Chinese cabbage lives up to its billing with a sharp kick of ginger, and scallops are rolled in Japanese bread crumbs and fried until their outsides are lightly crisped but their centers remain soft and sweet. Steamed dumplings hid tasty ground pork centers, though I wish the wrappers weren't so thick and heavy. >>MORE>>



  washingtonian   Chinese Cooking with Big Crowds,
  Few Challenges
  by Cynthia Hacinli

My neighbors in Friendship Heights mooned over the sign for weeks. Meiwah, the popular if not wildly adventurous downtown Chinese restaurant, was opening an outpost in our neighborhood. An just to whet everyone's collective appetite for Tinkling Bells Pork, a massive plastic banner had been plastered across the gleaming glass building where the La family's second restaurant would be.

It is perhaps a reflection on the state of dining in upper Northwest DC and Chevy Chase that a banner could cause this much of a stir. But really good restaurants are rare in Friendship Heights. Aside from the underrated Terrazza, a regional Italian star tucked away at Western and Wisconsin, the landscape is littered with mostly mediocre chains able to afford the high rents.

Meiwah was packed from the day it opened. Parents brought the kids. Empty-nesters from luxury apartments nearby brought friends. An the pompadoured mogul Robert Haft brought his cronies. The place is certainly handsome enough, with glossy wood floors, post-modern lighting, and eggplant-colored walls. For ethnic footnotes, look to a chest-high porcelain vase and a ceramic planter or two. By day, banks of oversize windows let the light stream in. A roomy outdoor terrace at the far end hints at wontons under the stars next spring.

The menu is a carbon copy of the one in downtown DC except for an extensive offering of sushi and other Japanese standbys. Which is to say that it's Cantonese with a smattering of Szechwan and Hunan dishes. The culinary kinky won't be enraptured here. There are no odd sea critters, just familiar fare. That doesn't mean you can't dine well. But don't expect the far-reaching menus of offbeat dishes you'd find at restaurants such as Miu Kee in Falls Church or New Fortune in Gaithersburg, places that cater mostly to Asians.

Good starters include crispy, flash-fried whole Cornish hen, salt-spiced squid ringlets and tentacles, gossamer half-moon pork-and-shrimp dumplings, and spareribs crusty with hoisin sauce. Cold sesame noodles are a fragrant tangle in a pool of dark soy, sesame oil, and sesame seeds. An cold fiery Chinese cabbage is a dead ringer of Korean kimchee. For crunch, try crisp tender snow peas or asparagus in other ways, too, most notably in a stir-fry and a spiced salt version similar to the squid. >>MORE>>
Below, a colorful Japanese
Dragon Roll.

Meiwah in Bethesda offers both Chinese and Japanese dishes. Above, chef Jason Truong with a plate of bok choy with black mushrooms.

  Choosing Chinese  
Chinese food is the most popular ethnic cuisine in the United States, according to the National Restaurant Association. Nearly 10 percent of all full-service restaurants here are Chinese; in fact, there is one Chinese restaurant for every 9.400 people!

The large variety of entrees, appetizers and, well, tastes on a Chinese menu is what attracts so many diners, who have made Chinese food popular both at the restaurant table and to go. While some traditional dishes are high in fat and salt, Chinese menus also feature lots of vegetables and grains - all good choices as centerpieces of a dish. An like many others, Chinese restaurateurs are beginning to respond to growing public interest in healthier, more nutritious food.

One of those is Larry T. La, the owner of Meiwah Restaurants in Washington, D.C. and Chevy Chase, Maryland. "Our customers have told us they want less oil, less batter and less deep frying," says La. Meiwah has worked to meet these requests, and La has other suggestions for low-fat and low-sodium eating at this restaurants. At a recent meal, he showed us how. >>MORE>>


   New Meiwah as Good as First  
  Alexandra Greeley - Special to the Journal

If you have followed the openings and closing of Washington's multiple Chinese restaurants, you may know the name Meiwah. You also may know the name City Lights of China, a well-regarded Dupont Circle hangout for the young and hungry.

Its former owner, Larry La, moved on to bigger and fancier digs downtown, and if you believe all the signs of success, has opened a second restaurant in Chevy Chase, perhaps even bigger than the original Meiwah. >>MORE>>

Jumbo shrimp (left) and crispy shredded beef are among the delicacies at Meiwah

Staff Photo Christopher Anderson

  The Weekly Dish  
Double The Pleasure

Suburban patrons of the Meiwah Restaurant (1200 New Hampshire Ave. NW; 202-833-2888) in Washington's West End can stop badgering Larry La about opening a similar Chinese restaurant in their neck of the woods now that the veteran businessman has given them a second helping (4457 Williard Ave.; 301-652-9882) in Chevy Chase. Located on the second floor of a brand-new office building, the sleek stone-and-wood spin-off carries the same name, menu and prices as the original - fear not, the signature crispy beef and fried flounder are still worth your time - while adding something new to the mix: a sushi bar and a terrace for al fresco dining. A handsome antique castle door greets guests at the marble-tiled entrance; wraparound windows pull in lots of light (never mind that the view is mostly of parking lot). Throwing a party? The new Meiwah can be divided into private dining spaces, thanks to hidden screens. And the restaurant can accommodate a dozen people at its largest single table: Just ask to reserve Table No. A-3. Entrees $6.95 - $23.95.
The New Meiwah in Chevy Chase



"Handsome restaurant is comfortably Chinese..."

"...Meiwah provides worthy food at competitive prices in an atmosphere that is both dramatic and comforting..."

by Phyllis Richman

Larry La is fulfilling the classic American dream. He started with a small Chinese restaurant modestly situated a few steps down from Connecticut Avenue above Dupont Circle. City Lights of China gradually built a reputation for good cooking fresh ingredients, clear and bold flavors as well as for genial service. Soon La was driven to expand. And to expand again. The place was an ever-growing success, and weekend diners could expect a long line for tables. >>MORE>>


Meiwah [$]

Larry La (ex City Lights of china) and his team "have done it again" (but this time with "style") at this "beautiful" new Chinese-American near the West End, which boasts stunning appointments, floor-to-ceiling windows, "less-rushed service" and what early reports call the "same great" multiregional standards that packed his former place.

by Pam Crescenzo
Like most metropolitan areas, Washington D.C. is checkered with Chinese restaurants, so many in fact, that they almost become cliché. These numbers make it difficult to use words like "finest" and "exclusive" in the same sentence as hot and sour soup and shrimp with black bean sauce. Yet, Meiwah, New Hampshire Avenue's recent addition, finds itself on the brink of distinction with the simplest of formulas. They offer sumptuous dishes, good service and affordable prices -- all in a new and comfortable setting. Not rocket science -- just the work of a real veteran. >>MORE>>

Of all the new restaurants in town--and there are plenty--Meiwah has received its fair share of on-the-street buzz. Much of that interest derives from its ownership and kitchen staff, both from Dupont Circle's much-touted City Lights of China. Larry La, who had been absent from that place for awhile, has come back in force with his splashy new restaurant on New Hampshire and M. That it resembles a cross between Tara Thai and elegant Yanu may be no accident, for management knows that part of what sells a restaurant is atmosphere, atmosphere, atmosphere. . >>MORE>>


"Meiwah provides the best Chinese food around at highly competitive prices..."

"...The atmosphere and food alone are worth the trip..." >>MORE>>

"Meiwah is consistent cooking and small town benevolence..." >>MORE>>

By Pamela Crescenzo  
"Larry La takes cliché out of the Chinese restaurant experience, by feeding a host of nationalities with his jovial character, interesting ambiance, and dishes that are snappy, exotic, and easily able to tickle the palate of its patrons. Meiwah is not just another Chinese restaurant, in a city that is checkered with them. >> MORE>>


(c) 2005 Meiwah Restaurant. Meiwah Restaurant and the Meiwah Restaurant logo are trademarks of Meiwah Restaurant. All other logos are trademarks of their respective owners which may or may not be affiliated with each other. The stories, reviews and comments published here are copyrighted by their respective owners and reprinted here by written permission.


Meiwah Restaurant

1200 New Hampshire Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20036,
At the corner of New Hampshire and M Street between 21st Street and 22nd Street
Phone/Takeout - 202.833.2888 - 202.833.2882

Hours of Operation:

Mon-Thu: 11:30 am - 10 pm
Fri: 11:30 am - 10:30 pm
Sat: Noon - 10:30 pm, Sun: Noon - 10 pm

We deliver within a limited area. (Minimum Order $15.00)
FAX - 202.833.2828 | email: (NO ORDERS, PLEASE)

-- NEW LOCATION - NOW OPEN! with Sushi Bar --
4457 Willard Ave. Chevy Chase, MD 20815 | Tel: 301-652-9882 | FAX: 301-652-3988