Meiwah Restaurant
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  by Pam Crescenzo
 
 

Welcome to La La Land
Two brothers make Meiwah -Wonderful.

Like most metropolitan areas, Washington D.C. is checkered with Chinese restaurants, so many infant, 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.

Owner Larry La, got his start in D.C. at City Lights on Connecticut Avenue. Before that, he ran Boston's Hunan Gallery and Miami's Canton. Though modest in its surroundings, City Lights quickly became known for its good food and local draw. After 10 years of steady business from the neighborhood, reams of take out orders, and an occasional celebrity (a favorite spot for Mick Jaggar), La decided it was time to move his kitchen to a larger and more people-friendly facility. Just a few months again, his search ended at New Hampshire's M Street corner.

Two floors of windows, light and space now greet Meiwah's customers. Its space is used wisely in contrast to other places where elbow rubbing is considered ambiance. For casual dinners, wooden tables flank two streets and are positioned for outside viewing, much like many European cafe's. Booths in the center of the establishment provide intimacy for the businessperson or the couple who is interested in holding hands without being on display. The most interesting decorative feature rests at Meiwah's nucleus, where a pair of 19th century doors servers as a reflection of Canton. The doors are open most of the time but can be closed to separate the center of the restaurant for private gatherings.

Executive Chef Ngoc La, (Larry La's brother) was also part of the City Lights of China team. The menu, while modestly expanded, still mirrors his most popular creations. Highlights include; meat or vegetarian steamed dumplings, eggplant with crushed garlic, black pepper-sliced beef in oyster sauce and Shanghai bokchoi with black mushrooms. The spices are snappy, exotic and easily recognized. Maybe a bit strong for the mild mannered palate, but they are sure to tickle that of the adventurous diner.

According to La, Meiwah means, "American-Chinese." "I was born in Vietnam, my parents were Chinese. Now I am an American citizen," said La. When asked about his vision for the new eatery, la replied, "CBS is right across the street and FCC on the other side. We keep long hours, so the late working people will have a place to go if they need take out or a quiet table to relax. Already, we are their best friends. The place really comes alive on a Friday or Saturday night. But this part of town also has a huge international representation and it is my goal to feed them all with food they'll never forget."

Not only will it be hard to forget a Meiwah meal, but La himself is a bit of a character, floating from table to table to check on everyone's "enjoyment factor." He often suggests dishes and the appropriate drink to accompany them. He is polished, personable and eager to please. Meiwah is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner. There are also rooms for private parties or special occasions.

 


(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. 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 - 10:30 pm
Fri: 11:30 am - 11 pm
Sat: Noon - 11 pm, Sun: Noon - 10:30 pm

FREE DELIVERY within a limited area. (Minimum Order $15.00)
FAX - 202.833.2828 | email: (NO ORDERS, PLEASE)
meiwahrestaurant@gmail.com

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

New Food Court - Meiwah Express: 1331 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20004 - Tel: 202-393-8884

 

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