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Thursday, May 17, 2007

First Impressions: Chan’s Mongolian Grill and Tokyo Sushi (Updated with Menu)

I generally avoid new restaurants for the first few weeks or so after their opening, knowing that certain kinks and problems are inevitable in an eatery’s initial days. Nonetheless, I could not avoid giving our newest dining option a try last night and figured I’d share some initial impressions.

Chan’s Mongolian Grill and Tokyo Sushi is not a host/hostess/waiter/waitress type of place; it’s much more casual than that. You enter and either go to your left to concoct a vegetable medley for the Mongolian grill component of the restaurant (you tell them what meat and sauces you’d like added to your veggies after you’ve finished throwing together your bowl of vegetables) or you go to your right—towards the back of the restaurant—to order sushi (or any other menu item) at the cashier. This system needs a little tweaking, as most people entering the restaurant are a little lost and unsure of where to go or what to do.

You can either dine in or take out what you order. If dining in, you get a plastic tray with your food on it to take it to your table. The dining area has some Japanese elements to it and is simple and clean.

Food-wise, we were really pleased with our orders. I ordered sushi—a rainbow roll (boring, I know, but it’s pretty straight forward and figured I’d give it a try here) and one thing not on the menu (four heavenly words: crunchy spicy salmon roll). I also got a salad, which features their homemade ginger dressing. Drew ordered from the Mongolian grill, and loved his combination of vegetables, shrimp, garlic sauce, and spicy sauce. The noodles and rice it came with were also really good. The menu offers a range of Asian dishes (e.g., teriyaki beef/chicken, General Tso’s chicken, etc.); I’ll try to get a scanned copy of it up soon. All are quite affordable and, I have a feeling, quite tasty.

Drink-wise, they have an assortment of Japanese beer and sakes.

While its ambiance might not be great, say, for a date destination, I think we’re really going to enjoy having Chan’s Mongolian Grill and Tokyo Sushi in our neighborhood. I know I’ll be back frequently.

Here are images of the menu (click on them for larger, legible versions):






Chan’s Mongolian Grill and Tokyo Sushi
1207 9th Street, NW

14 comments:

si said...

did you happen to see the hours of operation?

Shaw Rez said...

hmmmm... no, I didn't. I know they're open for lunch; we left around 9 and folks were still coming in.

Brian said...

How much is the Mongolian? I'm really excited to have one in our neighborhood--I used to go to one all the time when I lived in California, and hadn't been able to find a good one out here that didn't cost a fortune (there's one in Gallery place that's very expensive).

Mari said...

What a great addition to the hood. Sometimes you don't need a host/ hostess/ matre D place but rather a 'I'm hungry and I don't want to cook' place. Sounds liek this is it.

Shaw Rez said...

Brian - I need to check the menu (which I left at home); I think it was like $7.

Mari - I totally agree and didn't mean to put a negative spin on it. For some reason I was expecting a host/waiter format; I think it's a great casual addition to the area as is. And it's delicious.

Brian said...

That's fantastic! I'll have to check it out this weekend.

Clara Barton Dweller said...

Did you happen to notice if they have (m)any vegetarian sushi options? I love veggie sushi but it can be hard to find.

Anonymous said...

BTW, there's an article in the Post today, reporting that the charter school scheduled to move in across 9th (the 1200 block) sold the property.......no info on any potential or current buyer...

Clara Barton Dweller said...

Oh, now I see you posted the menu. Duh! Sorry. :)

Drew said...

They seemed eager to please by making us an "off the menu" hand roll (the crunchy spicy salmon avacado roll." If you are a sushi fan... TRY IT! This is my favorite roll of all time that I discovered at my local sushi restaurant while living in NYC. It isn't on any menus down here but if you ask for it, they will gladly make it.

So for sure, any veggie sushi roll you'd like they'd be willing to make.

Pat L. & Steve K. said...

We've been waiting anxiously for the Mongolian Grill & Sushi Bar to open. We took some friends there Saturday evening. We walked in and were confused. The staff was confused. No one was staffing the grill as we were told it was out of order. The acting hostess(?) tried to explain how things work but was hard to understand. We wanted Sushi for an appetizer and the Mongolian Grill for a main course. To make a long story short, the meat portion of our Mongolian grill was cooked in the back not on the grill in front, but was delicious and the sushi was good. The staff really tried to please, but in our opinion why spend all the money on nice decor just to serve food on styrofoam plates with plastic utensils (maybe why the prices are reasonable)? The sushi was served on plates with little plastic packets of soy sauce. However, with all said, we will return for a quick lunch or a fast dinner with the hope that there is less confusion next time. We think it is a nice addition to the neighborhood so that you don't have to go to Chinatown. Suggestion to the owner and staff for ordering sushi. A simple menu with items that can be checked or circled would be very helpful and would bridge a lot of the communication problems. A little dipping bowl for the sushi with soy sauce in a bottle would be nice also. Those darn packets were not easy to open!

Sarah said...

I sat at the bar and ordered sushi from there, which was not only fun, but also resulted in real (ceramic) plates and soy sauce dipping dishes, as well as soy sauce not from a packet.

Not the best sushi in DC, but a great place to have in the neighborhood.

christopherlee said...

I had a grilled beef dish and 6$ can of Kirin. Food was not bad, and a pretty good helping. They good stand to do something with the lighting and ambiance. The staff was helpful but English "challenged". Not hating on the place though. It's a welcome addition.

Patrick said...

anyone know if the mongolian bbq part is all-you-can-eat? It usually is, but then it usually costs more than $7. Thanks.