Neighborhood: Farragut/Dupont Circle
Official Friend of DCWD MPDD was back in town for a hot second on her way between China and Ecuador (of all places), and so we grabbed a quick dinner to catch up before she jetted off again. Looking for something quick and easy around my office building, we ended up at Nooshi.
For whatever reason, for a girl who just spent the last year in Asia, MPDD once again picked an Asian restaurant (see: Kushi). Nooshi (like its contemporaries Raku or Ping Pong Dim Sum) is very much the picture of the modernized Asian restaurant. The kitsch comes out in funny but uber-trendy ways: a color scheme of red, black, and gold, lanterns, that ubiquitous square pattern that shows up everywhere. Lighting comes from mostly the aforementioned lanterns and tea lights.
The restaurant is blessed with a gigantic patio area which was full when we arrived, so we consigned ourselves to one of the two-tops on the raised platform in the back. Your other options are mostly scattered pairings of two-tops or of course the sushi bar.
We tried to keep it simple. I ordered the Drunken Noodles: wide rice noodles, minced chicken, onions, peppers basil. It was decent, and the portion was fair, though the chicken was hard to find at times. I guess my main concern was that it didn't present a strong flavor in any direction. I'm not a huge fan of heat, but a little bit would have been nice.
The two of us also split a dragon roll, essentially a monstrosity of traditional spicy crunchy tuna sushi, wrapped in avocado and topped with some sort of red-orange sauce. I'll say this: sometimes a monstrosity of a sushi bite is good, the flavors and textures meshing well despite necessitating a giant mouth and a million components. This didn't even benefit from the variety of components, but was just enough of a bear to eat without bringing anything extra to the table.
We finished our dinner selections in our own traditional ways, me with a peace of tuna toro nigiri, her with bbq eel and salmon roe. The toro just wasn't as fresh or fatty as any I've ever had before, and was sort of disappointing.
Decent Asian on a budget, or for speed. But nothing crazy.
Food Rating: ** (out of 5)
Date Rating: 2 Hearts (out of 5)
Dress Code: Casual
Bar Rating: Frat House
Cost: $$$$ (out of 5) ($75-$100 for two)
Pairing: Go across the street to the CitySports and buy a frisbee to toss around to each other on Dupont Circle.