20 Best Restaurants in Washington, D.C.

20 Best Restaurants in Washington, D.C.

This hybrid Chinese-Korean restaurant on Barracks Row used to be a hot dog shop, and the floorplan hasn't changed much since ChiKo took over. Sure, there's a new black-and-yellow paint job, panda wallpaper, and some neon signage, but the fast-casual feel has overall remained. Mandu chef Danny Lee and chef Scott Drewno, formerly of The Source, reinterpret fast-casual as fine-casual in dishes like double-fried chicken with a spicy soy glaze, wok-blistered Chinese broccoli, and chopped brisket with a soy-brined soft egg, furikake butter, and rice. Go here to wow your friends with something new without breaking the bank.

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The 38 Essential Restaurants in D.C., Summer 2018

The 38 Essential Restaurants in D.C., Summer 2018

The Rammy Award-winning new restaurant of the year continues to wow locals with its mind-blowing mix of Korean and Chinese cooking. And the fun is just getting started. The co-founders are opening a second location on the West Coast later this summer, and plan to continue recruiting guest chefs for the “After Dark” series here in D.C.

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Best of Washington 2018: Best Dining Trend

Best of Washington 2018: Best Dining Trend

Chefs of all stripes have long dabbled in junk food, usually on bar menus. But a few have ditched fine dining altogether. At Chiko (423 Eighth St., SE; 202-558-9934), former Source chef Scott Drewno has teamed up with Mandu proprietor Danny Lee to create thrilling Chinese and Korean noodle and rice bowls.

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Washington.org: 20+ Hot Restaurants To Try Now In Washington, DC

Washington.org: 20+ Hot Restaurants To Try Now In Washington, DC

This new breed of fast casual Chinese-Korean fusion on Capitol Hill’s Barracks Row is the brainchild of three seasoned vets of the District’s food scene: 2016 RAMMY Chef of the Year Scott Drewno, formerly of The Source; Danny Lee, chef and owner of Mandu; and Andrew Kim of Matchbox Food Group. This all-star team conceived CHIKO (short for Chinese Korean) as the spot where traditional eastern flavors meld with contemporary techniques at an accessible price point (you wont find anything on the menu over $18). Diners rave about the orange-ish chicken and chopped brisket sourced from local market Wagshal’s. Needless to say, this is no ordinary Chinese takeout.

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Zagat: DC's Most Important Restaurant Openings of 2017

Zagat: DC's Most Important Restaurant Openings of 2017

Considering the trio behind ChiKo — Mandu chef-owner Danny Lee; former Sourcechef Scott Drewno; and Drew Kim, cofounder of Matchbox — it’s no wonder that even a few days after opening, this Chinese-Korean eatery was already on the radar of DC’s food-obsessed. Despite the owners’ pedigrees, there’s no table service here. You can order at the counter and eat in or order online for takeout or delivery. (We’re jealous of everyone who lives near these last two options.) But the best way to experience the modern Asian cooking is to reserve one of the four counter seats, where you can try just about everything on the menu for $50 per person.

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