Nothing like Chinese restaurants on December 25. The Chevy Chase outpost of Meiwah (4457 Willard) was hopping on Christmas night, though you would never have known from the barren emptiness of the street below — I’m pretty sure I saw a couple of frosty tumbleweeds blow by. But inside, Meiwah’s lobby was nearly impassable from all the people waiting, hoping, praying for tables but who did not have reservations. And the enormous dining room was also packed with happy eaters and efficient servers, a couple of whom had donned Santa hats for the occasion.
We had a reservation. I’m sure the lady who, as we arrived, hissed “we’ve been waiting more than a half hour!” at the hostess was not happy to see us immediately seated while she continued to wait. Let that be a Christmas lesson unto her, and us all: make reservations.
Atmosphere was festive, convivial, and the food was pretty good too, especially the starter of razor-thin seared tuna sashimi in a spicy citrusy sauce. Delicious. Meiwah also does great greens, we all loved the sauteed spinach with garlic and…was it sweet mirin in the sauce, or sesame oil, or lemon, or something else? Whatever it was really worked. They also offer an “Atkins-friendly” selection of entrees that are sauteed instead of deep-fried as usual, and the General Tso’s chicken was good like that, tender and saucy. Crispy shredded beef was indeed crispy and shredded, but not at all spicy despite its chili pepper menu icon, so I was a little disappointed even though it was otherwise a successful dish.
All in all a fine Christmas dinner, and we were glad to be hungry for it on the heels of an enormous Christmas lunch featuring roast beast, pumpkin pie and an excellent Yorkshire pudding. I should probably stop eating for a while, but Song Phat is in my immediate future…