This large, modern dining room found on the ground floor of an office building around the corner from Tysons Galleria comes from chef Liu Chaosheng, the man behind Hong Kong Palace, Mala Tang and Uncle Liu’s Hot Pot. Friendly and helpful servers do a great job of patrolling the pretty space featuring immense windows shedding light on silky bolsters lining the banquettes. There’s a nice-looking sushi counter just across from the host stand, but it sure is tough to ignore the siren song of traditional Chinese cooking.
Yes, you’ll find hot and sour soup, General Tso’s chicken and beef with broccoli on this expansive menu—but there are so many reasons to stray from your usual take-out order. A whole rockfish smothered in aromatics, numbing Sichuan chilies and slices of crispy-chewy lotus root is a showstopper when it hits the table, not to mention a taste revelation that might just send you into a chili-induced euphoria. Cumin-dusted fried fish and batons of eggplant under a rich garlic sauce will have you inadvertently muttering “mmmmm” with every bite.
Other winners include a satisfying plate of rich Peking duck and a tasty tangle of dan dan noodles, but those who can handle spice should definitely steer toward anything with a chili pepper beside it on the menu. The kitchen handles them with a magic touch.
Chinese | $$
1753 Pinnacle Drive, McLean