"I suppose there are people who can pass up free guacamole, but they're either allergic to avocado or too joyless to live."— Frank Bruni

Tuesday, October 04, 2011


As promised, here is a little blurb about the Toki Underground/Baohaus mashuppopup! First seen on Eater then on Eddie Huang's own blog, this event is one of pippopuphiphopchiggaunderbutkindofabovegroundculture proportions, bridging the foodtypesbutprobablymostlyHStreethipsters of DC with the outspokenfoodmediapersonalitybaoadvocatefromNYC that is Eddie Huang. I personally prefer the ramen at Ren's to Toki's, as well as the overall space (I was never one for the sceney places, and plus, they seem confused on what kind of ramen they serve...they've stated they serve Taiwanese ramen, but they market their tonkotsu soup, and a Japanese friend says the ramen is hardly hakata, meanwhile I can't even remember what I had - I think it was the curry one, but I remember tasting the classic one and it was only mildly tonkotsu-y), but the ounce of scenester in me is tickling to check this out, especially because I never went to Baohaus during my NYC years. Eddie Huang has been busy with his new location opening up in recent months and his first location closing last weekend, so it'll be interesting to see what he's been hustling.

On other food talk, last night we dined at Los Tios Grill, a Tex-Mex and Salvadoran restaurant in the Del Rey neighborhood of Alexandria, VA. We went to Del Rey intending on going to Cheestique but fortunately stumbled upon a butcher shop (!) and Los Tios (Cheesetique was closed). Although it still doesn't get close to our beloved Bogota, it'll do as an honorable DMV (yeah, I stole that from you, Eddie Huang) back-up. After a long search, we found a place that, like Bogota, served a sangria/margarita hybrid. Let's talk about this for a minute. Dubbed the sangrita at Bogota, this libation is as pleasing to the mouth as it is your eyes:

(this pic is from my Foodspotting roll - see below left or go here)

Check out those orbs of frozen margarita suspended in rich red sangria. And here's the sangria margarita from Los Tios:

Sangria Margarita
(this pic is also from my Foodspotting roll)

It looks similar, but they use a frozen sangria as well, so it's one big frozen drink (think frozen swirl margaritas at Lauriol Plaza). The drinks at Los Tios are humongous - this was a small! The large is over 20 ounces! Anyway, so although we still prefer the sangrita to the sangria margarita, taste and texture-wise, it's the closest thing we have here in the DC area to Bogota's sangrita. We'll take it. As for the food, delicioso and cheap. I had the mojarra frita...

Mojarra Frita

...and G had the lomo saltado.

Lomo Saltado

Our meals were tasty and good-sized and were complimented well with their 'special hot sauce' that reminded me of the spicy green mayo sauce served at El Pollo Rico. My fish was marinated and fried, making it tastier than just a fried fish, which in itself is the tastiest fried thing ever. G's lomo saltado was good too, with flavors that tasted a little Chinese to me, but I couldn't put my finger on what exactly made it taste Chinesey.

Our waitress was super-attentive and friendly (she went out of her way to warn me that my fish came with the head on, to which I replied "That's good," to which she displayed a look of approval, further explaining that she states that fact because there are some people who are put off with the head, to which I thought "Those people need to die"). The rest of the waitstaff were similarly friendly and helpful.

Oh - we also had their tres leches for dessert (how can you not, what with it on the menu, and eating it everywhere it's offered, and especially with G across the table?), which was huge too. It was soaked satisfactorily, but after you've had Oyamel's, it's hard to come close to such high expectations. All in all, a truly pleasant and satiating dining experience that garnered many return visits. Not bad for a Monday night.

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