Not gonna lie, I’ve spent a good chunk of my time here for more reasons than one. My mom and I both like designer brands so we come here to get our shop on fairly often. Plus, my aunt and cousins live nearby so it’s a convenient place for us to hang out. Before Urbanspace, we’d eat at Cheesecake Factory or Maggiano’s so suffice it to say, I’m thrilled that this eatery’s here to stay. I’ve tried every vendor there so I feel comfortable sharing my recommendations with you guys. Here are my favorite plates from each vendor!
1. Sen Khao
If you follow me on instagram, you already know I’m a huge fan of chef Seng Luangrath. She has 3 other restaurants in the DMV area – Thip Khao and Hanumanh in DC, Padaek in Falls Church – and the only one I haven’t tried yet is the latter. I have no doubt it’s amazing though since everything she touches is gold.
Sen Khao’s actually one of my favorite restaurants in the area, and I seriously dream about her pho som lao on the regular. It’s my go-to, and this hot noodle soup is something I enjoy even on the warmest of days. It’s a sour chicken broth with lime, fish sauce, tomato, garlic, chili oil and more. You can get it with rice or bean thread noodles, but I prefer the former because I like the texture better, in this soup at least.
Another home run is her chuenh peek gai. Hands down, the best chicken wings I’ve ever had, like ever in my life. It’s glazed in this uber flavorful sauce made with fermented chili, and it has a nice kick to it that’s not burn-a-hole-in-your-stomach hot. Chef Seng doesn’t mess around though – she’s not afraid to crank up the heat. If you go to Hanumanh – which you most definitely should – you’ll see what I mean. This dish is served with a side of sticky rice so it makes for a hearty meal. If you’d rather have a sandwich for lunch, you’re in luck because…
…Chef Seng recently opened up this joint as a response to the Popeyes craze, and her crispy chicken sandwich is all things good in the world. Think juicy chicken fried to perfection topped with lettuce, Asian herbs and Sen sauce served on a house made milk bread bun. Boom.
This is a pop-up so go ASAP and experience the deliciousness that is Laowich. They have four different sandwiches available, each sold for $9 a pop. Make it a combo for $14 and get a side of the most addicting fries you’ll ever have – I seriously want to put her tamarind seasoning on EVERYTHING I eat – along with a drink of your choice. I didn’t get to try the banana coconut cake, but I hear awesome things so it’s on my list.
3. Andy’s Pizza
I kind of feel like Andy’s magical, like a pizza god of sorts. I had the pleasure of meeting him the last time I went, and he’s so nice, and his NY style pies are so good. He ferments the dough for 72 hours so suffice it to say, the crust’s incredibly special – it’s soft on the inside, but the exterior’s nice and crisp. Enjoy a slice at the bar or get a pepperoni pizza to go! Don’t worry about having leftovers – it’s delicious cold, and it also reheats beautifully. And yes, I speak from personal experience so go and get some.
4. Lady M
If you haven’t tried Lady M yet, you’re seriously missing out. Whether you like sweets or not, I guarantee you’ll enjoy their beautiful crepe cakes. My favorite flavors are original, tiramisu and green tea. I feel like a lot of dessert places are overrated – as much as I admire Christina Tosi, I just don’t like Milk Bar – but Lady M lives up to the hype. It’s $10 a slice so it doesn’t come cheap, but I promise it’ll be worth the splurge. Each bite melts in your mouth, and it’s a dessert I never tire of. Think layers and layers of thin, delicate crepes with creme that’s lighter than air.
I had a scarring experience with fish a few years back so it’s not exactly my number 1, but I’ve heard awesome things about their sashimi bowls. I’m listing them today because I loved their ebi katsu aka panko coated shrimp. I feel like all tempura should taste like this – lightly fried to crispy perfection. I’ll definitely be back to try their katsudon and karaagedon so expect an update soonish.
6. Butcher’s Cut
Like Seng, Donburi chef and owner James Jang also has another pop up that you should check out. It’s called Butcher’s Cut, and he does steak frites. For $17, you get a salad, steak and fries – seems expensive but trust me when I say you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck.
The meat’s so juicy and tender, and it comes with a crazy delicious mushroom gravy that I loved. That’s not all though, the fries were seasoned well – so well that even a ketchup fiend like myself ate them sans sauce – and the salad was delicious. So, if you’re in the mood for a fat piece of steak, you know where to go.
Alright friends, I hope you enjoyed my latest nom post! I feel like a lot of people are skeptical of Urbanspace because it’s technically a mall food court, but don’t let that deter you because it’s so not what you think it is. I’m telling you right now, you’re doing your taste buds a serious disservice if you don’t go. Eat now, thank me later. For more DMV adventures, browse this tab. Until next time, friends!