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My picks for D.C. Restaurant Week

PHOTO: Shrimp Fried Rice at Mango Tree (c) Sery Kim

Today, a very good friend of mine asked me what my recommendations were for D.C. Restaurant Week next week, i.e. the painful experience where restaurants are gutted with a phlethora of foodies seeking a deal. As someone who eats at more than her fair share of restaurants on a weekly basis, I assiduously avoid these seven days in any town because the last thing I want during lunch or dinner is to be hurried about -- as well as limited in my selection. However, since I went through the entire list of restaurants on Open Table currently available for booking for D.C. Restaurant Week, here the only four restaurants I would recommend if you need to experience D.C. Restaurant Week:

1. Daikaya Izakaya -- Perenially one of the best restaurants in D.C., this sublime noodle shop in Chinatown combines a playful yet hearty Japanese menu with enough interesting twists to keep your palate happy. Truly, if you only go to one restaurant during D.C. Restaurant Week, then this is the one you want to go to!

2. Mango Tree -- Currently the best restaurant in CityCenterDC, this Thai restaurant's embraces a bold presentation with even bolder flavors typical of Thai cuisine. Be sure to order their deconstructed Shrimp Fried Rice, which was one of the best rice dishes I have tried this year.

3. 701 Restaurant -- While most fans of popular D.C. restauranteur Ashok Bajaj would rather venture to either of his Rasika Restaurants for D.C. Restaurant Week, I think the better selection is 701 Restaurant. The fairly new chef offers up a modern twist on 701's American cuisine focused menu.

4. Centrolina -- I haven't yet had the pleasure to check out this new Italian Restaurant in CityCenterDC, which is simply a result of traveling too much. However, since I detested my Fig + Olive experience I would say this new restaurant is probably a safer bet to check out if you are looking for something new in D.C.

PHOTO: Seafood dish at Centrolina courtesy of Centrolina

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