Just had to report in on Yanyu, another triumphant find from these boards. Love the chic Asian decor - my hubby travels to Asia frequently and our home is filled with art and the like from his travels - so he really enjoyed the murals and the general atmosphere.
Excellent service. So nice to be greeted by an actual friendly hostess and have our needs actually met with no hassle. Seems like so many restuarants in DC have just appalling service, so pleasant service is just a thrill when we get it.
We ordered the Peony tasting menu and started, as per Pam H's recommendation, with the lobster rolls. The lobster was delicious - especially that dipping sauce that comes with it. I could have licked the plate. Than an egg white dumpling that fell apart when we tried to eat it with chopsticks but we happily nibbled on its contents - it was wonderful! Dumplings are probably our favorite Chinese treat so this was especially enjoyed.
Then the grilled lemongrass shrimp, and the Big Duck - both incredibly yummy. Then I had the steamed sea bass which I am now desperately going to try to create at home - the slices of ginger and mushroom between the slices of fish gave SUCH good flavor. Hubby subbed the yanyu lobster which was incredible. Then finally the Korean-style steak with the little pickled vegetables which was outstanding.
I just had a glass of wine (driving) while hubby put away some sake that he was very pleased with.
In lieu of dessert hubby decided he wanted to finish the evening at the bar, and I wanted tea. Our waitress was nice enough to have us head downstairs and bring me my tea (oolong, very very good) and brought our check to us there as well. That flexibility was greatly appreciated. Hubster had a glass of port he really enjoyed, and the atmosphere in the bar was just as pleasant - we could see into the kitchen a bit - and a great way to end the evening.
The price tag was a bit high, but in all it was truly worth it. A few times I wished the items we got with the tasting menu were a little more generous, but then I was full at the end and barely able to finish my steak, so perhaps it was just right. The wine by the glass prices were pretty high - if I could do it again I'd get the wine pairings since those actually seemed like a pretty good deal.
There were so many other intriguing items on the menu (sashimi salad? I must have it) that we might even have to go back soon.
We did not make it to Palena for dessert, being full and the weather being yucky and rainy.
Thanks to all who gave feedback - it was a delightful evening. The hubster can't figure out where I find all these great restuarants. :-)