Monday, September 14, 2015

The Best. Rose's Luxury

This post is dedicated to Anne, our biggest fan (and only reader).

In July, I visited Diana in D.C. for a weekend. Any weekend with Diana is my favorite weekend of the year. While she is supportive in everything I do in life (emotionally, professionally, spiritually), she exhibits her support the most when it comes to eating. My bloated face will utter, "Should I eat this? I'm just so full." and she will be the first to say, "I'll share it with you," and sometimes she will just eat most of it for me, and that's when I know we are really best friends.

We supported each other a lot as we waited patiently in line at Rose's Luxury, easily D.C.'s hottest restaurant, Bon Appetit's Best New Restaurant of 2014, and probably the only restaurant in town that you have to wait around two hours before it even opens to secure your meal that night. That's right. No reservations. Just lots and lots of ladies who want to eat and willing to stand in line at 3 p.m.

It gives you a lot of time to think about your life's priorities, check out the fashions of the people in front of you, eavesdrop on conversations, mutter curses under your breath for people whose parties suddenly triple in size, and yada yada.

And then when the doors open at 5p, you pray you make the first cut (they stagger seating to not overwhelm the kitchen), or you'll wait just a slim half hour for the second seating. You could also give them a preferred time you'd rather eat, if you don't feel particularly geriatric in wanting to dine at 5p.

We made the second seating, marveled at the charming interior upon entry, and all the gorgeous plants they have on the window ledges (I'll take one of everything please!)


look at this furry little fun guy.

And then after all the gushing was over, we ordered practically everything on the menu, minus the family style, because, we had to call the limits somewhere.

The complimentary bread is the most brilliant ever - potato bread served with buttermilk butter, the itty bittiest bacon bits and even tinier chives .

With each swift spread of butter on the slice, you feel like you're eating a baked potato, and what can be better than that?!

The Vietnamese pate was a dream, served with lusty crusty bread, the lightest, fluffiest pate you can imagine piled high with fresh herbs and peanuts.

Slather everything onto the bread (don't forget the pickled cucumbers or the chilis!), and it's everything you love about banh mi! My belly bursts with happiness!

The most popular dish at Rose's Luxury is the lychee salad, which in and of itself sounds pretty awesome,

but its the coconut cream foam that is pure magic - it envelops absolutely everything when you mix it altogether,

like over all the herbs, and slivers of red onions, and the peanuts, the pork sausage, and habanero and the other random bits and bobs you'll never be able to identify, but which you'll love all the same, because the flavor combination is nothing short of sublime.  Really! And later we thought about ordering another one of these, and I don't think we ever did, and now that is easily one of my life's regrets.

The Japanese hangar steak, served with Japanese mustard and eel sauce,

was sweet and ever so tender. Melty meaty goodness.

Our waitress surprised us with the grilled avocado - "you must try this! you'll love it!" and she was 150% right. Something seemingly so simple but completely fantastic - I started looking into cotija cheese the minute I got back into NYC, because this is how I want to eat all my avocados, with tomatillo, poblano, cotija cheese and onions. Spicy, savory, fresh, amazing.

The softshell crab was a meaty marvel, lightly battered for just the right amount of crunch. Served with slivers of white asparagus and tangy balsamic, the dish was remarkably light and fresh tasting.

The housemade reginetti pasta, squiggly little buggers, tasted equally as fresh, simply tossed with parmesan, chili, garlic and squash blossoms.

The world needs more squash blossoms, amirite?

And finally we ended with just a couple of desserts, a gorgeously plated coconut ice cream with tuile cookies that transported us to the tropics,

and the eggplant tartin, which sounded all sorts of bizarre, but ended up being so delicious.

Served warm with luscious ice cream, you probably wouldn't be able to guess that it is eggplant if you were served it blindly, but you'd sense that something was strange about it, but in a good way, no, a great way.

Sad to see the meal to end, but our check brought a smile. One, that feast totaled less than $100 (!!! !! !!!) and two, check out the third line item: "5 Side of Winning." They knew they had made believers out of us, and it is true. I can't wait to go back, two hours wait or not, that lychee salad beckons me in my dreams.

Han's Nonsensical Rating: Just yes. Yes. Yes. A million times yes!

717 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003


  1. HAHhahahahhahah... this is an EPIC post for the most EPIC (and sweet/charming/delicious) meal!

    first, anne, we love you indeed. hahahah.
    second, my dearest han, you know i will eat anything with you whenever until the end of the earth! i love our bloated faces. it's like our faces become bloated the moment we're in the same city. <3

    oh man.
    we REALLY need to get back to rose's luxury asap. these beautiful pictures with the beautiful plates and lighting, i mean... SWOON. i still cannot believe how delicious the lychee salad was, or how reasonable our bill came out to be. what a gem!

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