Asia Nine is the latest endeavor by Boonrod Yotmanee and Nuthinepan Tantivejakul, the couple that runs Rice and Spice Thai Cuisine in Alexandria. As a person who spends most of their life in Penn Quarter, I was looking forward to the opening of a convenient restaurant with a selection of Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Thai cuisines. I had read that Asia Nine was going to be mid-priced and casual so on my first visit with Jiyan, I was a little surprised on how expansive and well put together the place was. Truth be told, the hooks for me here are the flat screen televisions at the bar, sushi and the extensive sake list.
Cost – $$
Service – B+
I have eaten here a number of times since the doors opened in March and the service has been consistently good. Like most new establishments, there are kinks that will have to be worked out but the attentive and friendly attitude of the staff as a whole makes up for it. Expect the grade for service to improve once the sushi chefs start taking sake bombs with me.
Food – C+
The drawback of restaurants, especially Asian ones, with menus that span a variety of cuisines (fusion aside). Although the food in general can be good, the offerings tend to be the more popular safe dishes. Asia Nine fits into that mold and the dishes and sushi range from pretty good to average. Some may find the number of salads on the menu a plus.
Decor – B
As I alluded to above, I have come to expect most casual Asian restaurants to be a little thrown together including decor that falls along those lines but Asia Nine differs here. The space is open with high ceilings but the use of red, gold and orange color palette helps maintain a comfortable feel. Overall, I would say it’s a stylish restaurant.
Feel – B
I recently had dinner on a weekend and the place was full with a good buzz. It was nice to see a diverse crowd of people that seem to range from people on a date to casual diners to those who looked like they were warming up for a night on the town. A consistent solid experience be it happy hour or a Saturday night dinner.
Asia Nine is located at 915 E Street NW. They can be reached at (202) 629-4355.
What’s the Buzz:
March 26, 2008 – Asia Nine (Washington Post) – “I haven’t seen cocktails in these colors since spring break!” A buddy makes a nostalgic, and accurate, point as three of us ease into dinner at the sweeping Asia Nine Bar and Lounge in Penn Quarter: Our spirit-laced drinks form a Day-Glo rainbow of pink, yellow and blue on the tabletop, which is all but hidden by multiple menus that have been distributed to each of us. Full article…
March 18, 2008 – Asia Nine (DCfabulous) – Penn Quarter location. Check. Sushi menu. Check. Looks of what can be a trendy place to have sushi. Check. Tables full of children and tourists…ummmmm. I have been waiting for Asia Nine to open for a long time. And I was excited when I stopped by last Wednesday for the soft opening. Full article…