Café MoZU

The Mandarin Oriental is a relative newcomer to the DC area. The brand has a global reputation for luxury hotels and resorts and the DC venue doesn’t disappoint. There are two restaurants in the Mandarin Oriental: CityZen (which Dean reviewed a while back) and Café MoZU. Last night was actually my fourth trip to MoZu in the past year so I guess I must like it quite a bit.

Cost – $$$

Service – B+
I wouldn’t call it an elite wait staff but they are extremely polite and gracious and I have never had a negative experience with them.

Food – B-
Being Last night I sampled the Tyo fried chicken and a California roll to start, followed by the crispy wild salmon and light mushroom risotto, accompanied by a bottle of Riesling (I can’t recall the brand). The food is solid however it isn’t a real strength of the restaurant. The risotto was not cooked evenly and didn’t taste as though it was freshly prepared. The crispy salmon is good but I find myself dipping it in soy sauce. Now granted, I have pretty Asian taste buds but the sauce that accompanies the salmon (sort of a mild hollandaise) just doesn’t offer that much in the way of flavor and the salmon was a bit bland. Now I’m being a bit overly critical here but at the list prices they probably should be delivering a better overall product.

Decor – A-
MoZU was designed by Tony Chi, whose studio Tony Chi & Associates has a pretty impressive portfoilio that includes MObar (at the Mandarin Oriental in New York), Umu in London and Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant at the MGM Grand. The design of MoZU delivers a sexy and sophisticated layout that is helped by the incredible view of tidal basin.

Feel – A
This is the real reason you go to MoZU. If you are looking for top-tier sushi you should go to Taro. If you are looking for a sexy dining ambiance to take a date in DC you should go to MoZU. Go early and grab a drink at the Empress Lounge or sit out on the patio. Then head in (probably around 9 because there will be less families and kids at that point) for dinner afterwards.

Café MoZU is located in the Mandarin Oriental at 1330 Maryland Avenue, SW. They can be reached at (202) 787 6868.

What’s the Buzz:

August 8, 2005 – Café MoZU (ken’s rnr) – I thought the food and the service was on par for a fancy restaurant. I was there for Restaurant Week, so I didn’t check out the entire menu, but the summer tomato and avocado salad and black cod were super yummy. However, no rave would be complete without a few accompanying rants…so here they are (not necessarily in order): Full article…

Cafe Mozu on Urbanspoon


  1. Best Places to take a Date in Washington, DC - September 20, 2008

    […] Café MoZU – From the drive in to seating, the whole experience is pretty nice.  The Mandarin has first-class service from the valet through the host and wait staff at the restaurant.  You are seated with a wonderful view of the tidal basin.  I sort of wish the food was a little bit better but it is a pretty unbeatable ambiance.  Afterwards you have a drink at the Empress Lounge. […]

  2. Mandarin Oriental Hotel Washington, DC - May 21, 2009

    […] first visited the Mandarin Oriental over a year ago while eating at MoZU and fell in love.  It is easily one of the top hotels in DC as far as the general ambiance is […]

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