Best Lounge Revamp

The Source by Wolfgang Puck
575 Pennsylvania Ave. NW; (202) 637-6100
The kitchen for the Source’s upstairs dining room borrows liberally from Asian cooking, adding, for example, a red Thai curry vinaigrette to Maryland’s beloved crab cakes or a cardamom raita to a plate of tandoori arctic char. But until recently, the downstairs lounge was a mishmash of influences, offering a menu that mixed Puck classic pizzas with calzones and Kobe sliders, all trying desperately to appeal to an audience looking for slick comfort food. That changed in January when executive chef Scott Drewno introduced his izakaya-style menu, which, in the Japanese manner, blends food and drink in one boisterous, casual, even drunken environment. In Drewno’s case, the menu combines sake, shocho, and Japanese beer with a pan-Asian assortment of sushi, hand rolls, dumplings, banh mi, and even Korean-style short ribs with kimchi. The new menu is affordable—prices range from $8 to $12—and those prices go even lower during happy hour, when the only thing missing are the drunken businessmen just off work.

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