Asia Nine Bar and Lounge is darn slick, and serves up some tasty pan-Asian vittles and beer.
I ate here awhile back and would love to do so again when I’m in Chinatown. I say Chinatown, but the place is actually situated in Penn Quarter. But given the cuisine and short walk to the Friendship Arch, you’ll think you’re there.
With that out of the way … Asia Nine Bar and Lounge really is a swanky place and has friendly staff (at least when I ate there). As pretty as the website is, it’s just as dazzling inside.
Walking into the E Street establishment, it has a sophisticated Asian feel, almost futuristic. Above the bar hangs an assortment of paper lantern-type lights, and the seating is plentiful. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll get a seat by the window, where you can watch passersby in this increasingly trendy locale. The atmosphere is dignified but still fun.
Yes, as its name implies, Asia Nine serves Asian Fusion, or as they call it, Asian-Asian Fusion. So, it’s extra Asian. Taking a look at their dinner menu (the place has six separate menus on their website), you’ll find there are a variety of dishes: Japanese tempura, chicken satay, Vietnamese cashew nut, Cantonese fried rice.
Not only do you get the expected seafood entrees (shrimp), but they also serve the not-so-expected seafood entrees (salmon). There is also plenty of curry, noodles and what many people crave: sushi (and sashimi). They even have Thai BBQ chicken. Who could resist that?
Then you get to the good-time quotient. Yes, they do serve them some liquor at Asia Nine. They have a very extensive (and pricey) wine list, along with a good choice of mixed drinks, martinis and Asian beer. I had a beer here that I wish I could remember the name of. It was worth the high price.
While it’s true the prices are moderate to fairly high, this is a classy place and worth it. Last year, Asia Nine participated in the Cherry Picks Restaurant Program as part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. No official word yet if they’re participating this year or not.
Either way, if you rent an apartment in Penn Quarter, Chinatown, whatever you want to call this diverse neighborhood, Asia Nine is a cherry worth picking.