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Sietsema Gives Two Stars to Spa World's Kokiri

All in the name of his craft. Tom Sietsema strips down the full experience at Spa World in Centreville, which isn't just about 24/7 hot baths and massages: it also includes the Korean-influenced restaurant Kokiri. The critic finds time between all the rubbing and relaxing to compliment vegetable dumplings, seaweed soup and spicy tofu soup.

Kokiri is plenty satisfying, if not a restaurant on par with Northern Virginia's best Korean practitioners. Its menu, with dishes displayed in photographs on yellow walls, is concise, and there are no servers, only order-takers behind a counter. But the spotless dining room offers food you are happy to see after a long soak or scrub. [WaPo]

Todd Kliman's review of newcomer Izakaya Seki is now online. Kliman discusses the history of the chef, and while he enjoys several raw dishes at the U Street neighborhood restaurant, it's the hot food that gets particular praise.

The broiled cuts of mero—otherwise known as Chilean sea bass—and the broiled, salted yellowtail jaw are as good as heat-treated fish gets, with a sweet succulence and a delicacy of taste that make each bite feel like a discovery....The meats are less exciting, but I enjoyed the skewered chicken meatballs, and the grilled short ribs—sliced thin and glazed with kalbi marinade—offered some of the visceral pleasures of a marinated steak cooked over an open flame. [Washingtonian]

Don Rockwell pays a visit to Paradise Indian Cuisine in Gwynn Park, and stumbles on a terrific version of lamb curry. "I'm willing to bet I had one of the best dishes served in Gwynn Park on this evening. Call it blind luck, skill in evaluation and ordering, or a gift from God, but just call it ? victory." [DonRockwell]

City Paper's Bar Food Bites column focuses on the new Blue Plate Special at Wonderland Ballroom, which writer Russell Warnick appreciates. "The Blue Plate special immediately improves Wonderland's regular menu. Not that I wasn't satisfied with the chili nachos with liquid cheddar, but it's nice to pair something new with my blueberry pancake beer...The new menu kicked off in mid-October, and I've been twice since, trying out the chicken and waffles and pasta special. Both are worth a repeat." [WCP]

THE BLOGS: DC-Wrapped Dates finds a second trip to Fiola "nothing short of breathtaking"...DMV Dining thinks bottomless brunch at Zengo is a good value...Borderstan calls The Satellite Room a "solid place to grab a drink or a bite before you head to a show."

Spa World [Photo: Yelp]

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