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The Early Word on China Chilcano

Are D.C. diners feeling the chifa love?

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R. Lopez

One of D.C.'s most anticipated restaurants of 2015 opened its doors just as the new year kicked off. A new José Andrés restaurant is bound to generate buzz, and China Chilcano made news with its playful decor and innovative menu. But is D.C. on board with José Andrés' pisco-focused, Chinese-Peruvian chifa concept? Are diners impressed so far? Here's the early word on Andrés' newest restaurant in Penn Quarter:

The Sexy/Wacky Bar News: China Chilcano currently has a 4.5 star rating on Yelp, with 10 reviews total. Many reviewers are giving props to the restaurant for its unique, vibrant decor. Cameron B. wrote on Yelp, "I have a feeling I'm going to like this place! Maybe not for the main dishes, but for the many varieties of Pisco drinks and small bites I can crush at the sexy/wacky bar." [Yelp]

The Aeropuerto Rave: Yelper Alexandra O. wrote, "The Areopuerto rice is also a MUST. Its the best Chinese/inspired rice I've had. It comes with over 20 baby vegetables; we loved that the rice wasn't salty." [Yelp]

The Disappointing Absence of Guinea Pig News: Max K. wrote on Yelp, "There was not guinea pig on the menu when we went, which I was a little disappointed about, but our server reassured us that they would be adding it as soon as they are able to "find a consistent supply of quality guinea pig" -- though I have no idea where they'll find that... Either way, we'll definitely be back once that's added to the menu." [Yelp]

The Wanting More News: Yelper Taylor M wrote, "The food is delicious and unique- but I left paying a lot to leave hungry. This is never the case at any other Jose Andres restaurants in the area. Portion sizes need to be uped for sure- especially dumpling sizes and sushi." [Yelp]

Not the Best Meal of 2015 News: A PoPville commenter writes, "I went on Monday and thought it was ok. The food was tasty but not stellar…think small plate fusion per the rest of the city. Prob my least favorite of the Andres restaurants in DC. The menu reads more interesting than the food. The cocktail menu was interesting and well executed. The staff were attentive and immediately attended to any new-restaurant-mix-ups. The space itself is fun and lively. Try it for the sake of something new but don’t expect it to be one of your best meals of 2015." [PoP]

The Culinary Adventure News: Brian writes on Facebook, "Fantastic food. Extraordinary service. From the first sip of Pisco to the last bite of dessert, it was an adventure. Highly recommend." [FB]

The Loved Everything News: Carlos gives the restaurant a rave review on Facebook "Come for cool ambiance and gente linda, the spicy pisco sours, the Peruvian/Japanese / Chinese fusion food, superb causa with lump crab, the ceviche, lamb pot stickers, shrimp & pork wanton with hoisin sauce, the chicles with the spicy sauce, the menu goes on an on. Couldn't have had everything. Must come back. The staff is very friendly and helpful and it was opening night.!!!" [FB]

The Inexplicable Gold Flakes News: JMD writes on Don Rockwell,  "This restaurant is beautiful (and smaller than I imagined), and the service is equally attractive - casual but fairly polished. Cocktails were all on point, other than the "'a Collins.' And the food was pretty to look at, and satisfying across the board. The ceviches are winners (but think composed, not hearty). There is a section of sushi/causa hybrids (causa being a Peruvian potato preparation); I enjoyed the uni. Siu mai came across as authentic, despite the inexplicable gold flakes (is that a thing?), and the vegetable fried rice dish was plenty tasty." [DR]

You Will Drink Pisco News: UrbanDaddy approves of the drink list, writing, "You'll be drinking Pisco. They hope to have a list of 100 before too long. Some piscos will find their way into infusions with sour cherries or hot peppers. Others into cocktails with vanilla and persimmon. Or check out the six Peruvian beers, including a quinoa Kölsch. Excellent source of protein." [UD]

China Chilcano

418 7th Street Northwest, , DC 20004 (202) 783-0941 Visit Website