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Friends of Eater Pick 2015's Biggest Dining Surprise

What shocked them?

Jose Andres
Jose Andres
R. Lopez

As per tradition, Eater asked a group of journalists, bloggers and friends of the site to weigh in on the year in food. Here, experts share 2015's biggest dining surprise.

Nevin Martell, freelance food writer: The fact that José Andrés pulled out of the Trump Hotel. It was the right thing to do, but it's a decision that will cost the chef time and money, so I applaud him for taking a stand.

Laura Hayes, freelance food writer/Thrillist DC: Big name chefs willing to take the gamble of attaching their names to airport restaurants.

Svetlana Legetic, Brightest Young Things founder: What is a DC dining surprise anymore?

Holley Simmons, Express: Reexamining the tipping structure. I dig that some restaurants are incorporating a service charge into the bill.

Bill DeBaun, DC Beer: How mercurial the scene continues to be. I feel like from what I see and hear restaurants' fortunes are rising and falling on a week-to-week basis. What's hot one month is on no one's lips the next (e.g., Doi Moi), which makes it rather hard for the scene to mature (though it is staying trendy).

Rebecca Cooper, Washington Business Journal: I went the whole year without food poisoning! More than we can say for some (cough, Fig & Olive, cough)

Alicia Mazzara, DCist: That the line for Rose's Luxury is still so long that people have started paying strangers to stand in it for them.

Carole Sugarman, outgoing Bethesda Magazine critic: Good ahi tuna at unexpected places, including the poke at the ArcLight Cinemas cafe, ahi tuna tostadas at Summer House Santa Monica, ahi tuna salad at Not Your Average Joe's, tuna tartare at Met Bethesda.

Eun Yang, NBC 4: With all the dining options in the DC area, there are still such long waits.

Tom Sietsema, Washington Post critic: In my search for the country's Top 10 food cities, I didn't expect to be blown away by Houston - or let down by New York.

Warren Rojas, Roll Call: So pleased that the region is rallying around fried corn cakes. Arepa Zone is killing it at Union Market and Café Azul in Hyattsville is rebranding itself in order to better highlight its Venezuelan flair.

Tommy McFly, 94.7 Fresh FM: Osteria Morini, amazing what new GM and vibe can do.

Jessica Sidman, Washington City Paper: José Andrés pulling his restaurant from the Trump hotel. Didn't see that one coming, but you have to admire his convictions.

Rina Rapuano, freelance food writer/Zagat: That Maketto actually opened.

Stefanie Gans, Northern Virginia Magazine critic: The demise of RJ Cooper. Kidding.

Cori Sue Morris, Bitches Who Brunch: China Chilcano was a surprise in a good way— it's a really unique concept and a fun dining experience.

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