Chao Ku had its soft opening earlier this week, thanks to owner John Fielding and chef Paul Pelt, formerly of The Tabard Inn. The fast-casual Chinese restaurant is at 1414 9th St. NW.
It's open for lunch, dinner, and also does take-out. It's operating at a much lower price point than its Shaw neighbors, with nothing more than $15. The most expensive item is the "Tower of Power" that comes with wok fried spare ribs, pork roast, and pork belly served with pickles and condiments.
Other menu items also include pressed tofu, dan dan noodles, a Chinese burger, and more. The menu leans meat-heavy, but there's also quite a few vegetarian and vegan items. For drinks, choose from tea, sodas, wine, and several beers.
The wood-heavy decor all features exposed brick walls lined with shelves and green glass bottles. Yellow and bright green accent walls break up all the neutral colors. Seating includes several white tables with yellow and black chairs, and there's also six seats at the bar.