Arts & Entertainment

Restaurant Spotlight: Asian Kitchen

spotligjtAsian Kitchen is the newest restaurant incarnation of what used to be a Pizza Hut on Lee Highway. It has gone through so many restaurants that it boggles the mind to try to remember every one of them that has existed in that location since the Pizza Hut moved a few miles up the road. But with a little luck and some gumption, I can hope that Asian Kitchen and its pan-Asian cuisine is here to stay.

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(Photo: News-Press)

 

Asian Kitchen is the newest restaurant incarnation of what used to be a Pizza Hut on Lee Highway. It has gone through so many restaurants that it boggles the mind to try to remember every one of them that has existed in that location since the Pizza Hut moved a few miles up the road. But with a little luck and some gumption, I can hope that Asian Kitchen and its pan-Asian cuisine is here to stay.

Good inexpensive sushi places are hard to come buy. When you go to a sushi buffet, you have to sacrifice quality for price and quantity (I have had way too many experiences of almost eating myself to death at all-you-can-eat sushi places.) However, while Asian Kitchen doesn’t have a sushi buffet (if they did, I would never leave the premises), they do have affordable sushi specials that are both tasty and interesting. The rice on the spicy tuna roll was a wee bit dry, but it was chock-full of soft and spicy tuna. Some places don’t feel that spicy tuna should be spicy, and subsequently, those places do not earn my respect. By making their spicy tuna the way it’s supposed to be made, Asian Kitchen has already won me over.

The miso soup was a bit standard, and could have had a bit more tuna chunks and seaweed, but it’s virtually impossible for miso soup to not taste good, so I’m not going to lose any sleep over it.

The gyoza (pan-fried pork dumplings) are light individually, but slightly heavy as an appetizer. However, they’re perfectly crispy and come with a tasty sweet and sour soy sauce, so if you’re looking for something less than a meal but slightly more than your run-of-the-mill appetizer, these might be the perfect option.

The shrimp tempura was more than I expected, but still very good. It consists of two long straightened shrimp and a bunch of seemingly-random vegetables (broccoli, eggplant, carrots, and several others) that were all fried and battered. The batter wasn’t heavy, so each individual part of the meal was light, but as a whole meal, it’s essentially a plate of fried food. Sure it’s delicious, but you stand a good chance of getting the itis afterwards, although you get more food per calorie than you would at any fast-food place (Speaking of which, the McRib is back at McDonalds. Considering that the animal(s) they make it out of would go extinct if it was a permanent part of the menu, you should seriously consider getting one just to say you were part of a movement.)

So many restaurants have inhabited this building since it was a Pizza Hut. Some of them were good. None of them were successful. But with food this good at such affordable prices and at accessible hours (their lunch-special menu is open until 4 PM, which is perfect for people like me who wake up around 3), it would be criminally negligent to let this place go under. Furthermore, they claim that there might be more specials in the future if more people “like” their Facebook page. Ladies and gentlemen, I urge you to head on over to Asian Kitchen for your pan-Asian cuisine needs right now and do what you know is right.

Asian Kitchen

5731 Lee Highway
Arlington
703-538-4888

Hours:

Monday – Thursday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Friday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Sunday Noon – 10 p.m.