Hazel (Washington, D.C)


No, I’m not talking about the color of your eyes, although people with Hazel eyes are the most beautiful in the world, and that’s not up for debate.  I’m talking about the artisan restaurant that’s located off of V Street in D.C.  Washington, D.C. has so many restaurants, it’s challenging to decide which one you want to spend your hard-earned money with.  Nothing is worst then working 40 to 60 hours in a week, while your boss micro-manages you, then go to a restaurant that’s less than mediocre.


Hazel, which is a restaurant that features a collection of distinctive and satisfying plates with global influences.  Some of the items that I had while dining at this restaurant are items that I wouldn’t ever think of ordering.  I like that.  It gives me something to look forward to, but also leaves me kind of skeptical because I’m not sure of how much I’ll enjoy said items.  The interior of this restaurant has a vibrant scene, and looks as though it seats up to 60 people at once.  It’s not a huge restaurant and even has outdoor seating with a fireplace for cool spring/summer nights.


I was able to order five dishes during my visit to Hazel.  Scallop Mousseline, Smoked Eel, Sloppy Fried Chicken, and a Gnocchi Bokki were the choices of the night.  I’ll start with the Scallop Mousseline.  How can I describe this dish?  Think of a Mousse that taste like scallops.  That would be the perfect way to describe this dish.  The Scallops had a jello consistency but worked well with the potatoes, sugar kelp, and mushroom dashi.  This was one of those dishes that when it was presented to me I literally said, “What the fuck is this?”.  However, we can’t judge a book by its cover because it taste better than it looked.


The second dish that was ordered was the Smoked Eel.  It consisted of Brussels Sprouts, mustard Greens, and a apple-miso puree.  Like the last dish, I was a little thrown off by the appearance of this dish.  I’ve never had smoked eel so I wanted to know how I would enjoy it.  I would say Eel taste like salmon but much more tougher.  It has a bit of a slimy texture, but overall, good.  The apple-miso puree hid much of the taste that the Eel offered, and the mustard greens along with the Brussels Sprouts help with its bitter flavor.  This was a dish that I wouldn’t normally order, but I felt adventurous during this visit.


The third dish that was ordered was the Sloppy Fried Chicken.  It consisted of Kobi Brined Fried Chicken, Mapo Tofu, and Scallions.  This dish is exactly what it sounded like.  Sloppy. Fried. Chicken.  Think of sloppy joe being spread around the bottom of a dish topped with Fried Chicken and surrounded by Tofu.  The first time I had tofu was in California at a restaurant that was mind-boggling.  I’m still on the fence about Tofu, but I’m warming up to it.  I’m still not sure what to think about this dish.  Sloppy Fried Chicken, I think I understand what the chef was going for this dish?  Maybe?  Well, maybe not.  The sloppy joe part of it was a little spicy and the chicken didn’t have a crisp texture to it.  More of a soggy one.  The chicken also lacked simple ingredients such as salt and pepper.


The last dish was the Gnocchi Bokki.  It consisted of Mushroom Kimchi Ragu, Sesame Seeds, and Smoked pecorino.  If you’re into a starch dish then this is the perfect one for you.  I ordered this dish because I’m in love with mushrooms, but it wasn’t a fucking mushroom in sight.  I thought this dish was going to be packed with mushrooms but I’m still wondering if mushrooms were added to this dish.  This dish was disappointing because of that.  The spicy flavor of the overall dish, and the store brand ragu sauce didn’t help this dish not one bit.  This dish is a hard pass.  Too many inconsistencies.


Overall, this restaurant is a pass.  I wanted to like this place, but too many dishes that I ordered that didn’t make much sense.  What I didn’t really like about this restaurant is that on the tasting menu there’s only one solid meat option, which was the Fried Chicken.  If you want another kind of meat, then you’d have to order duck which would cost you over $100.  If you’re not willing to pay $100 for an item that may not fill you up or you may not like then you’re taking a chance with a restaurant that only offered once piece of meat (besides eel and scallop mousseline which aren’t really “meats”)


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