Hazel: Asian Fusion at Its Best by Rob Rubba

DMV nomsters, you’re in for a serious treat today so get ready for some no-nonsense asian fusion foodporn.  We had the pleasure of trying Hazel for the first time last week, and we’re pretty sure that Rob Rubba’s (the executive chef there) the Dumbledore of food. Located on 808 V Street NW, this restaurant’s sharp AF inside and out.  Just look at this beautiful patio! And they even have a gorgeous floral wall for photos…jk.  It’s clearly decor, but can you blame us for taking advantage of the art?  #SorryNotSorry #MattMcMullenIsAmazing #HesTheArtistFYI

hazel restaurant dc shaw

We started our dinner off with drinks and enjoyed them out on the patio…after taking about 100 pictures in front of the magnificent floral wall we told you about.  Left:  #vegasproblems made with sobieski vodka, super cassis, bitter lemon soda and sparkling wine.  Right:  That Jawn made with Old Forrester Bourbon, black lime infused dolin blanc vermouth, and kin l’aero d’or.

hazel cocktails

The first dish that came out was grandma hazel’s zucchini bread ($15), and holy crap, we’ve never met grandma hazel, but we love her and want her to be our grandma, too.  Made fresh in house, these delicious carbs were served with foie gras mousse, chamomile gelee, and bee pollen.  This was the first time we had the pleasure of trying foie gras – we’ve always been a bit intimated by the plate – but it was an excellent experience. Think of it as luxe butter.  The combo was incredible, and the texture of the bread straight up blew our minds.  And the sea salt? An absolutely beautiful touch!

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hazel zucchini bread

Next up was the gnocchi bokki ($15).  Chef Rubba’s menu changes quite often, but this is a staple that’s here to stay.  Served in a pork-kimchi ragu, these heavenly bites were sprinkled with sesame seeds and topped with smoked pecorino. Note: Rob makes his own kimchi in-house (!!!!) He literally combined two of our favorite foods into one for this plate: ddukbokki (korean stir-fried rice cakes in a spicy gochujang sauce) and gnocchi.   We weren’t sure how we’d enjoy this, but we were pleasantly blown the eff away.  Talk about unique AND delicious, this magnificent entree is a must-try!

Asian Fusion hazel restaurant

Then came the pan seared scallop cakes, and these were also (unsurprisingly) nomtastic.  These were served with snow pea leaves and fragrant herbs in a yuzu dressing, and we loved the citrusy undertones. The greens also contrasted beautifully with the texture of the scallop cakes.  Think of this dish as elevated – and we mean seriously elevated – odeng (aka asian fishcakes).

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Asian Fusion at its best

A closer look at this goodness…

pan seared scallop cake

Last but not least, a fall-themed lazy susan featuring fresh veggies prepared 4 different ways.

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Mapo kabocha squash with cilantro and sesame seeds…

delicious lazy susan hazel

…roasted mushrooms on smoked onion ciabatta, served on top whipped ricotta and togarashi honey…

rob rubba hazel restaurant

…BBQ carrots, grains and sprouts served with pickled fresno and hazelnut…

best asian restaurants in dc

…and marinated spicy beets with curry peanuts, sumac onions, baba ganoush and lemon yogurt.  Who knew veggies could taste so good?  All 4 were phenom, but if we HAD to pick a favorite, we’d go with the roasted shrooms on ciabatta.  The bread was obscenely good, and the flavors just killed us, like we’d be ok with eating that for every meal for the rest of our lives. Anywho, we didn’t think our dinner could be any better…

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lazy susan hazel restaurant

…until dessert.  Apparently, Rob Rubba is a master of everything in life and kills it even with his desserts.  This gorgeous plate below = a lemon chiffon cake with anise hyssop sabayon and mixed berries.  Honestly. the photo doesn’t do it justice.  The cake was ri-DIC-ulously moist, and it was the perfect end to a truly spectacular meal – light and not overwhelmingly sweet.

lemon chiffon cake hazel

Conclusion? If you haven’t tried Hazel yet, haul @$$ to DC to get your grub on.  There’s a reason why this place won the rammy for “best new restaurant of the year.”  Run, don’t walk, anddddd you’re welcome in advance.  ‘Til next time, nomsters! May good food always be with you.


1 Comment

  1. October 5, 2017 / 12:10 pm

    Woah these dishes look amazing!

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