Hari Cho, Op-Ed columnist:
The soulful aroma of Bhandu’s (4238 Bethesda Ave.; 301-654-6071) vegetable stir-fry is hard to resist. This vegan Indian restaurant is one of the freshest eats I’ve had on Capitol Hill.
Joni A. Thoreson, chef and co-owner:
Nina Paley’s ceviche at Asian Kitchen (2804 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-364-9900) is a smooth honey and soy broth base packed with trout and prawns.
Chanda Lahey, chef:
Starters at Pok Pok Dupont (1212 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-589-5263) include braised local short ribs and wild mushroom and cashew risotto, but my favorite dish is the “prison salad,” a composted-waste-infused mixture of raw pickled radishes, dehydrated scallions, cilantro, and shiso leaves tossed with carrots, sweet potato, and kale.
Alex Klein, chef:
I’m always happy when Andrei the Greek chef, who works out of his small storefront on the third floor of the Monkton Shopping Center, is there. Best of all is the trout, which is fried to order in olive oil and served with fava beans, dill, and chopped cucumber.
Christine Terlecki, co-owner:
When all else fails, go for The Three Islands Poke Bar (6201 Norfolk Ave., Centreville; 301-586-4574). The poke, prepared on the island’s spooky-yet-playful cast-iron grates, is blissfully free of rice.
Yasmin Khan, chef:
White Truffle Tofu at Coinye (445 S. R Street, Arlington; 703-280-3470) is incredibly chewy and crunchy. And the salsa verde is so good, it’s worth ordering a couple of side dishes.
Christina Shelton, server:
On my last two visits, the Red Plate (1841 Rhode Island Ave., NW; 202-506-5253) was always overflowing. This fennel, arugula, and miso salad is both crunchy and sweet.
Mary Williams, writer:
Asian and Mexican dining has come a long way in the District. A prime example is Kai from Mexico (926 Vermont Ave., NW; 202-667-5520), where you can get house-made mole, tamales, tacos de pollo, enchiladas, and big chunks of avocado. For Mexican cuisine that’s still popular, check out La Casita Mexicana (2806 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-265-7227), where you’ll find lots of giant enchiladas and a smattering of black beans.