Water & Wall3811 Fairfax Dr.
Arlington, VA 22203
Chef Tim Ma had a lot of fans at his Maple Avenue Restaurant in Vienna, but his newer place in Ballston appears to be getting more of Ma's attention these days. The more serious of the two restaurants, Water & Wall allows the chef to show off his French technique alongside the Asian and Southern flavors and ingredients he loves.
2.5 Stars (10/9/2014) — Fall Dining Guide 2014
"Here’s my response to people who want “something nice,” hold the sticker shock, in Arlington. A sibling to the tiny Maple Ave Restaurant in Vienna, Water & Wall is a young restaurant with an easygoing staff and a window-wrapped dining room…Chef Tim Ma sends out dishes as fetching as you might find at some of Washington’s top tables, with flavor profiles to match. Ma’s crisp duck confit decked out with green tomato chow-chow would look right at home at Mintwood Place, and his saffron pasta with crushed paprika almonds, grated manchego and shaved summer squash has Red Hen written all over it.…Make a dinner date with the restaurant on Sunday and Monday. The payoff: Bottles of wines $75 and under are offered half-price." See Full Review…»
No. 54 (1/8/2015) — 100 Very Best Restaurants 2015
"[W]hen it opened a little more than a year ago. Chef/owner Tim Ma appeared to be groping after an identity. But Water & Wall has since proven to be that rare and wonderful thing: the place that gets better as it goes. The space lacks the character of his first place [Maple Ave., in Vienna], but the softening touches in the room, which occupies the ground floor of an office building, help. It helps more that Ma has found his purpose in the kitchen, blending his classical French training, love of Asian flavors, and fascination with Southern culture into an appealing mix." See Full Review…»
Don Rockwell does not recommend this restaurant.
Mala Tang3434 Washington Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22201
Mala Tang, which specializes in individual hot pots in three flavors -- spicy, mild, and vegetarian. There's also a full menu of Sichuan appetizers and entrees, which many think is even better than the hot pots.
2 Stars (11/20/2011)
Candy Saigon's review notes that this restaurant from co-owner and chef Liu Chaosheng, who also owns Uncle Liu's Hot Pot in Merrifield, specializes in "individual-size hot pots" and "xiao chi - little street food dishes - both hot and cold." See Full Review…»
Unrated (5/5/2016) — Cheap Eats 2016
"You’ll eat to the tune of bubbling hot pots at this Virginia Square dining room. The waitstaff urges a cauldron per person, filled with simmering stock in which diners can cook an à la carte array of meats, seafood, and vegetables—we found that a single order for two to three people works perfectly well, and you’ll have more room to sample from the expansive Szechuan menu. …" See Full Review…»
Don Rockwell does not recommend this restaurant. See 12/25/2014 Review…»
$$$$$ Unlimited (>$45); $$$$ Very Expensive ($35-$45); $$$ Expensive ($25-$35); $$ Moderate ($15-$25); $ Inexpensive (<$15)
Price is based on the average cost of a dinner entree, which generally reflects a third of the cost of a full meal. Please note, however, that appetizer and beverage prices vary widely. Tasting menus are indicated with an asterisk (*).