DC Eater by Tierney Plumb
The Washington Post's Tim Carman visits Luzmary in Falls Church. It's owner Marisol Gonzales's debut restaurant, but "flavors of Bolivia are buried deep in this family's DNA" (her mom was behind Luzmila's), and Gonzales revives her recipe for her "legend" salteñas.
The menu is rich with carnivorous options (one of the more graphic examples is parrillada, a mixed-grill plate piled high with short ribs, pork sausages, blood sausage, flank steak and fried lengths of bovine intestines). The dish's lesser cuts shine with "a magnificent range of flavors."
Something that stands out most at Luzmary is perhaps the most basic: llajua, a Bolivian chili-pepper-based condiment "that livens up everything." And the star of the weekend was costillas de cerdo, "a bonanza of fried, bone-in pork, surprisingly succulent and well-seasoned." Beware that some dishes and soups are available only on Saturday and Sunday. What's always present is an "unfailingly" friendly and helpful staff--"even when language presents a barrier." [WaPo]
The Washington Post's Tom Sietsema is happy to report Timber Pizza's crust has gotten more consistent since his first visit. He calls the Lot pizza "a nicely charred canvas" for slow-roasted pulled pork, bread-and-butter jalapeños and kicky pineapple ketchup: "Heat, meet sweet (but not too much)." He applauds the consistent customer service (with a smile) and brevity of delivery. While pizza is the centerpiece, Sietsema also notes the seasonal salads, a peppery cold corn soup and juicy pork-stuffed empanadas.
The drinks push a casual vibe, with wine on tap and cocktails dispensed in enameled-tin mugs. Don't expect lots of personal space during rush hours, but co-owner Andrew Dana tells him that's the point, as sharing tables "forces people to rub elbows and talk to their neighbors." [WaPo]
Also in The Washington Post, a trip to Baltimore to visit La Cuchara. The Spanish restaurant nets 2.5 stars. [WaPo]
Don Rockwell gives Kinship a six-month progress report. Between January and June he visits 14 times in order to track how the menu changes to reflect the seasons, as well as to get into the creative mind of Eric Ziebold. The cumulative grade is good: "Kinship is on the fast track to becoming the most important restaurant Washington, D.C. has ever known." [DCDining.com]