Food and Drink

ROC Guide Highlights DC Restaurants

Photo courtesy of
‘Ben’s Chili Bowl’
courtesy of ‘Michael T. Ruhl’

When picking a restaurant for your next meal out, why not choose a place where workers haven’t coughed all over your dinner because they’ve been forced to work with the flu?

Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC-United) and their local branch ROC-DC just released their first annual Diners’ Guide: a Zagat-like booklet that scores national and local restaurants based on how they treat their workers. The guide includes the 150 highest revenue restaurants in America as well as some local spots already working toward better standards for their employees.

Some of the results aren’t exactly shocking (no, Hooters doesn’t lead the industry in fair treatment of their workers). Others may be more of a surprise: Capital Grille, for example, makes it onto a special list of shame for restaurants charged with discrimination and wage theft.

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Arlington, Food and Drink, We Love Food

We Love Food: Yaku

Nestled along Clarendon Boulevard in the Court House area, Yaku looks to be the perfect neighborhood hot spot. Two levels of glass and glowing lights, it always looks warm and inviting from the street. I live in Arlington, and have walked past Yaku almost daily since it’s conception as just an empty office space below my dream real-estate local, The Odyssey condominiums.

When it finally looked as if something was actually going to go in the space (that had stood empty since before I moved here in fall 2007), I got pretty excited. On my walk home, I ran up to check the posted licences to see what it would be. It’s the perfect location to be our new favorite go-to spot. Yaku, the signs said. Hmm… I said. That’s an odd name. A little googling, and I find that Yaku will be another restaurant from Latin Concepts, the same people who brought us places like Chi-Cha Lounge, Mate, Ceviche, and Guarapo (which is only around the corner from Yaku).

According to the Web site, “YAKU, is a “Chifa” restaurant lounge brought to you by Fraga-Rosenfeld.  Chifa is the fusion of Chinese and Peruvian cuisine developed by Chinese immigrants to Peru in the late 19th and early 20th centuries… The name YAKU means “water” in Quechua (Incan Language) and is intended to capture Asian-influenced Andean culinary styles unique to the region.” Yaku is also, says our friend wikipedia, a town located on Yaku Island, Japan. So let’s just go with Asian-Peruvian fusion, and call it interesting… Continue reading