5915 Georgia Ave. NW. 822-6040. Hours: Seven days a week from 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Atmosphere: A come-as-you-are, unswank neighborhood place, run by a family that cares about the preparation of Chinese dishes. Price range: Family dinner combinations of all sorts average $4 to $5 a shre; or pick your own dishes for the same price-or maybe less. Credit cards: No. Reservations: Not necessary, but worth discussing for large parties wishing special treatment. Special facilities: Accessible by wheelchair. High chairs available.Free parking behind the building. Carry-out service, too.
Times may change, but-thank your lucky fortune cookies-not the Seven Seas Restaurant on Georgia Avenue NW, which the four of us have just revisited after nearly two years. Even the fish in the tank on the bar looked familiar.
With inflation what it is, you'd at least figure it would be the Eight Seas by now. But even the prices haven't been altered more than a few dimes here and there, and the food-well, no wonder this is where east and west of Rock Creek Park congregate for meals.
Immediately, we noticed the same art-deco illuminated, painted mirrors surrounding the small and modest dining room. We still couldn't figure out why certain tables in the center get white tablecloths and the booths along the sides go bare.
This time, as last, the kitchen door was open, so you could see those cleavers furiously flying. There was one notable difference, though: This is a family operation, and the about-to-be-born baby from last time was now a toddler playing with older sister in the doorway.
As before, our kids began with a drink called the Seven Seas Punch-a sort of frozen daiquiri for juveniles that still goes for 95 cents. Two 80-cent beers rounded out the openers.
From our original Family Our report on the place, we recalled two things about the hot-and-sour soup here-namely, that it is superb, and that one $2.95 order easily serves four people at least two times apiece. There's a decided snap to this soup, but both kids liked it-even if they preferred not to know what went into it.
Next came a pair of egg rolls for $1.40 (raves) and a $2.65 order of six well-stuffed meat dumplings that looked and tasted like pudgy fried won ton (more raves). As always, any family member whose eyes wandered for a fraction of second was swiftly shorchanged.
By the way, the customary teapot was china, not one of those metal ones that even Emily Post couldn't pour without spilling.
Our merry banquet continued with four nomintions for main courses. For our 9-year-old daughter, moo shi pork, $4.45, was precisely the do-it-yourself kit she remembered-seven pancakes (the menu says six, but it was seven last time, too) that you wrap around a fine pork-strip filling.
To this, our 11-year-old son added his selection of roast duck, Chinese style, $4.25-soft and sizeable hunks, even so tasty, even if you're not crazy about all the cooked celery that comes with it.
The slow-burn sleeper this time was my wife's order of shredded prok, Szechuan style, $4.95. After about 30 seconds, this stuff gradually parboils selected tastebuds-but it's a swell way to swelter.
I increased our excess of lovingly prepared food with an order of curry beef, $4.25, which I considered good ontwo counts: (1) It was flavored perfectly (not clobbered with curry) and (2) our kids aren't really among those who favor curry, meaning I had most of it to myself.
We politely declined desserts, full in the knowledge we were full. Four fortune cookies showed up anyway, with the usual cryptic messages that parents get stuck trying to interpret. We could decipher the bill easily enough, though, for it came to $30.45 plus tip for the works-just $3 more than the total on our last visit nearly two years ago. That, cookie or not, is good fortune.