Squid salad with basil at Izakaya Seki. (Joseph Victor Stefanchik/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

It’s easy to forget mediocre, decent or even very good meals when you dine out as often as a professional food critic does; the awful and the exemplary ones are the most likely to register after a year of meals out. But there’s too much good food out there to dwell on disappointments, so Tom Sietsema has put together a list of places he’s judged to be the best newcomers to D.C. area dining in 2012.

Tom Sietsema: D.C.’s best dining newcomers of 2012

The list includes mark-making eateries that became well-established in year one, either by dint of pedigree or presidential visit; two takes on Indian cuisine from opposite ends of the dollar-sign spectrum; a culinary laboratory in a converted auto garage; a hotel restaurant given new life by a new, relatively unknown chef; and a pair of izakayas, including one in Baltimore. Check out Sietsema’s list and decide which of his picks is tops for 2012. If it’s not on there, leave it down in the comments:

DisclaimerThis is a non-scientific user poll. Results are not statistically valid and cannot be assumed to reflect the views of Washington Post users as a group or the general population.