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Got Plans?
With the Entertainment Guide Staff
washingtonpost.com

Thursday, Feb. 6, 2003; 1 p.m. ET

Every Thursday at 1 p.m. ET, washingtonpost.com's Entertainment Guide experts share their best bets for local flavor, great dates and family fun. Got plans? Great. Need plans? Just ask. We have the skinny on the bars and clubs, concerts, kitchens, theaters and special events that keep life interesting. We're going out gurus, and we're at your service.

Of course, we're happy to answer questions about local entertainment, but we need to hear from you, too. Introduce us to the coolest DJ or the fastest bartender you've encountered. Sound off on the week's best concert or the city's best burger. Tell us about the best place to amuse little kids or a big art fan. Together we can plan fun ways to spend weekdays, weekends, dates and holidays. The pleasure is ours, and yours.

Each week a different guru will act as host or hostess, but the entire staff is at your service. If you're looking for more ideas, see the Entertainment Guide.

Submit your questions and comments before or during the discussion.

The transcript follows.

Editor's Note: Washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Live Online discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions.

dingbat


The Going Out Gurus: Hello everyone and welcome to another scintillating hour of going out chat. This is Joe and I'm here today with Alexa, Rhome, Fritz, Jen, Anne and our shopping friend Janet with answers to all of your questions. Or, if not answers, at least a few snarky comments. As always, we welcome any of your great suggestions. Goodness knows, we're running out of ideas ourselves. OK, let's get to it.


Arlington, Va. : Hey guys,

Any recommendations of a vegetarian-friendly restaurant for a post-Spy Museum meal? I have heard mixed emotions about Zola.

The Going Out Gurus: Arlington, get yourselves across the street to Zaytinya where vegetarians are well and tastily catered to. -- Alexa


Washington, DC: What exactly are DC's laws on staying open? Some clubs stay open until 3 on weekends but most close between 1 and 1:30 during the week. Why the variation?

The Going Out Gurus: Easy, Washington. In D.C., all alcohol has to be consumed by 2 a.m. on Sunday-Thursday and by 3 a.m. Friday-Saturday. Last call is supposed to be 30 minutes before. But I know some bars close at 1 a.m. during the week for business reasons -- there just aren't that many people drinking at 1:15 on Wednesday morning. I, by the way, vote for 24-hour drinking, which will soon be introduced in the UK, and is already a way of life in France. That would clear up those nasty 3 a.m. scenes on 18th Street. -- Fritz


Arlington, Va.: Hey Gurus! My fun-loving aunt is in town and wants to go for a night out with dinner and drinking. She would prefer a restaurant and bar scene near a Metro stop, not necessarily in Virginia. We'll have about five women, various ages from 21-53, who are pretty much open to anything food-wise, although nothing too expensive (under $25 entrees). Any recommendations for such a diverse group? Thanks!

The Going Out Gurus: Hi, there, Arlington,

You have a lot of choices out there. Jaleo in downtown D.C. (right across from the MCI Center) has a lively scene at both the bar and in the restaurant. It's extremely packed before the play starts at the Shakespeare Theatre next door and then thins down a bit.

Cafe Milano in Georgetown is great for people watching (Wizards show up, politicos, etc) and the food is excellent.


Dupont Circle, Washington, DC: Hey Gurus- What's the deal with Park Cafe (106 13th St, SE)? It is not reviewed at all in the post, and it looks so cute. What can you tell me about it? Type of food? Cost? Veggie friendly? Is it worth making the trip to cap. hill for it? Any info. would be most appreciated.

The Going Out Gurus: Has anyone been to this place? Care to chime in?


Washington, D.C.: Any idea if any bars/restaurants will be showing matches from the upcoming Cricket World Cup?

I lived Down Under for a while and I developed a bad case of Cricket Fever(uncommon disease for most Americans, I must admit, with our must-have-it-NOW attitude. Cricket matches can take up to five days to finish, and even then are often draws -- however, the World Cup is one-day matches so most matches are over in eight hours or less).

The Going Out Gurus: Summers Restaurant in Arlington is showing all the games, Washington, starting with South Africa vs. the West Indies on Sunday. Set your alarm clocks -- the match starts at 6:15 a.m. (That's why many places aren't showing the CWC.) -- Fritz


Downtown, Washington, D.C.: Do you know of any deals or way to get discounted tickets for "Rent"? I seem to remember they had discounted tickets last time the show was in town, but I haven't seen anything this time around. Thanks.

The Going Out Gurus: Yes, D.C., as with all performances of "Rent," seats in the first two rows will be sold for $20 each two hours before each performance. There is a longer explanation of how the process works on our site and on the Warner Theatre site. Suffice it to say you will have to stand in line. Good luck. -- Jen


Washington, DC.: where's maura? Us regular chatters miss her!

The Going Out Gurus: Whew, we can all relax. Maura has just entered the building. And will soon be entering the chat.


Alexandria, Va.: So where should I order from on Valentine's Day, since my husband and I will certainly not be going outside our front door?

The Going Out Gurus: So you need delivery too, is that it? I'm not up on who delivers, but if I were you I might piece together a glam little meal from Cafe Monte -- a crab and avocado salad with lemon vinaigrette, a veal scaloppine or two, profiteroles... or Cafe Tirolo in Arlington. Won't set you back much either. -- Alexa


Arlington, Va.: Any Michael Jackson-watching parties tonight?

The Going Out Gurus: Hi, Arlington. I (Jen) have not heard of any, but others should feel free to chime in if they're aware of any events. Personally, the only kind of Michael Jackson-watching party I want to attend should involve either a. old clips of The Jackson Five or b. "The Making of 'Thriller'." This other stuff is way disturbing.


Fedland: Hey GOGs!

I have a third date tonight and we are driving up to Dave and Buster's at White Flint from Arlington around 8. Any opinions on having dinner there- how is the food, is there a long wait? Can you give me some ideas for mid-scale restaurants (anything except indian or steakhouses) that we could stop at along the way? Thanks!

The Going Out Gurus: Fedland, your best best is Addie's. Maybe some other readers have some fine Rockville Pike suggestions? -- Maura


Washington, D.C.: Hello All,

What can you tell me about Marrakesh (the restaraunt). Is it too cheesy to enjoy? is it worth it? Will we feel like one of the masses celebrating a birthday?

Thank you!

The Going Out Gurus: Washington, yes I think you will. Not to sound like PR for Zaytinya, but that might be a much better bet, more interesting, newer, fresher. -- Alexa


Adams Morgan, Washington, D.C. Any word on what's up with the "Angry Itch" on 18th near Columbia Road? It looks very London-Pubby from the outside.

Also, is there anything new or are there any plans for the old Mr. Days site in the alley?

The Going Out Gurus: Hmmm. I'm not sure I'd call it London-pubby. I went to the Angry Inch (sadly, it's not "Angry Itch") last weekend, and it was (a) packed, (b) blasting classic rock music, (c) serving only bottled beers and (d) uncomfortably packed. My review should be up tomorrow -- it's in the last stages of editing -- but it reminded me of a basement frat party back in my days at Maryland. That's not to say it isn't fun -- you can have a pint of gin for $5 -- but I don't think it's any great addition to the 18th Street scene.

Then again, I went by the Adams Mill Bar and Grill on the same night, and it was so full that I had to hack my way through four-deep crowds to get to the bar. Still, people were enjoying themselves and the beer was cheap.

I've heard more things about the old Mister Days site in the last few years than I care to remember. I've no idea what's going on. Anyone else? -- Fritz


Washington, DC: I need some advice on V-Day gifts for my boyfriend. I've been looking for a place in the DC, MD, or Virginia area to get dancing lessons for the 2 of us (I'm thinking swing or ballroom dancing). Any suggestions on where I can find dance lessons that aren't too expensive, suited towards beginners, and would be fun for an early 20-something aged couple?

The Going Out Gurus: Hi, Washington,

What a great idea. I wish I could get my significant other to agree to something like that. For suggestions, check out this recent story on places to dance and also get lessons: swing lessons. -- Jen


Centreville, Va.: If anyone is still looking for a cheap ride to New York, George Mason University offers the Arts Bus that runs about once a month. A day trip for non-students is $60 and an overnight (not including hotel) is $70. The Web site is artsbus.gmu.edu. The cool thing is that it's mostly the GMU community on the bus so you don't have to worry about "strangers."

The Going Out Gurus: Yes, Centreville, heading to NYC is a good way to avoid those "strangers," but you're right the arts bus is a good deal. You can read about it right here. They're next trip is Feb. 22. -- Maura


Looking for a junk store: Perhaps this is a question for shopping friend Janet.

I'm looking for a junk store, not an antique, where I might find a reasonably solid used cabinet or curio.

I hate to pay too much, as I'm planning some experimental decorative modifications (and they may go horribly awry). Any preferred sources?

Thanks.

The Going Out Gurus: Hi,
Have you ever been to Ruff 'n Ready at 1908 14th St. NW (U Street Corridor). The owner even refers to the place as an old-fashioned junque store. They're only open weekends.


Washington, D.C.: I've been seeing promos and trailers for "The Guru" and really want to see it. I know it opened in New York last week, but I can't find any info on if/when it will be in D.C.-area theaters. Any idea?

The Going Out Gurus: No idea, but it sounds like a great flick.


Falls Church, Va.: I read the story on the Girl DJs in the Weekend section, but had other plans Friday night. When is the next event, and how can I find out more about the group? Thank you.

The Going Out Gurus: Hey, Falls Church. The Girl Friday events are the last Friday of the month on the Black Cat's back stage. There's no cover. You can also catch First Ladies member dj lil'e (Britpop and Anglophilia) this Saturday on the back stage, or Christine Moritz (downtempo electronic music) every Sunday at Bossa.

It didn't make it into the article (sorry), but you can get more information on the First Ladies Web site: http://www.firstladiesdc.com/ -- Fritz


Washington, D.C.: Assuming you had a daughter, finding out that she had been seen at which establishment would make you most embarrassed?

The Going Out Gurus: Probably Chucky Cheese.


Washington, D.C.: I'm wondering if you guys know which of the spas around town would be a good one for a guy to go get a massage -- am thinking of getting my guy one for Valentine's Day but don't want to send him to a place that's too girly. Thanks for any suggestions!

The Going Out Gurus: Hi, D.C.,

Any one of the Serenity Spas (Tenleytown, Herndon or Alexandria) would be a good place for a guy to get a massage. They cater to both sexes. Don't worry, he won't be the only one getting a massage there.


Silver Spring, Md.: Are there any open mic poetry cafes/bars in the city or surrounding area on a regular basis?

The Going Out Gurus: They're all over the place, try the word poetry in our search engine. Make sure you call before you go because I've just heard word that some of these are now closed so I've got to update. Your mainstays are still going strong though: Myth at Teaism on Sundays, Nag Champa Wednesdays at Bohemian, Tuesdays at Mangoes and The Movement on Mondays at Bar Nun. - Rhome


Court House, Arlington, Va.: My R.F.D. review from last Saturday night:
-Pungent smell of rubber/industrial cleaner
-Belgian fries were awesome
-Beers were great. Liked how they were served in various glasses
-Liked the beer sampler
-Bartenders a bit amateur, taking shots, eating wings at the bar, and lining up to check out a lady sitting at the bar
-Bar service okay, tenders need to pay more attention to us than each other
-Beer fridges were really bright, though i got a tan from them. Why not a cool blue?
-Music was too 94.7ish, too much "classic rock"

I think I'd go back

The Going Out Gurus: More on R.F.D.


Washington, D.C.: I have a good friend who has just called off an upcoming wedding and is coming into town this weekend to be with me. She is not up for wild and crazy going out, and is obviously a bit of an emotional roller coaster. That said, she is fun loving and I want to show her a good time without bowling her over. She is an avid runner and museum lover, enjoys a great margarita, sangria, and exploring new neighborhoods. She has done the museum thing in D.C. but it has been a while since she was here. I was thinking the National Gallery, perhaps some ice skating, dinner at Jaleo (or Mixtec -- I know these are pretty different), but where else would you suggest for dinner? and especially for drinks? Dancing would be GREAT (my favorite form of therapy personally) but where can we go that it not cheesy or overly meat-markety?

Thank you!

The Going Out Gurus: Washington, sounds like you've got quite a plan already. Do stop in to the NGA for the Trompe L'Oeil and Vuillardshows. They're knockouts. As for nearby eats, Jaleo is a fine choice or nearby try Zaytinya, Cafe Atlantico As for dancing, we're not sure what isn't cheesy or meat-marketish, but you could do worse than Andalu. Have fun. -- Maura


Smooshed in the corner: Gurus!

I know I say this all the time, but really, you guys are the greatest.

This weekend I am heading to the Chinese New Years parade, because far be it from me to ever pass up a parade. What's the scoop? And where to go for a bite to eat before or after in keeping with the theme?

Have a great weekend!

The Going Out Gurus: Thanks, Smooshed, you have a swell weekend too. You can find details on Sunday's Chinese New Year Parade with that link. It's easy to find Chinese restaurants in Chinatown, but those aren't necessarily the best ones. As a group, we lean to the pan-Asian places, like Spices or Cafe Asia. For for super authentic Chinese, Rosslyn, (you had a question about this too)I bet you've tried China Garden in your neighborhood. -- Anne


Washington, D.C.: Hey GOGs! Creative mind of mine has run out of ideas. Perhaps it's this endless cold weather sucking the life out of me.

Valentine's dinner at 6:30 at Bistro Francais, but I'm at a loss for some after dinner ideas. Anything in Georgetown area or vicinity you can recommend? Plays, music performances, etc.?

Thanks!

The Going Out Gurus: The first thing that comes to mind is the Kristin Chenoweth Valentine's concert at the Kennedy Center. There should be tickets available, and that seems like a perfect after-dinner activity. -- Jen


Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.: Hi Gurus, I know some people, including me, have wondered about when Lounge 201 on Mass Ave near Union Station will open. I believe they have a grand opening next Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2003. This is according to a friend who read this on a sign posted on the Lounge 201 door. I've peeked inside several times and it looks like a really nice, well-designed place.

The Going Out Gurus: You heard correctly, Capitol Hill. A few Gurus (okay, at least one) and I are planning on heading over there after work. I'm curious about how an upscale martini lounge will do on that side of the Hill -- I've been in to Politiki's third-floor lounge a few times, and it's usually been empty. See you there. -- Fritz


Arlington, Va.: Maybe this is more of a question for Tom Sietsema, but do you know of any good, moderately priced restaurants in Arlington (besides the perhaps obvious) that aren’t really loud for two people to catch up and enjoy good food. No seafood, no chains, ethnic is good.

The Going Out Gurus: Arlington, I'm not sure what those obvious places are. But I'd recommend Village Bistro (European), Rays the Steaks (homey steak), Taste of Morocco (guess what) and Bukhara (a bit dingy, but fab for tandoori etc.) -- Alexa


Eastern Market: If anyone is looking for a good, mindless, entertaining flick, check out "Final Destination II" this weekend. I was pleasantly surprised. A tad gory, but in a cheesy, fun way.

The Going Out Gurus: Richard Harrington also liked "FD 2." (Here's his review). I (Jen) haven't seen it, but having viewed the original "Final Destination" while bowling at Strike Bethesda I can semi-understand what would be compelling about it.


Capitol Hill, Washington DC re: Park Cafe: We live by there and went once...it was a disappointment. Mediocre and overpriced, as I remember. Because it is so convenient, we keep meaning to check it out again just in case we caught it on an off-night but we never have. Why, when there are so many better places around? It's too bad though because the Hill really does need better restaurants. Given the choice of Park Cafe, I'd save some money and go to Montmartre.

The Going Out Gurus: Well, there's one opinion.


Park Cafe, Hill: Yes, do try it. It is cute, the Hill doesn't bite. The food is tasty!

The Going Out Gurus: Here come some words on the Park Cafe.


Spas: The best place for a guy to get a massage in DC is the Grooming Lounge (Conn. and L). www.groominglounge.com

They are fabulous, and have many services to choose from, and specialize in men's hair care and treatments.

The Going Out Gurus: I've heard some good things about The Grooming Lounge, but wasn't sure they did massages, along with hair care and manicures and such. Thanks for the info.


Park Cafe: Go! I've only been once but it is super cute and we got great service. All the food was good, but I particularly remember how delish the rice was. And I'm not usually a rice queen.

The Going Out Gurus: Sounds rice.


Beltsville, Md.: Hey GOGs,

How's it going? Don't know if you can help, but I'll try. I'm new to the area and I'm in search of some more Reggae/Caribbean spots. I've been to Crossroads, a couple of spots in Adams Morgan and VIP actually has a floor dedicated to reggae on some nights, but I'm hoping there are more places I can go. I don't mind going to Northern Virginia, or Baltimore. Thanks, Missing home.

The Going Out Gurus: Looks like you've done some sleuthing yourself already. Have the spots you've found just not measured up for you? Do you want to be out at reggae spots every night of the week? Well, other than the ones you mentioned there's some spot called Turntable on Georgia Ave then another in Silver Spring that plays caribbean music, is it called Oasis? (readers chime in here please) I know you've been to Crossroads already but it's worth mentioning Saturday's Bob Marley b-day bash there. Even bigger will be the one at Nation on Sunday. Meleket, DKGB, Raheem Devaughn and Mutabaruka are on the bill as well as Rocky Dawuni. - Rhome


Junk Store, Adams-Morgan: What about Miss Pixies in Adams Morgan and Dupont. I have been meaning to get out there for some inexpensive bedroom pieces but haven't. From their web site it looks pretty cool.
http://www.misspixies.com/index4.shtml

The Going Out Gurus: Miss Pixie's is a good idea as well, although the span of their merchandise is not nearly as wide as Ruff 'N Ready.


Washington, DC: OK... I'm already tired of hearing people asking about Valentine's ideas. How about some ideas for some girls who just want to hangout and have fun without having to hang around couples all night long?

The Going Out Gurus: Hey DC, this is Joe and if you think this week is bad, join us next week. That'll be pure torture for you.


Wineman (WDC): Ideas for Valentine's day. If you have any old wine bottles, clean them really well and use them to give your love a message in the bottle. Use parchment paper (really thin and easily rolls up).

The Going Out Gurus: Awww...and if things fall apart you can always use the bottle to clobber them over the head.


The Going Out Gurus: Today's warning: Rhome is really cranky.


Ballston for DC re: the guru: I don't know, DC... read a review in the New Yorker of The Guru and it sounded downright offensive, esp if one is Indian - like the laughs came from dumb stereotypes. Just saying... until I read that I had thought it might be ok, too. The New Yorker (can't recall which reviewer) hated it.

Personally looking forwad to The Quiet American, which started in NY eons ago and I think we're going to get here soon.

The Going Out Gurus: I can't decide what to make of "The Guru"; it could either skewer the notion of stereotypes or perpetuate them. In any case, I've just found out that it opens next Friday so now you can decide for yourself. "Quiet American" opens tomorrow and it is supposed to be quite good. -- Jen


Metro Center, Washington, D.C.: Went to RFD last week-end. Service was awful and they didn't have half the beers listed (!!!) -- a real scam.

Fritz mentioned last week that the Barking Dog now organizes world music dance parties. When do they take place? Has anyone been to one? Should I expect to find a Eurotrash crowd (I would rather not)? I am looking for a place to go dancing this weekend and would like to have a mix of salsa, '80s/'90s and international --- and I want to avoid a place with attitude where they check whether you have the right looks to get in.

The Going Out Gurus: Hey, MC. I had the same problems at R.F.D., actually. From talking to staff, etc., I gather that it's because they've just opened and didn't get enough kegs/cases of some beers, but problems will be corrected. We'll see. (But what do you expect from the people who run the Brickskeller?)

About those Barking Dog parties: The first regular party was last Saturday, and I couldn't make it. You might want to try the new party at Singapore Bistro tomorrow night -- they're playing salsa and international dance music. No cover, 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. I have to say I'm curious about it. -- Fritz


Quiet place in Arlington: What about Ravi Kabob near Glebe and 50? Don't expect to be pampered, but damn it's some FINE food. Oh, and, there's never a crowd there.

The Going Out Gurus: Also fab for kebab -- Kabob Palace at Eads and 23rd in Crystal City. -- Alexa


Smoke-free Jazz?: Hi there,

My husband and I would love to go catch some good jazz tonight, but I'm pregnant and can't be around a lot of smoke. Do you know of a good place, other than Blues Alley (too expensive) that we can check out? Some place with at least decent food would be great. Suggestions for jazz piano bars/restaurants are welcome as well. Thanks!

The Going Out Gurus: Smoke-free jazz almost seems like an oxymoron but we might be able to work with you. We thinks there is a new smoke-free room at HR-57. Call to confirm. Your piano bar needs can be filled here. Fritz likes Tabard Inn on Sundays. Have you thought to try the Kennedy Center's new jazz cafe? - Rhome


Washington, DC: Hi Gurus.

Two females looking to go to a gay male dance club to have fun and dance to techno type music. Is there anywhere in Dupont circle we can go?

The Going Out Gurus: Try Cobalt (on the third floor of Foodbar DC) or Apex (formerly Badlands). -- FRITZ


Dave and Busters: Actually, the food there is quite good. Overpriced, but good. Like an applebees type deal.

The Going Out Gurus: Mmmmm. Just like Applebees.


Alexadnria, Va.: Hey Gurus, I need a recommendation for a restaurant in the Centreville area that can accommodate a toddler. Any suggestions other than Sweetwater and Doc Harrys?

The Going Out Gurus: Alexandria, I'm not too up on Centreville I'm afraid, but let's ask the group? Anyone?


That smell at RFD: That industrial smell at RFD most closely resembles Fruity Pebbles, in my opinion. I might entertain the possibility that Trix is a better comparison, but I'm positive that anything outside of saturday morning cereals is dead wrong.

The Going Out Gurus: BARNEY!! MY DELIRIUM TREMENS!!!


Reston, Va.: I'm going to see "Rent" at the Warner next wednesday with my girlfriend. Since she's going out of town on V-Day, I'd like to eat somewhere fairly romantic. Which restaurants around there do you recommend?

The Going Out Gurus: Some options to consider that are close to the Warner: Butterfield 9, Ten Penh or Chef Geoff's. I recently ate at Chef Geoff's and really enjoyed it. They also have one of the more affordable pre-theater deals in that area -- I believe it's three courses for around $25. Don't know if it totally fits your romantic bill, but it's nice enough and right across the street from the Warner. -- Jen


15ria: I've been wanting to try 15ria. I hear they have great drinks! What's your take on the atmosphere? And when is the best time to go and have a good crowd?

The Going Out Gurus: It's the most "hotel bar" of all the trendy hotel bars/lounges. Don't really care much for the decor: very bright lights, carpeted floors and sports on the TVs. Great drinks, though. Try going for Thursday or Friday happy hour and you might find a decent number of people there. -- Fritz


Washington, DC: Have any of you heard good music lately.

The Going Out Gurus: So much good music DC. This is Joe and I finally made it out to see Los Hermanos Rodriguez last week. They made a great loud rocking noise. Go see them if you get a chance. Also went to see the Sub Pop bands at Iota Tuesday. More great music. Read David Segal's review in The Post today. And if I don't make it to George Strait tonight at MCI, I'm going to go see the Washington Social Club at the Black Cat. Only $5.


Washington DC: I'm entertaining someone in a couple of weeks. Where would you suggest a good place for Japanese and Mexican food in DC? Cactus Cantina or Lauriel Plaza? Perry's or.....Thanks! Enjoy your chats.

The Going Out Gurus: Washington, Sushi-Ko? Makoto? As for Mexican, Joe lives at Cactus Cantina. What better proof of its delicacy? -- Alexa


Arlington, Va: Fritz, I need help! Where can I get Young's Double Chocolate Stout on draft? I've looked everywhere I could think of, but nobody has it that I've seen. Thanks!

The Going Out Gurus: R.F.D. had it a week ago. The Reef was talking about putting it on, but I don't think that ever happened; It's certainly not there now. -- Fritz


Gay night club: I think women should stay out of gay nightclubs -- it's one of the few places where gay men can meet each other!

The Going Out Gurus: Hey, it's a free country. And I've never heard straight women suggest that gay men stay out of straight clubs because that's where they go to meet straight men. -- Fritz


Washington, D.C.: I recently discovered my favorite new drink -- a key lime martini at Savino's on New Hampshire Avnue. Do you know another restaurant or bar where I can get one of these?

The Going Out Gurus: If I'm not mistaken, Olazzo in Bethesda also has key lime martinis on the menu. They have a pretty huge selection of martinis (last Friday I made like Carrie Bradshaw and had a flirtini), and on Tuesdays they're $5. You might give that a try. -- Jen


Northwest Washington, D.C.: I have a friend coming into town from L.A. this weekend who loves hip-hop/rap and we are looking for a hip club with a fun, good looking crowd that plays good dancing music. We are both early 20s grad students and would like to get dressed up to go out. Any suggestions for that or a chill place for dinner beforehand?

P.S. I really didn't like Platinum or Dream, if that helps at all.

The Going Out Gurus: You want to get dressed up for for hip-hop but you don't want Dream? I sense a jigginess conundrum. You don't like V.I.P. either? I'm confused. Oh! Try Five tonight or 1223 tomorrow. Bam. You've got a ton of eating uptions along that 18th and Connecticut strip in walking distance to those clubs. - Rhome


New York: My love interest and I are planning to be in Washington DC March 6th through the 9th. We are interested in knowing where to go for great food -we're staying at the Mayflower], great jazz, and theater. We are also open to suggestions during the day, although we'll probably see some museums. Perhaps you know the best museums or any special event happening during those dates. We're interested in the local scene. We are in our 40's and while we're not particularly the "party" type, we do like to be entertained.

The Going Out Gurus: A tall order, New York, but I'll do my best. For theater, they'll be the early works of Edward Albee at the Studio Theater and George Bernard Shaw's Philanderer at Arena and Blues Alley is your best bet for jazz. For dinner near the Mayflower, try Firefly, Equinox. And at museums, you'll find Margaret Bourke White, Vuillard, a few Whistler shows. Also, the Spy Museum might be worth a look, if you haven't been already. Enjoy. -- Maura


Washington, D.C.: Any word on the Teen Beat record shows coming up? Will the one at Galaxy Hut be jam packed?

The Going Out Gurus: Probably. The last one was.


Metro Center, Washington, D.C.: Thanks Fritz for your suggestion but where is Singapore Bistro located -- I've never been there.

The Going Out Gurus: In the old Cafe Asia space on 19th Street -- 1134 19th St. NW, to be exact.


Alexandria, Va.: Good afternoon,

I enjoy these chats and I most occasions provide me with very useful information for visiting guests. On this instance, I am looking for something special to do with the boyfriend that is going to cost us a whole lotta nothing. It does not have to be Valentine's-related, we only need something that is going to get us out of the house and to escape some stress. Anything you might be able to suggest would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

The Going Out Gurus: Hmmm, a snowball fight seems like something that you could start doing tonight... but Alex, do you know about our Free page? It's a whole page of things to do that cost you nothing, plus it has tricks for getting discounts. If you can Metro yourselves to the Smithsonian stop on a weekend, you have a panorama of free museums to attend. For weekday evenings, I'll throw in our half-priced burger guide. -- Anne


Silver Spring, Md.: Hi. I broke up with my man a couple of weeks ago, and would like to go on a date. Are any of you guys available? I'm 29 and cute; what else is there?

The Going Out Gurus: Brains, Playstation 2 skills, ability to do at least 3 popular dances from the golden era of hip-hop, and elevated culinary talent. That's just the short list. The Gurus got standards ya know. - Rhome


Washington, D.C.: Gurus:

Where is a place I can get brunch that tastes like mom use to make? Dad is coming into town this weekend.

The Going Out Gurus: I bet you'd get something good at Colorado Kitchen. They do breakfast on weekdays and I think brunch starting at 11 on weekends. -- Alexa


Washington, D.C.: Hey guys. What's a single girl in her late 20s to do? Last weekend I was out in Arlington and everyone was a couple and maybe 22 years old. It was sickening. Any suggestions for places to grab a few drinks, maybe listen to some music in Arlington or Alexandria that aren't packed with lovey dovey college kids?

The Going Out Gurus: Galaxy Hut, Iota, 219 and Cafe Salsa come to mind. -- Fritz


What's wrong with Rhome?: Is it trouble with the ladies?

The Going Out Gurus: It's The Man. The Man's got me down. Plus I covet Fritz's sneakers and he always taunts me. - Rhome


Washington, D.C.: I'm thinking of going to Chaos's Drag Bingo to celebrate my birthday. Will there be enough of a fun crowd there to make it a good time?

The Going Out Gurus: Yes. Free toys and X-rated videos for all!!!


Rhome is a man?: This changes everything.

The Going Out Gurus: Yes, Rhome is a man. We've established this several times. Rhome is definitely a man.


Washington, D.C. Metro area: Any ideas on where German expats hang out after hours around D.C.? I was thinking Cafe Mozart, perhaps, but any other suggestions?

The Going Out Gurus: Sure. Or the Brickskeller. Or any of the Goethe-Institut's happy hours. Visit http://www.goethe.de/uk/was/fogi/ for more information. -- Fritz


Girls going to gay nightclub: We aren't going there to hit on gay men! We are going there because it has good music and we can go and dance and not be bothered by gross straight men!

The Going Out Gurus: Um, okay.


Dupont Circle, DC: I'm a local event planner in Washington and frequently research "things to do" in the area...you are always so helpful. So why can't i find any special events for anti-Valentine's Day people? The fact that V-day is on a Friday night has left many a single friend in a funk. What advice can I offer besides "well, you could always go to (insert dive-bar here) and get really wasted!" help!?

The Going Out Gurus: Easy, Dupont. We're here for you. Here's a couple of anti-Valentine's events. I also recommend these poetry readings from a new book called "Kiss Off" -- events will be at both Olsson's and Politics & Prose.


Washington, DC: someone said Habanna Village looks boarded up, maybe closed? can you confirm/deny this nasty rumor?

The Going Out Gurus: If Habana Village was about to close, dancers from all over the area would be holding protest marches and prayer vigils. I'm sure we would have caught wind of it by now. Fritz and I have both been down that strip within the past week and everything looked like business as usual. Of course one never knows. Peanut gallery input if any? - Rhome


Rockville, MD: FYI - although "The Philanderer" is playing at one of Arena's theatre locations, it is actually a Washington Stage Guild production.

The Going Out Gurus: Duly noted. Thanks.


Cactus Cantina!: Oh gross. that place is like mcdonalds but with salsa. Much better Mexican food is at Aleros in Clev Park. Jeez, why not say Don Pablos? (sorry to be harsh, I just don't get what the fuss is about that place. i mean no disrespect.)

The Going Out Gurus: This is Joe and I can't believe you're ripping Cactus Cantina. That place is so good. And I lived in Calif. for a few years and had great Mexican food all of the time. It's not quite in that league, but it's consistently good and the salsa's great.


Washington, DC: Any winerys that have good wine tastings that you would recommend for this weekend?
(Do winerys have wine tastings in the winter?)

The Going Out Gurus: Yes, Washington, most Virginia wineries are open during winter months. I know I've been to Oasis in colder temps. If you're game for trying something up Maryland way, Boordy Vineyards is hosting fondue and wine tastings every weekend in February. And don't forget the DC International Food and Wine Festival is in just two weeks time. -- Maura


Staying at the Mayflower: If you are staying there and you like to be entertained I would go the hotel bar and watch the bartender's (I forget his name) magic tricks. He is funny and he is good! I had a great evening there after a show at the Improv.

The Going Out Gurus: Thanks for the magic tip.


Washington DC: Hi - I'm looking for a salon to get a simple haircut in the Georgetown area...the kicker is it needs to be affordable - I'm on a college studen'ts budget! But no disaster-prone cutters please...

The Going Out Gurus: Affordable in Georgetown. I'm kicking this one out to readers.


Gay man here....: I formally invite all cool women to hang with us at Cobalt, Apex, Velvet, Lizard Lounge, and anywhere else we congregate! And to the previous poster who doesn't like women in gay clubs/bars...Gerl, if having a woman around in a gay club, is a threat to you, then you really need to take a good look in the mirror! -snap-

The Going Out Gurus: There you go cool women, consider yourself invited.


Washington, DC Chick: Went to Rendevous last wednesday. Rhome, was that you?

The Going Out Gurus: You tell me.


Rockville, Md.: Hi Gurus! Please tell me that Nation is re-opening its Friday night Trance night! I hear it's called Code? Any more details on when it's opening?

Thanks so much! Trance deprived soul.

The Going Out Gurus: This has been on and off for a while. Uber-promoter Masoud A. had something about a trance night called Code on his site, but it's gone at the moment, and he's got a new night lined up at Home.

Then I heard that Code is opening on Feb. 14. But I haven't been able to confirm this with Primacy (the company that owns/runs Nation), so I can't say that it's true. As soon as anybody who's reasonably well connected can verify this, I'll have it on our site. -- Fritz


Rockville, Md.: Do you have any idea where adults could take Irish step dancing lessons? Trying to learn a bit before St. Patrick's Day!

The Going Out Gurus: Off the top of my head, I've found this list of Irish dance instructors for you. Many based in Maryland. Ah, the wonders of Google! Now, promise that after you try some out, you'll write back and tell us how it was. If you're feeling like you have the hang of it, there's a ceili in College Park on Feb. 23, with a dance workshop before it. Call 301-294-3568 or 301-699-8949.


Washington, DC: Are there any motorcycle hang-outs in the area? Not necessarily looking for a bunch of over weight cruiser types.

The Going Out Gurus: Asylum on 18th Street should be your first pitstop.


Japanese Question, Washington, D.C.: I have asked this question for three weeks with now without an answer. I just want to find a good Japanese restaurant that prepares the meal in front of you.

The Going Out Gurus: Somewhere like Benihana? Can anyone else recommend one of these flamboyant Japanese eateries? -- Alexa


Washington, DC: what bars are open until 3?

The Going Out Gurus: Go to Adams Morgan on Friday or Saturday. Then take your pick.


Fairfax Virginia: Centreville with a toddler-Old Glory is awesome and can accomodate toddlers. Yummy Ribs!

The Going Out Gurus: Oh glory.


Affordable salon: Sylvain Meloul (sp?) used to be pretty affordable compared to others.

The Going Out Gurus: Hmmm. I hadn't heard that about Sylvain Melloul, but I can't say for certain about the prices. I've heard good things about Tara Salon and Hugo. Anyone know how the prices are there?


Washington, D.C.: I remember you guys had a feature talking about inexpensive things to do in the city. I was having trouble finding it on your site. Can you tell me where it is? Thanks.

The Going Out Gurus: Here's a link to The Interns' Guide to Washington. You can also browse our long Free and Cheap listings. -- Fritz


Silver Spring, MD - Date: It's me, dateless. I have brains (atleast that's what my college told me), I can dance everything from swing, to tap to the running man. But alas, I've never even touched a Playstation 2. I haven't been interested in video games since Intellivision...Am I not worthy?

The Going Out Gurus: Go play some Atari at Kingpin and see where that gets you. -- Fritz


Affordable HairCut in Georgetown!: I've got the perfect answer!
1419 Studio on Wisconsin (1419 between O and P). My hairdresser of 3 years, Essam ,(formerly of Harlow and Dupont Hair) has just opened his own place, his prices are extremely reasonable (i.e. even hill staffers can afford him!). He's very cool, laid-back, gives a great haircut, awesome color, too. 202.333.3339.

The Going Out Gurus: Tips.


re: Haircut in Georgetown: Hi gurus! Love the chats!
I can't say enough good things about Scott at Bogart. He is incredibly gifted and nice. Haircuts run about $50 (is that affordable nowadays?), and include the greatest shampoo with scalp massage...
MMmmmmmm......

The Going Out Gurus: Tips.


Cheap salon in Gtown: You can get an Oster hair clippers at Hechts for 25 bucks.

Or, my parents have a FlowBee that they might lend you.

The Going Out Gurus: And more tips.


Mt Pleasant loves smoke-free jazz! : In addition to the aforementioned, Twins is mostly a non-smoking place with great live acts (there is a smoking-friendly bar in the back, but all the tables up front are nonsmoking).

The Going Out Gurus: Thanks Mt. Pleasant.


Washington, D.C.: Why is Van Ness such an entertainment vacuum?

The Going Out Gurus: It's a mystery isn't it. But when Best Buy opens up there at least it won't be a home entertainment vacuum.


Washington, D.C.: Normally I'm pretty resourceful about going out, but today I could use some help. I have a group of friends/co-workers in town from New York. We can agree on Jazz (and would consider other types of live music or maybe just really good cocktails) and most of us are adventurous about eating (limits are: There will be eight to 10 of us. Indian is out, one serious vegetarian and one of us is a major foodie). However, we cannot break the bank.

We don't have to dine and have drinks at the same place but prefer to stay in D.C. -- no cars. I'd say we want to spend less than $30 per person for the night. Personally, I always like to show off D.C. to New Yorkers. They're usually pleasantly surprised. Unfortunately, I'm stumped. I had thought about Bohemian Caverns but they don't seem to have a show tonight and I'm sick of HR-57. Any ideas?

The Going Out Gurus: How about seeing Wayne Wilentz (Brazilian jazz) tonight at U-topia? Very cool, intimate lounge, great cocktails and the food is above and beyond what you'll find at most jazz spots in town. Rhome and I agree that you should go there -- or at least consider it, okay? -- Fritz


About Rhome: Rhome, did some jokester mistake you for a honey bunny again?

Rhomes a dude y'all

The Going Out Gurus: Y'all gon' make me lose my mind, up in here, up in here... but "honey bunny"? It's not that bad is it?


Mobile, AL: Hey, I've heard y'all give great advice so I thought you could help me out. My husband and I are visiting our daughter in DC next week, and wanted to know a fun but not too expensive restaurant to take her and a few of her friends for her birthday. My husband also has a hearing aid and would like to participate in the conversation at some point, though being the only man there, he might not get a chance,ha! Any suggestions?
Thanks a bunch!

The Going Out Gurus: Mobile, we've put our heads together and think Petits Plats or Bombay Club might fit the bill. Hope that helps. -- Maura


Flowbee, dc: "it actually sucks while it cuts!"

The Going Out Gurus: Yes it does.


Japanese Restaurant, Washington DC: The Japan Inn on Wisconsin in Upper Georgetown cooks right in front of you and is good stuff!!

The Going Out Gurus: Thanks for the tip.


Arlington, Va.: Hi all,

Why are the city's more popular music venues so Metro-unfriendly? I went to see the Apples in Stereo at the Black Cat last night. Doors were at 8:30, but between a delayed start and the two opening bands indulging in hour-long sets, the Apples didn't take the stage until 11:40. That'd be fine, if the last Metro train to Virginia didn't leave at 11:50. I've had similar experiences at the 9:30 Club, and resent having to choose between seeing the band I paid to see or shelling out more than the price of the ticket to get home safely.

The Going Out Gurus: The 9:30 Club tries to make sure all shows are over in time for Metro during the week, but it's really beyond their control. And when I lived in the burbs, I also grumbled about the last start times at the Black Cat. (But seriously, being in high school on a provisional driver's license and going to the old 9:30 Club was the worst.)

You'll be lucky on the weekends, sure, but you really might just want to consider driving to 9:30 shows and parking in their secure lot; $8 for parking is a lot cheaper than a cab to Arlington. -- Fritz


Japanese: There's this awesome Japanese place up MacArthur (I forget the name), but for $40 they prepare a 10 course meal in front of you.

Careful though, unlike most places in DC, the waitstaff is very keen about when you're almost done with a course,a nd they serve you the next one immediately. My adivce for fast-eaters like me: "take it easy cowboy."

The Going Out Gurus: Makota, maybe?


haircut in Georgetown: Closer to Farragut, but Eurospa, at 2029 block of K street, does a great job for about $25. I go to Rosie and she's awesome. 202-293-7560

The Going Out Gurus: OK, thanks.


For smoke-free jazz pregnant lady: Another option is the Natural History museum. They have live jazz every Friday night and serve food (http://www.mnh.si.edu/imax). I assume the museum doesn't allow smoking inside. Don't know how good the music or food is and tonight is my first night to try it out. Anyone else out there been yet?

The Going Out Gurus: Great tip. Thanks.


Downtown Washington, D.C.: GOGs --

Gonna check out Helix Lounge tonight with some friends. What can I expect in terms of atmosphere, etc.? Will we be able to find seating before 7 p.m.? And what is the closest metro stop? Rock on. Peace out.

The Going Out Gurus: In terms of atmosphere, it's a very sleek, '70s-funky hotel bar with booths that you can close off with curtains. Good, diverse crowd. Great bartenders. Here's my Helix review.

You'll be able to find seating before 7. ANd if you get there before 7, you can partake of the half-price burger-and-beer happy hour. A delicious burger with smoked cheddar, etc., and a can of PBR for $6.50. Now THAT'S good eatin'. -- Fritz


Falls Church, VA: Hey GoG, you are awesome!

Good Japanese steakhouse that cooks the food in front of you: Genji, in Northern Va., Falls Church, corner of Rt. 50 and Graham Rd.

My question: what are the best places to find a chocolate martini? I've recently developed a taste for them.

Thanks in advance!

The Going Out Gurus: Thanks Falls Church. Fritz says Savino's in Dupont for the chocolate martini. Rhome say Gazuza, also in Dupont.


The Going Out Gurus: Well, that wraps up another blistering, brilliant hour of Got Plans. We're looking forward to next week already. And if you have questions that aren't about Valentine's Day next week, we'll be especially keen to answer them. Cheerio.


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