The Tysons’ corner area is replete with go-to restaurants visible to passersby. But tucked away on Pinnacle Drive, a few blocks from the Tysons II center is Asian Origin. Located on a corner spot with nearby trees, this Asian destination is becoming a popular draw for foodies seeking well-prepared Szechuan, Japanese, and a collection of Mainland China dishes.
Despite its selection of Japanese fare, which are basically sushi and sashimi offerings, Asian Origin really specializes in authentic Chinese dishes.
An extensive menu needs close scrutiny. If you stop by at lunchtime, staff will hand you a short lunch special menu. That’s fine, but unless you read through the major listings of every imaginable appetizer, soup, rice-noodle dishes, plus seafood, pork, chicken, and beef offerings, you will miss out on some amazing fare.
For starters, consider the green onion (scallion) pancake, a flat breadlike dish cut into wedges and served with a savory, not sweet, dipping sauce. Apparently originating in Northern Mainland China, these crunchy appetizers have multiple variations, some puffy, others flat, but note that even street vendors in China offer these for sale.
Also kick off your meal, lunch or dinner, with wontons, noodle dishes, and a choice of soups, including the beloved Hot and Sour soup, egg drop soup, and a Hot and Sour seafood soup. You could likely fill out your meal with any number of these first-course offerings and feel sated.
As for main course choices, you better hope you come with friends or have an enormous appetite. Staff have marked the dishes that are spicy with a chili, but you can ask the waiter to make it milder rather than hot. That said, consider spooning into General Tso’s chicken, Peking duck (half duck more reasonably priced), Kung Pao shrimp, Chengdu salt and pepper shrimp, and the totally classic Chinese dish, Ma Po tofu. Note that this tofu offering apparently originated in a Szechuan restaurant in Szechuan Province, mirroring the beloved spiciness of many Szechua dishes. This may be fiery, but it is so delicious.
If you want a few Japanese samples, pick up some of their rolls. The Chef’s Specials include a Spider Roll, a Chesapeake Hand Roll, and a Dragon Roll. These probably capture the essence of a sushi/sashimi treat.
As more people learn about this relatively new place, you may consider making a reservation. It is probably crowded at dinner time, if lunch is any indication.
Asian Origin, 1753 Pinnacle Dr., McLean, 703-448-5588. Hours: Sun.-Thurs., 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Fri., Sat. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.