MaLa Tang

It is on 3434 Washington Boulevard, in Arlington, adjoining the George Mason University School of Law buildings (with Mercatus and School of Public Policy and ICAR), home page here.  It is real Sichuan hot pot, excellent flavors all around, reminiscent of Uncle Liu’s Hot Pot (same owner), superb cold dishes and appetizers, and the best MaPo Tofu in the entire area.  They’ve made the decor chic, the wait staff “normal,” and you can just walk up to a counter and get ready-to-eat Sichuan street food to your heart’s content on a moment’s notice.  I predict this will serve  as a major breakthrough for real Sichuan food in northern Virginia and also in the United States.  Here is one good review.

File under “Now Open for Business.”


Great news. Now I feel like a fool for having waited even one day to check it out.

Too bad the location sucks. Not a bad neighborhood, but unless you work at GMU Arlington or SRA, parking will be a challenge.

People like Olive Garden.

Free 2 hour parking is available in the parking lot attached to the restaurant when you dine in at Mala Tang. Park in the 'retail' spots allocated on Level P1. If no retail are spots are available than please leave your keys with an attendant. Just remember to validate your parking ticket before you leave Mala Tang. We hope to see you soon!

Thank you,

Tomer Molovinsky
General Manager | Mala Tang

This link is somewhat dated, but I visited Mala Tang last night and wanted to post. I should start out by saying that my wife is orginally from Yunnan, China, and loves hot pot. We even eat it at home.

The interior of the restaurant is nice.

Now for the bad...

1) They don't have a license to serve alcohol! It is on the menu, apparently just to generate false hope and excitement, but they cannot serve it as of yet. Hot pot and beer really are a great combination, and it is ridiculous that they don't have it.

2) Among the vegetables listed on the menu for hot pot was Chinese celery. We ordered that, yet when everything came out it was regular celery. My wife asked (knowing the answer) if this was Chinese celery, only to be told by the 17 year old white kid that "I think we only have American celery this week."

3) Tyler says they have the best MaPo tofu, but we ordered tofu and the wife was not impressed, and she loves bean curd. When she was ordering, she specifically asked the waiter about tofu, and he had no idea what he was talking about. In fact, there was a large group of Chinese who came in and sat at a table next to us. They were saying the same thing as we were - no beer, not enough variety of tofu, and more expensive than the place on Gallows Road.

I really, really wanted to like this place, but I cannot recommend it.

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