Eat This Now: Pork Lychee Salad at Rose's Luxury, Washington, DC


[Photograph: Brian Oh]

Chef Aaron Silverman is the darling of the DC food scene right now. His month-old restaurant, Rose's Luxury, has garnered much praise for its menu of eclectic flavors borrowed from multiple cuisines. Silverman's resume includes a grab bag of well-known kitchens like Momofuku Noodle Bar and Aldea in New York, and it shows in dishes like the Pork Sausage, Habanero, and Lychee Salad ($13).

The dish always had pork and peaches, but Silverman eventually sought a cooler citrus to balance the spices, leading him to lychees. His background in Asian and Portuguese kitchens inspired the addition of coconut and cilantro. The final dish is a combination of flavors that could seem conflicting, but cohere into an unexpectedly harmonious blend of temperatures and textures. The cool coconut creme and mellow citrus flavor of the lychee set a base for the sharper heat in the sausage, habaneros, and togarashi (Japanese chili pepper). Small doses of cilantro, mint, and basil counter the heat and add an herbaceous note, while the crunch of red onion, peanuts, and garlic chips on top pop against the lychee. Every bite combines contrasting kicks of cool and hot, sweet and spicy, and creamy and crisp.

The salad (a term used loosely here) arrives composed, but it's best to mix everything up to get the balanced flavors that Silverman is known for—no small feat with some 13 ingredients in the bowl. The dish is currently one of the most popular items on the menu, but with the offerings changing on a weekly basis, get over to Rose's before it's too late.