Buddha Brings New Meaning to Sexy Sushi

Massive lounge, great menu -- hey, and an 18-foot-tall Buddha statue!

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The pursuit for the perfect evening can be a tricky one. You want a well-poured cocktail, exotic dining and a serious lounge-side scene. Maybe even a little dancing. Oh, and you don't want to travel to more than one place to get it.

For an iconic evening in a Zen-like setting, look no further than 455 Massachusetts Ave. N.W. Last week the highly anticipated Buddha Bar threw open its doors to welcome Washingtonians with their indulgent Pan-Asian fare and an exotic setting to match.

Renowned for its establishments in Paris and New York, Buddha Bar was an endeavor years in the making, but well worth the wait. The 9,500 square feet of soaring ceilings, low-lit red interior and richly decorative murals make up this magnificently modern den.

A DJ reigns from a perch high above in an alcove that overlooks a 20-seat bar and a sleek lounge encased by floor to ceiling windows. Stunning chandeliers blanket a 50-table dining room. However the real eye-candy (aside from an attractive staff) is the 18-foot Buddha statue, flown in from Indonesia

A steady stream of well-heeled guests have already been treated an elegant selection of sashimi and delicate hand rolls or Sea Bass drenched in hoisin sauce. Heartier appetites can dig into one of the house faves, such as curry shrimp in banana leaves and lacquered Peking duck.

Overseeing the culinary side of things is Korean-born executive chef Chul Kee Ko, who has worked at Jean-George in New York and TEN in Virginia.

Lunch and dinner will be served every day and a bar menu will be served until the wee hours.

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