The District at Green Valley is buzzing these days, thanks to ideal weather, a brace of snazzy new shops and a number of new restaurants. One such restaurant is the Elephant Bar Restaurant, an eclectic concept combining African décor and Asian and American dishes.
Perhaps you remember when this chain, with locations in California, Arizona and a smattering of other states west of the Mississippi, was on Maryland Parkway. It hasn't changed much in the transition, but the new restaurant is a real looker. Glass doors equipped with brass elephant handles lead you inside, where there is a gorgeous, leopard skin-patterned carpet; a concrete elephant, tusks and all, emerging out of a side wall; brass giraffes; booths upholstered with African textile art; and overhead, a flutter of palm-leaf fans swaying on mechanized pulleys. It all makes for quite a positive impression.
As for the menu, soups, salads and sandwiches are the best bets. Both chicken-noodle and baked-onion soups are tasty and generously portioned, and there is an interesting Asian soup option: homemade, pan-Asian vegetable and noodle soup, full of shrimp and rice noodles and served with a few nicely glazed teriyaki chicken skewers.
One of the best sandwiches is a deliriously indulgent smokehouse barbecue-chicken sandwich, piled high with bacon, ham, onion strings and aged cheddar. Fresh salmon cake salad is a good bet as well.
The menu's pan-Pacific specialties section is a strong suit. Bangkok, stir-fried pad Thai with vegetables and tofu makes good use of the mouth-watering rice noodle. Stir-fried sesame chicken is nice, too, served over steamed rice with won ton crisps.