About Mala Tang

The inspiration behind Mala Tang is Sichuan Master Chef Liu Chaosheng’s hometown of Chengdu. Here you'll find the streets filled with diners sitting at tables gathering around bubbling hot pots, in which dozens of dried chilies bob up and down in an oily red broth.

The hot pot itself is a pan that sits on a portable burner, surrounded by an array of small plates piled high with fresh ingredients. Guests select pieces of food and drop them into the broth to cook, and then dip them into delicious sauces.

For the main hot pot course, Mala Tang serves a variety of proteins including chicken, lamb, all-natural beef, and fresh seafood; starches such as sweet potato noodles, and a plethora of vegetables ranging from bok choy to lotus roots. Those who are "afraid of the chili heat," as the Chengdu locals jokingly warn incoming travelers, can tone down the mala flavor with a mild version of the cooking broth.

3434 Washington Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22201
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Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Asian, Chinese, Shabu-shabu

Hours of Operation:
LUNCH Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 4:00pm, Saturday & Sunday 12 pm - 4 pm; DINNER: Sunday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 9:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm (Last seating is 30 minutes prior to closing)

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(703) 243-2381

Website:
http://www.mala-tang.com/

Catering:
On site and off site Catering is available.

Parking Details:
Mala Tang offers two hours of complimentary parking for all reservations and walk-in guests dining in the main dining room (hot pot menu). 15 minutes free parking for carryout. Parking is available in designated retail spaces in the garage.

Garage parking is available on the P1 level in spots designated as Retail. If Retail parking lot is full, please leave your keys with a Parking Attendant.

Public Transit:
From Virginia Square Metro - turn left at N Monroe Street than turn right on Washington Blvd.

Executive Chef:
Liu Chaosheng

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Chef's Table, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Special Events & Promotions:
Special Events menus are available in house.

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Private Dining

You and your guests will feel as if you're dining in Chengdu, the home of Chef Liu and the inspiration for Mala Tang. Choose from several group menus crafted for large parties or let us create a menu designed just for you.

Mala Tang Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.3

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.5

service

4.3

ambience

4.0

value

4.2

Noise

Moderate

100% would recommend it to a friend

Good for Groups (12)
Spicy (9)
Casual (7)
See All
Great for Lunch (5)
Good Vegetarian Options (5)
Authentic (4)
Fit for Foodies (4)
Good for a Date (4)
Healthy (4)
Gluten Free Options (4)
Comfort Food (3)
Special Occasion (3)
Good for Birthdays (2)
Kid-friendly (2)
Cozy (2)
Fun (2)
Quick Bite (2)
Tasting Menu (2)
Vegan (2)
Worth the Drive (2)
Good for Anniversaries (1)
Great for Brunch (1)
Creative Cuisine (1)
Happy Hour (1)
Hot Spot (1)
Neighborhood Gem (1)
Great for Outdoor Dining (1)
Seasonal (1)
Tapas (1)
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432 reviews
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vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on February 9, 2018

Good value for food. If you like spicy food, this is the place to go. Hot pots are individual, not shared so your friends can opt for a non spicy broth. Tso’s dumplings are very good. The grilled whole fish is a good sized portion, but it was so good my friend practically ate the whole dish by himself.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 7, 2018

This was our second time to Mala Tang. My son who studies in DC requested to go back when I was visiting him. Love the hot pot. Great choice of meat, seafood, and veggies. I love the spicy chicken broth, and others liked the mild veggie broth. They were also able to accommodate a person in our group who had food allergies. Great for groups, pairs, or singletons. They also have other amazing looking apps and entrees. Definitely will be back again.

Tags: Good for Groups
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on February 5, 2018

Excellent service, delicious foods, and large selections of entrees and hot pots! Will return!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 25, 2018

Excellent food and great service. Food comes out fast because you get to cook it yourself in the hot pot! The sauce bar is a nice touch. Its almost a blend between Pho and Fondue! Great beverage selection as well.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Vegan, Great for Lunch, Good for Anniversaries, Cozy, Quick Bite, Hot Spot, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 19, 2018

Excellent food, great service. I've had a lot of hot pot, both in China and outside China. This is one of the better ones. The food is about the same as Uncle Liu's -- certainly not worse - but the decor and ambiance is way better. It's probably a little pricier for that reason, as well as for the location. Conversation is easy: tables are not packed closely together, the walls and floors absorb sound, and the background music is tasteful jazz at a low volume -- perhaps it's not authentic in that way!

Tags: Spicy, Good for a Date, Authentic, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 6, 2018

Portions have gotten larger - if you are not huge meat eater, order a combination plate with your spouse/friend to share and order additional veggies.

Tags: Good for Groups, Casual
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Portland)·Dined on December 31, 2017

Had a delicious hot pot meal and drinks. The service was super nice and quick, despite it being the beginning of the New Year's Eve madness. I would happily go back here.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Richmond)·Dined on December 30, 2017

The Food was very fresh but it was a bit pricey per person. There was a minimum of 3 items to get the hot pot but after eating 3 items it was more than enough food. Cost seemed high for this style/prep food approach.
The Milk Tea was excellent.

Tags: Comfort Food
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food4
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (Richmond)·Dined on December 25, 2017

Food was great and authentic

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 25, 2017

Hot pot is very good, two types of soups - many meat choices as well as pescatarian. Also possible to order vegetarian dishes. Great if you need a spicy food fix. Their dumplings are very good. The fried whole fish dish seemed to be popular. We will try this next time. Good seating options for large groups as well. Service is prompt.

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Comfort Food, Fit for Foodies, Authentic, Spicy, Good Vegetarian Options, Healthy, Quick Bite, Gluten Free Options, Casual, Worth the Drive, Great for Brunch, Kid-friendly
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 25, 2017

Only one major problem: we reserved through open table for an 11:30 am seating; but the restaurant doesn't open until noon on weekends and holidays.

Tags: Casual, Good for Groups, Good Vegetarian Options
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food3
ambience4
service5
value3

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 15, 2017

Always a great time & good food at Mala Tang! Fun with a group. I always get the same thing, but tried the veggie mild hot pot tonight & it wasn't as flavorful as the mala.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 12, 2017

service was good. but value has dropped. we were a group of 8 and the tables seemed smaller than before. we were a very tight fit with everyone going for hot pots . validated parking is no longer in the building but there is free resturant parking across the street.

Tags: Spicy
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food3
ambience2
service4
value2

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 2, 2017

Always delicious! This is one of our favorites! A great place to bring friends. It is always a hit

Tags: Great for Lunch, Kid-friendly, Spicy, Good for Groups, Good for a Date, Fun
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 1, 2017

Fresh veggies and meats cooked at the table by diners in their individual hot pots and broth. Yummy!

Tags: Vegan, Casual, Gluten Free Options, Good for Groups, Good Vegetarian Options, Fun
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 10, 2017

The waiter didn't know a lot about the menu which was frustrating since this was out first time there.

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food4
ambience4
service2
value4

vip
 (Baltimore)·Dined on November 3, 2017

Lamb was dry, C+. Fried string beans were A+++. Mahbo tofu was A. Service was indifferent, bordering on rude

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food4
ambience3
service2

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 27, 2017

I like that Mala Tang can accommodate large groups. Although we started out as a big group, they were able to scale down on short notice without a problem. There was something for everyone to enjoy and it was great that we were seated at a round table so we could all talk to each other. The service was excellent and our final bill was unbelievably reasonable, even with drinks! We'll be back.

Tags: Gluten Free Options, Authentic, Great for Lunch, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Good for Groups, Spicy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 21, 2017

Food was OK, but not great. They seem to specialize on the hot pot. Everything else we got was good, but very greasy like it sat around too long.

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food3
ambience2
service5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on September 26, 2017

The food was very tasty, but the hot pot set up was a little underwhelming. And the service was okay, but not great.

Tags: Great for Lunch
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food4
ambience3
service2
value4

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on September 2, 2017

Amazing food, service, and ambiance! Lit

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on August 20, 2017

Waited more than an hour for our food, which was not flavored enough when it finally served...felt people forgot our order and made it the last minute...horrible experience.

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food4
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on August 20, 2017

The food was good, but service was terrible. We had a hard time getting anyone's attention, and the server who took our order was in such a hurry that he even rushed us to finish ordering. The women's bathroom was nasty and it ran out of toilet paper too.

Tags: Good for Groups
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food5
ambience2
service1
value2

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on August 1, 2017

This was the second time at Mala Tangs since we got to understand the concept of the dry or hot pot and most importantly the mild vs. the mala! There is a huge spice difference between the two. If you are in to spice,and I mean HOTTTT choose the mala. If you are in for some spice but tamed down extraordinarily , go mild. I went Mala dry pot my first go round and could not finish the meal. This time I went mild and was good with the spices. I must be a light weight in spice area. The others in my group went Hot pot and they seemed content with the meal for they finished it all!. Mala Tang is a fun experience and worth a try. It is all the buzz and then some. Go for it, it does not disappoint .

Tags: Fun, Good for Groups
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on July 25, 2017

As always, the food was outstanding. Our server was great. She was friendly and had a great sense of humor. We look forward to the next visit!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on July 22, 2017

Great spot! The staff was really nice and the restaurant has a nice atmosphere!

Tags: Good for Groups, Good Vegetarian Options, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on July 20, 2017

Mala Tang is not your usual neighborhood Chinese Restaurants. Yes, they do have all your Americanized favorites, but their specialties are the hot pots and dry pots. If you order the hot pot, you select your proteins and vegetables and cook them at the table. We chose the dry pot, where you select your proteins and vegetables and optional starches, and they are presented in a huge rectangular bowl with flaming burners underneath. It can be ordered in varying degrees of spice, or no spice. It is just wonderful. Plenty of good food, prepared and presented beautifully.

The servers are able to describe each choice knowledgeably, and are very pleasant. A fun time. (We took half of our dinner home, and I'm a big eater!)

Tags: Spicy, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on July 9, 2017

Had the shared combo hot pot. everything in the broth was on a stick, which was different, but with two people it was kind of equitable (I know sounds strange). The broth was wonderful and the melon, lotus root, quail eggs, shrimp and beef were good too. We asked for mild and it was just right. Bubble tea is always fun and the potstickers were a good accompaniment.

Tags: Good for Groups, Fun
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on July 2, 2017

The hot pots are the thing to get there. The mala broth is the spicier version, but it's not too much. You cook your meal in the boiling broth, head over to the toppings bar and create your own sauces. The food is delicious. Would have liked it if the air conditioning was working -- all that boiling broth creates steam at the table -- but wouldn't hesitate to go back. One of our favorite places. Haven't tried their conventional szechwan offerings. It's always hot pots for us.

Tags: Gluten Free Options, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Good Vegetarian Options
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on July 1, 2017

We are an Asian American family that dines out 3 or 4 days per week. This is by far the worst Korean food we have ever tasted. The menu states that they use a numbing ingredient in their dishes and they mean it. Ever put food into your mouth and feel as though the dentist was your chef? Absolutely Horrible!

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food1
ambience3
service2
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on June 24, 2017

This is a nice place to eat and the food was good. However, we arrived for a late dinner at 9:30pm. They close at 11pm, but at 10pm they started taking down the sauce bar and cleaning the restaurant. We should have had access to all the restaurant offered. The staff was so focused on cleaning I had to go looking for the waiter twice. I felt like I was keeping them. If the want to close at 10, then close at 10. I felt very uncomfortable.

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food4
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on June 21, 2017

This was our second time at Mala Tang and was definitely not as good as the first. Both the kitchen and the service had problems; they were out of multiple items on the menu and there were long waits for basics like drinks and ordering. The concept is fun but the restaurant needs some work.

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food3
ambience3
service2
value2

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on June 21, 2017

It is always an interesting experience to eat there. Unfortunately, due to two large graduation parties, some of the fresh vegetables : bok choy, cilantro, and spinach were out when we came to dinner on a Wednesday. We need to come, again, to be able to enjoy the fresh ingredients.

Tags: Healthy, Good for Groups, Fit for Foodies, Tasting Menu, Authentic, Creative Cuisine
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on May 18, 2017

Hmm. Hot pot is great. Stay away from dry pot - too much oil, over-powering seasoning. Maybe cook's night off? Second time here. First time we all did hot pot (with broth) which was was fun and flexible for all palettes. This time, three tried dry pot, which was not good. One tried hot pot, which was great, as usual. Hope this place gets its act together ; we love it for its genuine cooking.

Tags: Quick Bite
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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (London)·Dined on May 14, 2017

Awesome food and choices! Especially love their spicy fried tofu.

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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (Orlando)·Dined on April 28, 2017

Too expensive for plain hot pot. Service was fine but $95 for 2 people was not worth it.

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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on April 22, 2017

I would consider Mala Tang to be one of the best restaurants in the DC Metro Area, but my experience there on Saturday was beyond lacking. I've come here with parties of all sizes - and have been coming here multiple times a month, every month, for at least the past year - yet for the past couple of months, the front door staff have been beyond rude. When I came on Saturday, I booked a reservation at 7:45pm through the app, and showed up at about 7:42pm. There were at least 3 two-person tables open, and multiple tables for parties of 4 and greater, yet they refused to seat us. Why, you ask? The "gentleman" at the front told me that I would have to wait because I made the reservation so close to the actual time. I told him that OpenTable had a reservation open for 7:45 so we booked it. He responded that because I booked it "minutes" before 7:45pm, that I would need to wait like everyone else. He then pointed to the bar and then said we could sit there if we wanted, but we wouldn't be allowed to have a table until at least 8pm because we made the reservation too close to the actual time. Maybe had he said the tables weren't ready, or some other legitimate excuse, that would be "understandable," but that was not the case. So we sat at the bar. The aforementioned tables sat open, with wait staff available, for the whole hour we were there. We sat at the bar and the food came out before water did, as the bartender simply stared at us from TWO FT AWAY. Surprising, and unfortunate, experience. Furthermore, the same "gentleman" at the computer at the entrance proceeded to yell at two young women who were dining together because after he ran her card and gave her the check, she realized he did not return her credit card. She inquired, nicely, and he proceeded to actually usher them out of the restaurant and tell them that he simply "doesn't lose cards," while contradicting himself and pulling out a stack of other people's cards that had been previously lost to demonstrate.

Tags: Late-night Find, Good for Groups, Good Vegetarian Options, Neighborhood Gem, Bar Seating, Tasting Menu
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food5
ambience3
service1
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on April 21, 2017

Great social dining experience. Also a good option for those who like to experience with different/new kinds of foods.

Tags: Authentic, Spicy, Good for Groups, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Good Vegetarian Options, Fun
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food4
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on April 8, 2017

Hot pot is their signature dish, & it's an adventure. Don't miss it, or those lovely creative sauces. Spicy is good

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food5
ambience3
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on April 1, 2017

I came here for a Saturday lunch with former coworker friends and we had a great experience. The food was delicious and we had fun cooking at our table. I will be going back very soon!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Authentic
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

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