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

4.4

service

4.1

ambience

3.8

value

4.0

Noise

Moderate

100% would recommend it to a friend

Good for Groups (7)
Spicy (6)
Casual (3)
See All
Fit for Foodies (2)
Fun (2)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Good for a Date (2)
Healthy (2)
Great for Lunch (2)
Neighborhood Gem (2)
Special Occasion (2)
Tasting Menu (2)
Authentic (1)
Good for Birthdays (1)
Kid-friendly (1)
Comfort Food (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Quiet Conversation (1)
Vegan (1)
Good Vegetarian Options (1)
Worth the Drive (1)
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419 reviews
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 (Washington DC)·Dined 3 days ago

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

 
·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 2, 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 28, 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 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
1 person found this review helpful.
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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!

1 person found this review helpful.
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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
 (Washington DC)·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
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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

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on March 9, 2017

Mala Tang is consistently a great dining experience. The food is unusual but fantastic. Don't miss the skewers!

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Spicy, Creative Cuisine
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food4
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service3
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on March 3, 2017

Unique food and very flavorful. The sauce bar was fun and great way to customize flavors. Strongly recommend the green scallion pancake, it is fried deliciousness and great plain or when dipped in a custom sauce from the sauce bar. The restaurant is pretty large and more full than would have expected so strongly recommend a reservation on a weekend. I was excited to try the hot pot and specifically went there because of it but would not get again. Something about handling the raw chicken just didn't sit right with me and the tongs had been placed with the handle directly on the raw meat so I had to get another pair so as not to contaminate my hands while eating. The food was flavorful and when they say SPICY they absolutely mean it, it was too hot for me and would get mild next time. My friend got the dry pot and really liked it so perhaps that would be my choice next time. That said, it was a fun experience and would recommend. Only other note is that the server (different from the server who took our order) just placed the hot pot and food on the table and walked away without providing any instructions. We had to flag her down to ask what to do and how long to cook. This seemed odd since I would assume most people would need instructions on how to cook the hot pot.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on February 22, 2017

This is the best Mongolian Hot Pot in Northern Virginia. Individual hot pots, great hot sauce. Be sure to try the skewers for an appetizer.

Tags: Casual, Fun, Good for a Date
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food4
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 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 31, 2017

Good food and wonderful ambiance. Place was not so crowded and tables are spaced out well.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 16, 2017

Mala Tang has great food, a very comfortable dining room and patient, but attentive, service. I loved the cumin lamb dish I ordered. It had heat but not scalp sweating heat. I will definitely pay more visits to this yummy Asian gem.

Tags: Quick Bite, Gluten Free Options, Good for Groups, Casual
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 3, 2017

Went there for my son's birthday. Lots of fun, though I would not bring small children because the highlight is cooking food in boiling pots of broth!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Fun, Special Occasion, Paleo Friendly
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 31, 2016

We always go out for Asian cuisine on New Year's Eve and this year we landed on Mala Tang. We hadn't even heard of "hot pot", but we were excited to give it a try. They were accommodating to our party of seven and helped explain the hot pot experience. It was delicious! Will definitely be back!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 25, 2016

So - it was Christmas, which is obviously weird timing, but if you're going to be open, you should probably be staffed. Our waitress was pretty horrible. We sat at 6:55pm. She told use she'd be over in a minute at around 7:20pm. We got a couple of glasses of water by about 7:30pm.

It was painful to watch her work. She was curt, forgetful, and generally inattentive.

The food was ok, but for the price, I expect better service.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food4
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value2

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 25, 2016

Dumplings are amazing.

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 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 17, 2016

Love the food. I've gone a few times for dinner and the service has always been fine. I went for lunch a few weeks ago and I think our waitress forgot about us. Another server on his break found her for us. I still go back for he delicious hot pot!

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 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 17, 2016

Mala tang sauce is too spicy and greasy and you are required to order 2 vegetables with a dish. For a single dish valued at $23 for a meal I just didn't see it as something worth the value.

Tags: Spicy
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food1
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 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 5, 2016

This was my first time dining here and did so with a friend on his birthday. The cuisine is the most authentic Chinese around (Chengdu province). We ordered a hot pot to share with NY strip and many vegetables a la carte which we shared. I recommend using the popular recipes at the sauce bar...you will see what I mean when you get there. Note the spicy broth in the boiling hot pot is perfect for cooking your meat and vegetables in but if you taste it straight it is very very spicy. Spicy is therefore recommended. It was quiet on a Monday for lunch and the service was good. The waitress helped us decide on the correct amount of dishes to order for our hot pot for the two of us hungry guys. We ordered one NY strip, bamboo shoots, seaweed, enoki mushrooms, vegetable dumplings and scallops. It was the perfect amount and delicious!

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food5
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vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 3, 2016

Always a great time with delicious food! Want to try the sampler bowl next time. I'm glad to see they're trying new things at Mala Tang!

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Tasting Menu, Neighborhood Gem, Authentic
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food5
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