Chef Tim Ma shares how he risked everything in search of the American dream. Eun Yang reports for our News4 Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month special.
Tim Ma’s Maple Ave Restaurant in Vienna, VA, was opened on a credit card, and is now a bright star on the foodie radar screen. Ergo, scoring one of the nine tables in its dining room can be a challenge. So it’s good news that he and his team are about to open another, bigger venue for his distinctive, modern American, globally influenced fare – this time in Arlington’s Virginia Square. It’s called Water & Wall, named for the intersection of the NYC streets where he and his wife/co-restaurateur Joey Hernandez lived when they first cooked up their restaurant plans.
Tim Ma and Joey Hernandez, known for Maple Ave Restaurant in Vienna, are bringing Water and Wall to Arlington. Ma said Pines of Florence moved out the last couple days of June and the Water and Wall folks brought in designers and engineers right away on July 1.
The concept will be similar to that of Maple Ave, which the chef alternately calls “eclectic American” or “creative American.” Ma said he’s classically French trained and another chef at Maple Ave is Burmese trained. Their different cooking strengths will allow for simple fare such as a chicken sandwich, and more inventive dishes featuring rabbit or sweetbreads.
ARLNOW got word of a new project from Maple Ave. Restaurant’s Tim Ma yesterday. Eater checked in with Ma to flesh out the project in a bit more detail, though things are still in the very early planning stages.
The new spot will be located at 3811 North Fairfax Drive, but it will actually be called Water & Wall. The menu will “have similarities in style to Maple Ave., but will for sure have its own identity, not just a Maple Ave part two,” Ma said via email. Other than that, he and his partners are just saying that they’re excited about the new project.
Tim and Joey, the owners of Maple Ave. Restaurant in Vienna, will be opening Water & Wall at 3811 N. Fairfax Drive in Virginia Square (in the old Pines of Florence space).
“Water and Wall” is the intersection of where Tim and Joey lived in New York City when Tim was attending the French Culinary Institute, and interning at Momofuku Ko.
In Joey’s words, “It was in that building that we started to draft our ideas of owning a restaurant. We created menus there, created dishes there, etc. So, essentially, it was where the dream was born.”