Adams Morgan/Woodley Park


I love The Diner.  It’s like those old jeans that are perfectly broken in.  It might not be fancy, but it’s just good and you know what you’re going to get at all times.  So imagine my joy when they opened Open City.  Oddly enough though, I hadn’t gone until just recently.

  • Food:I ordered the chorizo scramble which was pretty good.  There was lots of chorizo in the eggs.  The hash browns were shredded and I was bummed because they weren’t crispy.  But they did have good flavor.  And the coffee they served was in the big cappuccino mugs, like what they serve at Tryst.  I wonder why they don’t do that at The Diner.
  • Service: Our server was fine, but like The Diner, they’re a bit scattered.  Sometimes you get a refill on coffee, sometimes you don’t. 
  • Atmosphere:They have horrible acoustics so don’t go with a low talker!  It’s really loud and I kept having to ask, “What” when I was trying to talk with my friend. 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $
  • Overall: Unlike The Diner, Open City has outdoor seating which is really nice.  But Open City has more options than the standard breakfast and that makes me a fan.  Plus, I love the big mugs of coffee.  Like The Diner, expect a line on the weekends!  But here’s a tip — if you get there before 10 AM, your wait won’t be too long.

Details:

  • Reservations not accepted.
  • Hours: Mon-Fri 6 am – midnight Sat-Sun 6 am – 1 am
  • Address: 2331 Calvert Street NW; Washington, DC 20008
  • Ph: 202-332-2331
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It was raining and crappy and so my friend and I decided to order in.  Plus, I had a bottle of Rose that I wanted to try. 

I don’t like Rose.  I never have.  But for some reason, when I was in the liquor store to buy some sparking wine (loved this one he recommended — Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad Cava from Spain), the liquor store guy told me that even though I don’t like Rose, I’d like Juno Rose from South Africa. Now why is it that even though I know I don’t like Rose, I still ended up buying the wine?  Regardless, my friend was a super trooper and joined me in trying this bottle.  It was fine, but I didn’t love it and won’t buy it again.  The Cava was dry (but not too dry) and was a great sparkling wine to cool down from the humidity!

Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad Cava from Spain  Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad Cava from Spain  Juno Rose from South Africa

Anyway, we decided to order from Jyoti.  Menu here.

  • Food:I first need to tell you that I don’t like cardamom.  I never have.  So ordering Indian is a bit of a challenge, but I do like Indian food!  I just need to be careful.  My friend ordered paneer makani (the orange container) which had a strong cardamom flavor.  I ordered the lamb rogan josh which was really good.  Then we got a side of roti and raita.  I thought it was really good!  They also gave us a huge portion of rice — look at it! And yes, their naan was better than the one I make (but they have a tandoori!). 

Jyoti Restaurant  Jyoti Restaurant

  • Service: Our delivery took over an hour.  And we were starving.  So it gets poor marks for taking more than an hour. 
  • Atmosphere: No idea, they delivered!
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall:I was excited to hear that there’s Indian delivery ($15 min).  On their menu, they tell you it’ll take 45-60 minutes to deliver and if it’s bad weather or traffic, it’ll take longer.  My next order is going to be chicken tikka and samosa. 

Details:

  • Hours: Sun-Thurs 12 PM-10:30 PM; Fri & Sat 12 PM-12 AM
  • Address: 2433 18th St NW; Washington, DC 20009
  • Ph: 202-518-5892

I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve been to The Diner.  I usually go for breakfast, but have been a couple of times for lunch/dinner. 

  • Food:I usually order some variation of the eggs, home fries, and toast with a side of coffee and hot sauce.  They have always cooked the eggs perfectly, but if I get the poached eggs, sometimes there’s a bit too much vinegar in their water.  If they serve you the hot and crispy home fries — delicious!  I’ve also had their pancakes, Croque Madame, and multiple omelets.  All good, diner-esque food. 
  • Service: The service can definitely be spotty.  Some of the waitstaff are really good and others, not so much.  I am judging this on how often they come by for refills on coffee. 
  • Atmosphere:It’s a pretty big restaurant, but it’s almost always busy.  You usually see a mixture of the neighborhood eating here — cops, recent college grads, families — everyone is here.  It is also really loud so be prepared to say “What” or to talk louder.  Bad acoustics. 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall:The Diner is open 24/7 and it’s clear that they definitely fulfill a niche in the Adams Morgan neighborhood.  They serve solid diner food at a good price.  They also have a liquor license. If you want to avoid the lines on Saturdays and Sundays, go before 10!  Otherwise, be prepared to wait!

Details:

  • Hours: Daily 24/7
  • Address: 2453 18th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
  • Ph: 202-232-8800

After dog sitting for P3, she was quite generous with her “thank you” gift and gave me a gift certificate for Cashion’s.  I was excited because I’d never been before — and so I finally had the opportunity the other week.

  • Food:To put it mildly, some of the best appetizers ever!  I ordered the grilled octupus which had a great, simple grilled flavor.  My friend ordered the fried oysters in grits.  I’m not a grits fan (I don’t get why people like it, I really don’t.  It’s just about putting a lot of butter on it and if I put that much butter on anything I ate, I’d love it too).  But these were really good (probably a lot of butter).  And the oysters were super crispy with a bit of corn meal.  For the main, I ordered the seared tuna with black beans, mango, and cilantro.  While the tuna was perfectly cooked, I thought it lacked uniqueness.  And I think they forgot the cilantro because I didn’t taste it in my dish.  My friend ordered the shad roe.  Now I don’t know why she did, but she did.  If you don’t know shad roe, here’s a photo and an explanation.  And because she didn’t like it, I only got half of my seared tuna.  Oh well.  I ended up eating a lot of the bread since I was still hungry. 
  • Service: Our server was a bit too eager throughout the meal.  She kept asking if we understood the menu, which is nice the first time and annoying the second and third.  Perhaps we looked confused?
  • Atmosphere:From the exterior, it seems like it’ll be a small restaurant.  But the looks are deceiving because it’s long.  Straight back on the left is a bit of an elevated bar.  Then there are tables throughout.  We were fortunate to get a table by the floor-to-ceiling windows so it didn’t feel claustophobic, but I could see how that could happen when those windows are closed!
  • Attire: Business casual/casual
  • Price: $$$
  • Overall: I’ll definitely go back to try out other main courses and I hope they’ll offer those fried oysters again!  That’s the trouble with changing menus — you never know if your favorite is going to be available.  At the same time, you get to have new favorites!  So P3, thanks for the gift certificate!  Another good recommendation!

Details:

  • Reservations strongly recommended.
  • Hours: Mondays closed; Tues 5:30-10 PM; Wed-Sat 5:30-11 PM; Sun 5:30-10 PM; Sunday Brunch 11:30 AM-2:30 PM; Late Night Menu 12 AM-2 AM on Fridays and Saturdays
  • Address: 1819 Columbia Road NW, Washington DC 20009
  • Ph: 202-797-1819

I know I said I’d only blog about the really good restaurants, but sometimes there are good concepts that don’t go quite as I think the chefs meant.  I think that’s what happened with Left Bank breakfasts. 

Before I get to the food, I wanted to bring up that the chairs (not the booths) are just slightly too high for the tables.  So it makes eating just slightly awkward.

Anyway, I went with a friend for breakfast one morning and ordered the Eggs Norwegian.  I chose the poached eggs (am into that style right now) and it was sitting on top of a toasted English muffin, smoked salmon, spinach, and chive hollandaise.  Sounds really yummy right?  All really tasty components and healthy (minus the hollandaise)!  Good concept!

Now I’m not much of a hollandaise fan but my friend that I went with, she knows hollandaise.  So I ordered it on the side so she could tell me how it rated.

Apparently, it was just so-so.  And that’s how I’d explain my breakfast.  There was perhaps 3 TBSP of potatoes on the side — it was a bit of a sad looking plate.  Plus, one of the eggs was not poached, but hard (the yolk never broke).  Everything was also cold. 

Interior is fun though and would be a great spot to grab drinks with friends, just not breakfast (especially since there are so many other great places in the area!).  It’s a wide open bar/restaurant and would be a spectacular spot on a beautiful weather day when their floor-to-ceiling windows are open. 

BTW, they also have some good happy hour offerings.  Daily happy hours until 7 PM with $4 beers and $5 rails.  Mondays are half-priced red and white wines; Tues & Wed are Smirnoff & Flavors night with mixed drinks going for $5 and martinis for $6; Thursdays are martini madness with half-priced Left Bank specialty drinks until 8 PM.  Sat and Sun starting at 10 are $9 Moet Chandon Mimosas.   

Details:

  • Hours: Brunch Sat 10 AM-4 PM & Sun 10 AM-4:30 PM; Dinner Sun-Thurs 5-11 PM & Fri-Sat 5-12 AM; Sushi Sun-Thurs 5-11:30 PM, Fri-Sat 5-1AM
  • Address: 2424 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
  • Ph: (202) 464-2100

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m starting to go to places that are a bit more “off-the-beaten-road” in DC.  Perhaps they aren’t too well-known.  I don’t think El Tamarindo falls into the unknown category, but I had never been.  And luckily, neither had one of my friends. 

  • Food: As soon as we sat down, we received a free order of chips and salsa.  The salsa was a bit runny for my taste, but it was spicy.  We ordered a half pitcher of mango margaritas which were pretty good — and almost tasted like summer.  I ordered the steak fajitas and they were really dry and overcooked.  But the chips were pretty good and the mango margaritas would make me go back.  For the fajitas though, I’d hit up Mixtec
  • Service:Nice and attentive servers.
  • Atmosphere: It’s actually much bigger than you would think and with 3-4 TVs throughout the two dining areas, you can even catch a game or two. 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: I would come here for free chips and salsa and margaritas, but for the main course, I’d rather spend my money at Mixtec

Happy Hour:  Monday-Friday 4-7 PM there’s 2 for 1 lime margaritas and beer. 

Details:

  • Reservations accepted.
  • Hours: Mon-Thurs 11 AM-3 AM; Fri 11 AM-5 AM; Sat & Sun 10 AM-5 AM 
  • Address: 1785 Florida Ave NW; Washington, DC 20009
  • Ph: (202) 328-3660

Owned by the same people who run Cafe Bonaparte, Napoleon opened February 1, 2007 in Adams Morgan.   I had been once before and had ordered a salad which was decent.  But when a friend was in town and wanted to catch up, I thought it’d be time to try this place out again.

  • Food:I ordered C&C Risotto which was made of shrimp and duck confit with creamy risotto and green peas.  The shrimp was tough and overcooked and there were only a couple of pieces of duck, yet the creamy goodness of the risotto seemed to make up for it all.  While it was good and perfectly seasoned, I don’t know if it was $18 worth.  My friend ordered steak frites with a bearnaise sauce (that came on the side).  It was a huge piece of steak and it was really good.  Perfectly cooked and well-seasoned.  The frites were big, thick cut fries.  I prefer the thin fries that are crispy so I didn’t really like them. 
  • Service:Our server was very nice, but one of the busboys was uber attentive — and my poor friend kept having to fight to keep his plate. 
  • Atmosphere: It’s dark wood interior which makes it a comfortable spot on a cold winter day.  During the summer, they offer great outdoor seating.  At night, you can visit their Metropolitan Champagne Bar in the basement where they have DJs spinning on the weekends.
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall:I wouldn’t order my risotto again, even though it was decent — it’s mostly because it wasn’t worth $18.  I would definitely order the steak frites (without the frites) or try some of their other meat dishes.  Oh!  And they serve my favorite Cabernet

Details:

  • Hours: Mon-Wed 5 PM-12 AM; Thurs 5 PM-2 AM; Fri 5 PM-3 AM; Sat 10 AM-3 AM; Sun 10 AM-12 midnight
  • Address: 1847 Columbia Rd. NW; Washington, DC 20009
  • Ph: 202-299-9630

Napolean Restaurant

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