funky bars/good eats near 20th and M
I'll be visiting DC on business and staying at a hotel near 20th and M (NW). My colleagues and I will be exhausted after working all day and will probably be interested in having dinner and drinks within walking distance (less than a mile). Where could we go that's kind of funky, but not annoyingly trendy? For bars, we'd like a nice mix of straight and gay, and for restaurants, good food without a stuffy atmosphere (and no more than $50/person).
Sorry I haven't been posting a lot. My time seems to have shriveled up with this new job. OK. Lessee - 20th and M - puts you in striking distance of:
Pesce's - for amazing seafood
Uni - enjoyable sushi, nice atmosphere - if you go before 7 (or is it 7:30) on weekdays you can get $1 sushi.
Sakana - more of a classical sushi restaurant - nice blond wood look.
Pizzeria Paridiso - be prepared for a wait but it's worth it.
gabriel for Sunday brunch - but beware - expensive and dressy!!
Cafe Asia - spotty - but try the Malaysian Rendang.
North of Dupont Circle
I'm still trying to decide if I'm for or against Bistrot du Coin (french - I've only been there once), but it's a cool interior.
i like Thaiphoon (thai of course) and Odeon (Italian)too.
Cool place (that might require a short cab ride) - and I shouldn't be sharing this secret. HR-57 at 14th and Q - Wed/Fri Jazz, Thu Blues. this isn't a club - it's a "jazz archive". They feature great musicians doing open mike - not amateurs - you have to be good to get on the stage. It's BYOB - be careful about wine - they charge a $3 per person per bottle corking fee which can add up. They serve chicken/greens/beans and other picnicky type food. Get there no later than 8:30 and maybe more like 8:00 for a good seat.
Bars with gay/straight mix? Anyone out there with good suggestions? I'd like to know myself. I'm not sure that we do that here. Probably your best bet is Trios - if it's warm, it has a nice outdoor area and everyone sits outside and chills out/Fox and Hounds is next door - same deal. Actually all of the places on 17th Street with outdoor seating come closest to the gay/straight mix ideal. Might just be worth walking down 17th and choosing a place to hang out. I don't think much of the food there tho. Oh wait - there is a bar in the basement of Mercury Grill (on 17th) that is cool, trendy, gay/straight and not well known. Check it out. Club Chaos has drag shows on certain days that are fun and attracts a mixed crowd. It can be a pain to get in.
Badland's (a dance club) is practically around the corner from you and it attracts both gay and straight. Otherwise most of the gay bars are pretty exclusively gay - and mainly oriented to men. Hung Jury and Phase One are the exceptions for women.