Oya - just ate there
I'm a Baltimore Hound in town in DC for a couple of days for work. Just had a solo din at Oya (9th and H). I sat at the bar b/c I travel a lot and I've come to realize that solo diners are more appreciated at the bar. While the bartender was indeed friendly and engaging, he was neither knowledgable nor attentive. I ordrdered a glass of wine and he looked at me like I had 4 heads before repeating to me what he thought I ordered. I confirmed my order (side note: not a great by-the-glass list). I then longed for his attention so that I could order dinner. My glass was empty for 10 minutes (literally) by the time he asked me what I wanted. I ordered a small plate of edamame and a large plate of Lamb Loin. Again, he looked at me as if I was an alien descended upon DC and repeated what I asked for with a questioning look. Again, I confirmed. He told me that my order of medium lamb would "take at least 20 minutes" and asked if I wouln't prefer something else. Hello? I want lamb. What's with the inquisition? I confirmed my order. The edamame came. There was no follow-up regarding a 2nd glass of wine -- we're now going on 15 mins with no drink -- so I had to shout down the bar (even though I was one of three people there) to get a 2nd glass. The edamame was not evenly cooked but it was OK. The lamb, I have to say, was perfectly cooked and delicious. I loved it. Wonderful. I then had to verbally accost the bartender to get my check -- still only 3 people at the bar, including me. In sum, OK food, not-so-great bartender service. Perhaps it would have been different with a crowd and/or sitting in the dining room.
I'm annoyed since I rarely come to DC and chose Oya as my one night out on this trip. I love Zaytinya but didn't want to go there because I wanted to try something new. I'm glad I did b/c now I won't wonder what I would have missed. However, I wish I would have chosen a better location. Just my 2 cents on Oya!
if you're here for a few days and want just wonderful, friendly bar service for dinner hit up Cashion's in Adams Morgan, Palena in Cleveland Park, Dino in Cleveland Park, Bourbon in Adams Morgan for relaxed food, The Black Rooster in Dupoint/Foggy Bottom just for a drink, Central (which can be very noisy, but food is great and the bartenders rock), and a new favorite, Eat Bar in Arlington.