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Reservations Necessary for Weekday Lunch at Jaleo or Rasika?

k
kathryn Sep 14, 2010 10:32 AM

New York City 'hound visiting DC with my husband for a few days later this week.

If we're wandering around the National Mall and find ourselves needing lunch, I was hoping to pop into Rasika or Jaleo if we're on the Penn Quarter side. I'm purposely avoiding Cafe Atlantico as we have dinner reservations there with family.

Are reservations necessary for either Rasika or Jaleo on a weekday for a late lunch, say 1 or 2 pm? We're also perfectly happy dining at the bar (if they allow that).

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Cafe Atlantico
405 8th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

Rasika Restaurant
633 D Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

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    Elyssa RE: kathryn Sep 14, 2010 12:35 PM

    You should probably be fine (especially if you are ok dining at the bar). My boyfriend recently dined at Rasika with one other for lunch on a weekday around 2pm and didn't have a problem just walking in.

    Maybe take their number with you, so you can call on your way over to see if there is a wait.

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    Rasika Restaurant
    633 D Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

    2 Replies
    1. re: Elyssa
      k
      kathryn RE: Elyssa Sep 14, 2010 12:43 PM

      Thanks!

      1. re: kathryn
        z
        zebcook RE: kathryn Sep 14, 2010 04:11 PM

        My wife and I had a weekday lunch a Rasika last month. While we had reservations and it was busy it seemed like they were able to handle the walk-in crowd without much wait. Plus, you can eat in the bar there.

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        Rasika Restaurant
        633 D Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

    2. w
      whimsey RE: kathryn Sep 16, 2010 09:31 AM

      My wife and I tried walking in to Rasika for lunch roughly a month ago at about 1:30pm and they had no room at all. We then wandered over to Jaleo and were seated immediately.

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      Rasika Restaurant
      633 D Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

      1. j
        justaddwater RE: kathryn Sep 16, 2010 10:37 AM

        Rasika, reservations for sure or you're taking chances. Jaleo, no problem, it is not as nearly as popular a spot as it used to be. You might want to put Central on your list, probably reservations required also, but I have not been.

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        Rasika Restaurant
        633 D Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

        1 Reply
        1. re: justaddwater
          d
          Doh RE: justaddwater Sep 17, 2010 11:34 AM

          I've walked into Central for lunch and been seated at the bar.

        2. k
          kathryn RE: kathryn Sep 18, 2010 10:00 PM

          We ended up at Jaleo since we didn't end up having lunch until 3pm. It was pretty empty inside!

          8 Replies
          1. re: kathryn
            woodleyparkhound RE: kathryn Sep 19, 2010 06:49 PM

            Kathryn, what did you think of your meal there? I've really appreciated your detailed posts on the NY board - would love to hear your thoughts on Jaleo!

            1. re: woodleyparkhound
              k
              kathryn RE: woodleyparkhound Sep 20, 2010 01:49 PM

              I'll definitely report back soon!

              1. re: kathryn
                c oliver RE: kathryn Nov 4, 2010 11:28 AM

                If I could give you a little nudge :).... We're going to be in DC for almost two weeks over Thanksgiving and I've been wondering about this. Their happy hour is quite the deal.

                1. re: c oliver
                  r
                  Raids RE: c oliver Nov 4, 2010 12:02 PM

                  I often go to happy hour at Jaleo. At the DC location, there are only a few tables, but you can get one if you arrive at 4:30pm, in my experience. And it includes Saturday and Sunday - how great is that?

                  We like to go on a Sunday afternoon, show up at about 4pm to grab a table at the bar, get a couple Jose Andres gin and tonics (freaking amazing - juniper berry, cucumber, lemon, lime, imported tonic, and one big ice globe, so it never gets watery) and then order the happy hour specials for dinner with some cava sangria. I have had pretty much everything on the happy hour menu and my favorites are the endives with goat cheese, oranges and almonds; the ensalada rusa; the mushrooms, and the chorizo wrapped in crispy potato. These are the dishes to me that have great combined elements.

                  I used to really love the bacon wrapped dates, but they've been not as good for me the last couple of times I was there. They've gotten rather heavy. And you can get them anywhere. Ditto on the patatas bravas and the chicken croquettes - they're not bad, but they are just OK for me. The shrimp is good, also, but not out of this world, but I would order it before the chicken or the patatas bravas.

                  I have not had the pan con tomate and I don't think I've ever seen the spanish cured meats on the menu. I have not had the calamari appetizer, but I have had the octopus off the menu and can attest that they certainly know what they are doing with kind of thing over there. The texture of the octopus I had was great and really meaty in texture and flavor. Not overly chewy, with kind of a smoky taste to it.

                  Also, they have a beet salad on the regular menu there that I am in *love* with and the paella is also fantastic - perfect texture of rice, every time, great meld of flavors. I like to use Jaleo as a place to try new kinds of seafood - it's always good.

                  People say the quality varies, and I've seen this - like with the dates, for instance. But it really depends, and I've found no rhyme or reason to it. I've had so-so renditions at happy hour and great renditions, and I've had Saturday night dinners that were just okay or really out of this world.

                  I would at least stop by one Andres restaurant while you are in D.C. (Jaleo, Zaytinya, Oyamel, and Cafe Atlantico) - or all of them. I have not been disappointed yet.

                  I know nobody was asking me in particular, but I couldn't help giving you my two cents. :-)

                  -----
                  Cafe Atlantico
                  405 8th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

                  Zaytinya
                  701 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

                  1. re: Raids
                    monpetitescargot RE: Raids Nov 4, 2010 01:34 PM

                    our of all of those, i would say do zaytinya happy hour

                    1. re: Raids
                      c oliver RE: Raids Nov 4, 2010 02:44 PM

                      We actually have reservations at Zaytinya during the stay. A Chow-friend ate there the weekend of the rally and she raved about the octopus. I love it and would be glad to try it at both places. Have also wondered about the "dim sum" at Cafe Atlantico. Could make a whole itinerary around his places, couldn't I?

                      Thanks, Raids.

                      -----
                      Cafe Atlantico
                      405 8th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

                      Zaytinya
                      701 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

                    2. re: c oliver
                      k
                      kathryn RE: c oliver Nov 4, 2010 02:23 PM

                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/735498

                      :)

                      1. re: kathryn
                        c oliver RE: kathryn Nov 4, 2010 02:48 PM

                        My apologies, senora. Great reviews, as usual.

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