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Hip place to bring parents Friday night?

jamiechiri Mar 7, 2011 12:25 PM

My parents are coming to DC for their annual visit, and I need to make a res somewhere on Friday night. I love my parents, but hate choosing restaurants for them. I obviously like to go out to eat as well, so I'd like for it to be somewhere fun for me to try too!

-Full bar, fun atmosphere
-Must take reservations, they will freak if they need to wait more than 10 mins
-Moderately priced - $20-25 for an entree is ideal...not a place where entrees are consistently above $30
-Not sushi, not entirely seafood (dad is "allergic"), not Indian, or French
-Parents like American, tapas, Spanish/Latin, Asian influenced (just not sushi), Mediterranean. They like those flavor profiles, but nothing that is too stuffy or "weird"/gourmet or rich (hence no French)
-Location...coming from Arlington and would like to go out in DC, pretty much anywhere in the city is fine except for far away neighborhoods like SW, etc

Thanks for your help!

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  1. j
    jamiechiri RE: jamiechiri Mar 7, 2011 12:26 PM

    Also...I know Zaytinya would be a good option, but they don't take reservations (only walk ups) at this point...so let me know if you have other ideas!

    701 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

    1. ktmoomau RE: jamiechiri Mar 7, 2011 12:35 PM

      Well in the same line as Zaytinya there is Jaleo.

      Other ideas: Sonoma, Oya, Ba Bay, Cava and perhaps Zentan?

      Sonoma Restaurant
      223 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20003

      701 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

      3 Replies
      1. re: ktmoomau
        woodleyparkhound RE: ktmoomau Mar 7, 2011 12:42 PM

        I second Jaleo (Spanish tapas). They take reservations through Open Table and it falls within your budget. I think it would be ideal.

        1. re: woodleyparkhound
          jamiechiri RE: woodleyparkhound Mar 7, 2011 12:51 PM

          what about Estadio? I've been to Jaleo, don't think it's that great :)

          1. re: jamiechiri
            woodleyparkhound RE: jamiechiri Mar 7, 2011 01:37 PM

            I think Estadio is excellent, but more costly. In addition, they only take reservations up to 6:00 pm. If they arrive after that, parents will "freak out" at the wait.

      2. m
        MrsWheatie RE: jamiechiri Mar 7, 2011 01:05 PM

        How about PS7's for great cocktails and food!

        PS7 Restaurant
        777 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001

        1. j
          Jeserf RE: jamiechiri Mar 7, 2011 02:56 PM

          what about trying Birch and Barley?

          Birch and Barley
          1337 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

          2 Replies
          1. re: Jeserf
            chicken kabob RE: Jeserf Mar 7, 2011 03:01 PM


            1. re: Jeserf
              hamster RE: Jeserf Mar 7, 2011 03:22 PM

              I just brought my parents to Birch and Barley last Saturday, and they loved it. They particularly enjoyed the serious beer menu and the highly competent staff, but the food was good as well, and not too exotic. They've got a cookie plate with grownup versions of a Hostess cupcake and an oatmeal pie, you get the idea. Kind of pricey but within your specifications.

              Birch and Barley
              1337 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

            2. e
              erinnf RE: jamiechiri Mar 8, 2011 05:55 AM

              What about Ceiba? The food is very good ( i love the fejoada (sp?)) and the cocktails and drinks are good. It is in DC and not too far from the metro, and takes reservations.

              I love Proof as well, but there are some dishes that can qualify as "weird," e.g., sweetbreads, etc. Also, I think Oyamel is the best tapas restaurant around, consistently good. The food is not weird, the drinks are great, and the place is hip.

              1. monkeyrotica RE: jamiechiri Mar 8, 2011 06:47 AM

                If they like tapas, they should try Cava Mezze. I prefer it to both Zatinya (loud and crowded) or Jaleo (hit or miss and crowded). Cava's lamb dishes and particularly the grilled octopus are some of the best I've had in DC. I also think Barracks Row is a lot easier to get in/out of and find parking in than Penn Quarter or 14th Street. It's right off the SE Freeway with ample street parking and a metered lot near the Marine Barracks.


                3 Replies
                1. re: monkeyrotica
                  jamiechiri RE: monkeyrotica Mar 8, 2011 06:55 AM

                  Thanks! I made a res at Cava and am going to try that!! @erinf I took them to Oyamel last time and they LOVED it :)

                  1. re: monkeyrotica
                    lawhound RE: monkeyrotica Mar 8, 2011 01:29 PM

                    We ate at Cava last Saturday night and loved it. Very reasonable prices for very high quality food. In Baltimore (where we're from), it would immediately be one of the top 20 places. The only drawback is that it gets pretty loud, if that's something that matters to you.

                    1. re: lawhound
                      monkeyrotica RE: lawhound Mar 9, 2011 02:16 AM

                      The loudness issue is a valid criticism, but it's also an issue with any restaurant trying to be "hip." The louder the noise, the greater the "buzz," therefore, the more hip the restaurant. But this is also an issue with most restaurants (hip or not) on a Saturday night.

                  2. s
                    spinachandchocolate RE: jamiechiri Mar 8, 2011 09:30 AM

                    Another option would be Bodega in Georgetown for Spanish tapas.

                    1. e
                      Elyssa RE: jamiechiri Mar 9, 2011 02:12 PM

                      I would either go to Jaleo for Spanish tapas (every out of town person I've ever taken there loved it!) or Masa 14 for Asian/Latino-style small plates.

                      Masa 14
                      1825 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009

                      1. d
                        dining with doc RE: jamiechiri Mar 9, 2011 04:34 PM

                        You have a lot of great recs but I would agree most with Ceiba with Jaleo a close 2nd and also you should consider Central by Michelle Richard

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