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Restaurants near E St. Cinema

This is my perpetual restaurant problem: Where to go for dinner and drinks after a movie at E St. Cinema. My friends and I tend to default to Asia 9, Harry's Tap Room, and Clyde's, but I'd love to hear any more interesting suggestions. The criteria are as follows:

Within a few blocks of E St. Cinema.

Can actually get a table for 4-6 people without a reservation, waiting too long, or squishing into a crowded bar a la PS7, Matchbox, Passenger, or Zengo.

Decent food, so not Vapiano, Austin Grill, Hard Rock Cafe, or Gordon Biersch.

Friendly to vegetarians and someone with a shellfish allergy.

Open late on weekends.

Any suggestions to help shake up our routine?

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    1. Jaleo - though there could be a wait.

      1. I go to E Street with my friends all the time. Our usual default place for dinner and drinks after the movie is Central. 4-6 people might be a bit of a wait (it probably would be a better idea to make a reservation since we are usually a smaller group) but you might be able to get in as a drop in if you go around 9-10pm. There are certainly veggie-friendly items on the menu and the drinks are great.

        1. Coco Sala? I love their cocktails and the food is good too, esp the lamb sliders.

          1. Central
            Bistro D'OC

            1. Also The Hamilton isn't too far from the theater.

              1. Thanks for all the great suggestions! I knew there must be some good places I wasn't thinking of. I think we are going to do Proof this time, but I will definitely bookmark this for later.

                1. Has anyone tried Pi, the new Chicago-style pizza place?

                  My friends often go to Ella's and claim it's good pizza, though I have never tried it. My impression is that it's easier to get a table there than Matchbox?

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: hamster

                    Do you mean the District of Pi? If so, they make sure you know that they're NOT Chicago style, but St. Louis style (never heard of it before going there). ;-) Having said that, we only tried the thin crust pizza, which we thought was pretty good. We've only been there (and Matchbox) at lunchtime, and The District of Pi definitely had more available tables and was less crowded. I have no idea about dinner time, though.

                    1. re: VaPaula

                      Is it made with Provel? Haven't had it when I was in St Louis, mainly because it didn't sound that great. I'm interested though. And are they cut in squares?

                      How would you rate it compared to Matchbox (which tends to be my favorite pizza in DC)?

                      1. re: mdpilam

                        Not sure about the Provel, honestly.

                        I liked it better than Matchbox because of the crust. Obviously, tastes in crusts vary widely (and I like many different styles, actually) but this one was crispy, a little chewy, and had a hint of flakiness. And the cornmeal on the bottom is a nice touch and lends to the crispiness.

                      2. re: VaPaula

                        Thanks for the info! Sounds like it's worth a try.

                      3. re: hamster

                        I've been there. The St Louis style pizza is good. It has a thin crust with a dusting of cornmeal on the bottom, which some people don't like, but they also have thick crust available too. The space is nice and big, and it's a good place for a post-work happy hour.

                      4. Sorry for the late reply, but for the future, you should try Elisir. It's practically next door and they're delicious. Often overlooked, but definitely worth trying. Central is right down the block as well. Cedar is down the street a bit, and a few blocks away is Bibiana.

                        1. I'd add Poste and Zola, too. On a night nice, if you can get a table at Poste outside (which is easier after happy hour than during it), it would be a lovely place to relax.