Exterior of 400 H Street, NE
400 H Street, NE is arguably one of the most promising locations on all of H Street for a restaurant. Occupying a large corner spot on the west end of H Street, it is within blocks of several major apartment buildings (and many potential customers) on H Street and in NoMa. The space was completely renovated several years ago, transforming it from a falling apart music club into a beautiful two story restaurant with a large sidewalk patio and a two sided open balcony on the second floor overlooking both H and 4th streets. Despite this great setup, Tru Orleans–the original occupants–was unable to survive after two controversial years.
New Light Fixture at Driftwood Kitchen
Tru Orleans has largely been erased from the building. Instead meet Driftwood Kitchen from the owners of Darna in Arlington (you may notice similarities between the logos of the two restaurants). They have spent the last several months renovating the building and removing the previous New Orleans architecture. The owners have labeled Driftwood Kitchen’s cuisine American, but it draws inspiration from Middle Eastern cooking (unlike Darna which is more traditional Middle Eastern fare). Even in the first week of service, Driftwood Kitchen appears to have drawn a fairly solid crowd.
New Driftwood Kitchen on H Street
We started with a drink off of their craft cocktail list. The Hawa combined an interesting mix of gin, egg white, cucumber juice, and elderflower. While it sounds strange, it worked well, especially with the egg white foam on top. In addition to their eight cocktails, they have several local beers on the eleven draught beer list.
The menu (click here to view it) is divided up into “snacks”–ranging from a few bites to medium appetizers–and “offerings”–mostly small sized entrees. While the portions are on the smaller side, they are also priced fairly reasonably. Some of what we’ve sampled:
Snacks: The hummus guacamole snack combined two favorites from different cuisines into one tasty bowl. The house fries were fairly standard but were served with a spicy dipping sauce that set them apart from regular fries. And the cayenne caramel corn mixed sweet and spicy into a very pleasant bar snack.
“Snacks” at Driftwood Kitchen