Archive | February, 2016

Driftwood Kitchen Launches New Brunch Menu

29 Feb
Driftwood Kitchen on H Street

Driftwood Kitchen on H Street

Driftwood Kitchen (400 H Street) has launched a new brunch menu in time for the (very) beginning of spring.  It looks like it has some pretty exciting new items, and you can see the entire menu down below!



Short Rib Hash
salsa verde and poached egg….14

Banana Walnut French Toast
bananas and walnuts,
served with candied bacon….12

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
served with honeycomb butter
and fresh fruit…13

Chicken & Waffles
your choice of light or dark meat,
on top of a buttermilk waffle,
with house syrup….14

Moroccan Scramble
scrambled eggs, beef & lamb merguez sausage,
on grilled sourdough toast with avocado mash,
with a chickpea salad….14

Driftwood Omelette
mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, red onions,
red peppers and goat cheese,
with homefries….11

For $2: ADD bacon or sausage, or SUB egg whites

Steak & Eggs
flat iron steak, two eggs any style,
with homefries….14

Soup & Sammy
grilled cheddar cheese,
bacon and tomato sandwich on sourdough,
served with a cup of tomato soup….12

Breakfast Sliders
scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, bacon, sausage, on an english muffin and biscuit
served with homefries ….12

Fried Chicken Sandwich
fried chicken breast on a Kaiser roll with sriracha aioli, pickles, mayo, lettuce, tomato and onion,
served with homefries….11 Continue reading


Po Boy Jim Holding Specials for Launch of Streetcar

26 Feb
Po Boy Jim

Po Boy Jim

Po Boy Jim (709 H Street) will be having several specials this Saturday (February 27th) for the official launch of the H Street Streetcar.  They include 10% off appetizers for dine in, free beignets with any dine in or takeout order, and $5 hurricanes.

A Look Inside Nando’s on H Street

23 Feb
Second Floor of Nando's on H Street

Second Floor of Nando’s on H Street

Nando’s (4th and H Streets, NE) is opening this Saturday after a complete renovation of the two store fronts that it took over.  We’ve been watching the construction with excitement over the past few months, and it is finally complete.  Earlier today, Nando’s sent over some pictures of the newly constructed space.  The space has been completely transformed from its previous state before Nando’s signed its lease for the space (it was considered blighted at the time).  Take a look inside–it is an amazing transformation!






Update: Nando’s Opening Next Saturday (Feb 27) on H Street

19 Feb
Construction Signage at Nando's on H Street Several Weeks Ago

Construction Signage at Nando’s on H Street Several Weeks Ago

We just received an email that Nando’s (4th and H Street, NE) will have its grand opening next Saturday (the same day as the streetcar, February 27th) on H Street.  All of the proceeds from the opening weekend will go towards H Street’s Atlas Performing Arts Center and several members of DC United will be at the grand opening.  Nando’s had originally planned to open in January, but, as is common with many restaurant openings in the District, ran into delays.

Ocopa Hosting Winter Grill Out This Saturday

18 Feb
Patio at Ocopa

Patio at Ocopa

Ocopa (1324 H Street) is hosting a Winter Grill Out event this Saturday (February 20th) that will feature unlimited anticuchos for $35 as well as unlimited sides and Incajito cocktails (District Cuisine tried one several weeks ago and it was delicious).  This is a great opportunity to check out the food of new Chef Yuki Nakandakari (check out our interview with him here) and to check out Ocopa’s patio if you haven’t seen it before.  You can buy tickets here.

Here is the complete list of anticuchos that will be served (ignore prices as it will be unlimited):

anticucho menu

What H Street Needs: BBQ

17 Feb


What H Street Needs is an occasional series on District Cuisine looking at ways that the neighborhood could be improved even more.  You can see our previous columns on the need for a Thai restaurant and a bagel shop (we’ve gotten both since!).

H Street’s dining scene continues to expand in new and interesting ways every month.  However, there is a gaping hole in our culinary options: barbecue.  Good barbecue is hard to find, partially because there are so many different options for style (Texas, Carolina, Kansas City, Memphis, etc) and even for protein (brisket, pork, chicken, ribs, etc).  Some places try to do a wide variety of styles and fail to do any of them particularly well.  Yet good barbecue that mixes smokey tasting moist meat with well crafted barbecue sauce, is one of our favorite types of food.

A good barbecue restaurant would do particularly well on H Street because it could serve both lunch and dinner and, if done right, have a thriving bar scene as well.  It could also do a solid takeout business and cater for events on the Hill.  Barbecue appeals to a wide variety of customers as many people will tell you that they enjoy barbecue.  At either end of H Street (or even in the middle), a good barbecue restaurant would be able to attract a large clientele.

For a little while we had a barbecue carry out spot in Inspire BBQ, but it was carryout only and wasn’t that great of an option.  TD Burger just up the street in NoMa has begun serving barbecue, but we concluded several months ago that it was best to avoid that.  The best option for barbecue (arguably in the DC area) is DCity Smokehouse previously at the corner of North Capitol and Florida Avenue and soon moving closer to Shaw, but DCity is somewhat far away, only does takeout, and frequently attracts extremely long lines.

A well done barbecue restaurant that does both food and drinks well is needed on H Street.  The next location of DCity Smokehouse?  A brand new concept?  H Street is waiting.

Chef Yuki Nakandakari Takes Over Kitchen at Ocopa

15 Feb
Chef Yuki Nakandakari at Ocopa on H Street

Chef Yuki Nakandakari at Ocopa on H Street

Yuki Nakandakari took over the kitchen at Ocopa (1324 H Street) back in early December of last year.  Now that he has been in charge for a little over two months, District Cuisine stopped by to chat with the chef about his background, Ocopa, and what he sees as the future of the restaurant.

District Cuisine: What was your background prior to starting at Ocopa?

Yuki Nakandakari: My culinary career began in 1991 as a dishwasher at a concept in Tokyo.  Over the years, I have risen up through the ranks to become a head chef.  Prior to Ocopa, I was head chef at Pisco in Baltimore.

DC: What do you think about the H Street neighborhood?

YN: Cooking in DC is great because the District really is the big leagues of cuisine.  I like the H Street neighborhood, it reminds me of the neighborhood in Lima where I grew up.

Patio at Ocopa

Patio at Ocopa

DC: What are the most important elements of Peruvian food in your mind?

YN: Peruvian food is very interesting and diverse because you have people from all over the world who came to Peru and left their influence.  In the olden days, you had the Incas and the Conquistadors, and those influences and flavors from all over the world continued throughout history.  Peruvian food takes a little bit of all of those influences and combines them to create its own unique flavors.

DC: What is your vision for Ocopa going forward?

YN: One of our focuses right now is on lunch.  We recently launched it and are working on perfecting it.  Our pollo a la brasa (Peruvian roasted chicken) is really great and a main feature at lunch.  It comes with a fantastic chimichurri sauce that is made in house.  Even though lunch is new for us, we’ve gotten some great feedback so far.

We’re also working on becoming more health focused.  You’ll see some new and interesting grains and vegetables on our menu now and in the future.  Whenever possible, our products are local and organic.  For example, we source our lamb shanks from a local butcher.

Continue reading

Cool Exterior Developing for Blue Diner/Spile & Spigot

12 Feb
Future Blue Diner/Spile & Spigot on H Street

Future Blue Diner/Spile & Spigot on H Street

Construction has been underway for several months at the future location of Spile & Spigot (1st floor) and Blue Diner (2nd floor) at 1248 H Street.  In the last week or so, the exterior of the building has dramatically changed (for the better).  Looks like both places are still several months away from being open.

Blue Diner/Spile & Spigot

Blue Diner/Spile & Spigot

Uni Bistro: Beyond Coffee and Breakfast

8 Feb
Turkey Club Sandwich at Uni Bistro

Turkey Club Sandwich at Uni Bistro

If you live on the west end of H Street, you know Batter Bowl Bakery well.  For us, we stop there multiple times a weekend to fill up on our favorite iced coffee and warm pastries.  Several weeks ago, Batter Bowl changed its name to become Uni Bistro, which features the same great coffee and pastries plus many new lunch and dinner entrees.  The name Uni Bistro is a play off of both the restaurant’s proximity to Union Station and the unique image and vibe that the owners envision for the restaurant.  They also hope to attract more of an afternoon and evening crowd as the restaurant previously only had a strong morning clientele.  For now Uni will maintain its existing hours; however, they may expand later into the evening in the future.  You can view their new menu here.

Lasagna at Uni Bistro

Lasagna at Uni Bistro

The expanded menu was under development for quite a while, and it is delicious.  Some of the items are similar to ones that were on the previous lunch menu, but many of the items are brand new.  All of the items are fresh and made in house daily.  Our favorite so far is the Uni bruschetta, made with freshly baked bread (we recommend asking for sourdough) and topped with a combination of basil, tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese that tastes almost like pesto.  We also like the lasagna–a healthy serving of ground beef lasagna served with a side salad that includes walnuts and cranberries.  The lasagna is cooked long enough to provide a golden brown to the cheese on top without drying out the sauce, noodles, and meat on the inside.  Other solid options include the turkey club sandwich and the Eighth Street sandwich, an open face sandwich with chickpeas, hummus, avocado, capers, and tomatoes.  Both sandwiches come with the side salad.

Uni Bruschetta at Uni Bistro

Uni Bruschetta at Uni Bistro

Uni Bistro serves its new menu both in house and to go.  Their to go packaging holds up well regardless of which of the items you select.  Most of the items we have tried thus far are large enough to serve as dinner or as lunch and a snack later.  If you haven’t tried the new menu at Uni Bistro outside of breakfast, you need to stop by and check out the new offerings.  It has quickly become one of our good-to spots for a quick dinner or lunch on H Street.


Po Boy Jim Plans Mardi Gras Celebration

5 Feb
New Sign at Po Boy Jim's

Exterior of Po Boy Jim

Po Boy Jim (709 H Street) is planning a Mardi Gras celebration for this Tuesday that will include numerous specials starting at 3 pm and going all night.

  • King Cake
  • $2 off all draft beer
  • $2 off all appetizers
  • Special crawfish etoufee entree
  • $5 Grenade shots
  • $8 Mardi Gras hurricanes
  • $8 Bayou storms
  • $8 Peach margaritas