Tag Archives: ocopa

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.

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Ocopa Hopes to Add Live Music

16 Dec
Patio Area at Ocopa

Patio Area at Ocopa

Ocopa (1324 H Street) appeared last night in front of ANC 6A’s Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Committee to support its application for a live entertainment endorsement for its liquor license.  The live entertainment endorsement would allow Ocopa to host live music and DJs.  Representatives for Ocopa said that they hope to be able to bring in live music acts to play Latin music for major events like New Years Eve in the future.

Peruvian Street Food and Frozen Cocktails at Ocopa During H Street Festival

17 Sep
Classico (Mahi Mahi) Ceviche at Ocopa

Classico (Mahi Mahi) Ceviche at Ocopa

Ocopa (1324 H Street) will be serving Peruvian street food, Pisco cocktails, frozen drinks, and beer during H Street Festival this weekend (September 17th).  Red Bull will be sponsoring the event, and there will be lots of patio seating.

Ocopa’s New Patio Looks Amazing!

25 Jun

Ocopa’s (1324 H Street, NE) new patio is finally complete and looks like it was definitely worth the wait!  It has 30 dining seats and 10 seats available at the bar.  The restaurant will be having a patio opening celebration this Saturday night.  We can’t wait to check it out!

ocopa patio2


ocopa patio 1


Photos courtesy of Ocopa.

Ocopa Hoping to Open Patio by Mid-June

2 Jun
Classico (Mahi Mahi) Ceviche at Ocopa

Classico (Mahi Mahi) Ceviche at Ocopa

Ocopa (1324 H Street–read our review here) has been working hard for weeks to build a patio behind the restaurant for outdoor dining.  We are told that construction is wrapping up now and that they hope to open it by mid-June.  We can’t wait to check it out!

Ocopa’s Peruvian Ceviches and Chicken Satisfy All Tastes

19 Nov
Classico (Mahi Mahi) Ceviche at Ocopa

Clasico (Mahi Mahi) Ceviche at Ocopa

When we first learned about Ocopa (1324 H Street, NE) several years ago, we heard that it would be a Peruvian rotisserie chicken place called Chicken Tortilla by the owners of a restaurant by the same name on Barracks Row.  Over time the plans changed and when Ocopa opened earlier this year, Chef Carlos Delgado debuted a Peruvian menu featuring a variety of ceviches, chicken dishes, and other Peruvian dishes.  Delgado’s diverse creations assure that everyone in your party will be able to find something that they like.

Open Kitchen at Ocopa

Open Kitchen at Ocopa

Our favorite is the Clasico Ceviche, featuring a fish of the day with a pool of leche de tigre (literally tiger’s milk but really a fruit juice marinade) and diced sweet potato.  If Mahi Mahi is the fresh fish of the day, consider yourself especially lucky.  The ceviche is prepared fresh in front of you if you are sitting at the bar and contains a citrus tangy taste that perfectly compliments the tender fish.  If you want to try a variety of seafood, check out the Mixto Ceviche that has calamari, crab, shrimp, and octopus.  Delgado also serves a variety of tiradito and Peruvian maki on his menu.

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H Street’s Horizon: What’s Coming Soon (Fall 2014)

22 Oct

Last winter, we looked at the new restaurants and bars that were coming to H Street.  Now that several months have gone by, we wanted to take a look at what restaurants have opened, what ones have made construction progress, and what new restaurant concepts have been announced recently.  For each of these categories we list the establishments in order of going west-east down H Street.  If we’ve missed a place, please let us know in the comment section.  You can see previous versions of H Street’s Horizons here, here, and here.

Opened this Spring and Summer

  • Driftwood Kitchen (400 H Street)–new Mediterranean restaurant that replaced the controversial Tru Orleans restaurant that closed a year ago.  Our coverage here.
  • Micho’s Grill (500 H Street)–in the summer, Micho’s Grill brought fast casual style Lebanese food to the western end of H Street.  Our coverage here.
  • DC Harvest (517 H Street)–in late summer, DC Harvest opened for dinner and brunch.  The new American restaurant has a seasonal menu that changes based upon what is in season.  They focus on locally sourcing as many of their ingredients as possible, both for food and for drinks.  Arthur Ringel, the head chef, was previously head chef at Hank’s Oyster Bar.  Our coverage here.
  • The Spot Deli (701 H Street)–breakfast and lunch spot that replaced Heaven & H after renovations.  From the same owners as The Spot that has not yet opened further east on H Street.
  • Po Boy Jim (709 H Street)–after many months of construction, Po Boy Jim opened for lunch and dinner in late June.  The restaurant has an extensive menu of cajun po boys as well as po boys that are influenced from cuisines around the globe.  Our coverage here.
  • Kitty’s Saloon (1208 H Street)–country-western restaurant and whiskey bar that replaced the long closed Souk restaurant.  Our coverage here.
  • Pizza Parts and Service (1320 H Street)–this space owned by Taylor Gourmet was previously Taylor Charles Steak and Ice and served cheesesteaks.  That concept closed down late last year (you can now get cheesesteaks at all of Taylor Gourmet’s locations) and reopened as Pizza Parts and Service, which serves pizzas by the pie or the slice.  They also deliver.  Website here.
  • Ocopa (previously Chicken Tortilla) (1324 H Street)–the Peruvian restaurant opened this summer and serves both dinner and lunch.  They offer Peruvian chicken, many types of ceviche, and several other Peruvian dishes.  Website here and early Washington Post review here.
  • Bullfrog Bagels (1341 H Street)–previously a pop-up bagel place around town, Bullfrog opened its permanent location in part of the space that Star and Shamrock has occupied for years.  Our coverage here.
  • Impala Cantina y Taqueria (1358 H Street)–originally a pop-up taco window several years ago, H Street residents have been waiting years for Impala to open its permanent brick and mortar location.  They opened earlier this year with a very cool first floor that opens up into a large courtyard for outdoor eating.  Website here.
  • Pursuit Wine Bar (1421 H Street)–wine bar and grilled cheese restaurant opened at the far east end of H Street.  Our coverage here.

New Concepts Announced in the Middle of 2014

  • Sticky Fingers Bakery (406 H Street)–Vegan bakery with existing location in Columbia Heights.  Space is currently undergoing major renovations.
  • Nando’s (411 H Street)–South African (with major Portuguese influence) chicken chain will open a location on the eastern end of H Street sometime next year.  The space must undergo major renovations before Nando’s can open.

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