Talk about opening with no fanfare – no press release bombardment, no email blasts, no announcement after announcement on Twitter, not even a Grand Opening sign. Yet when I went to Khan’s Bar & Grill on Monday for opening day, the place was packed. What’s not to like about a restaurant that has a flame as an apostrophe in its name?
Khan’s doesn’t look brand new from the outside or from the inside, yet that’s really what makes it feel like such an H Street establishment. Walk in and you immediately see the grill, past that is the food line, to the left is the register, and after that we have seats and then the bar. Confused? You might be, but the owner and staff will be there to guide you for sure. In fact, the owner seemed very concerned about the amount of honey mustard I insisted on putting on my food, until I told him I was a condiment fanatic.
There’s nothing fancy about Khan’s, but that’s what I think people will love. If you’re a fan of Mongolian Grill in Bethesda, don’t expect the same here. Khan’s is sticking to the simple – chicken, beef and shrimp — so don’t expect calamari, meatballs or scallops when you come here. The assembly line at Khan’s is a lot smaller, and some of the condiments’ names are still hand written on post-its on the glass (like “hot sauce, very hot”). That’s what I call the Khan’s charm. Though you will find swords and a gong at Khan’s…that’s almost required for a Mongolian barbecue, right?
You won’t get an unlimited bowl here. Instead you fill up a bowl (or two, or three) and then take it to the grill. There you tell them what meat you want to add. You then take your cooked product to the register and pay per bowl. My hungry half wishes there were an unlimited option, but as the manager told me, Khan’s needs to separate itself from the herd. My guess is Khan’s also worries about the drunk and disorderly crowd coming in at 2am on a Friday for that option…but that’s just a guess.
What really makes this place is the neighborhood. The bartender/manager/consultant was one of those people that you would come back to a bar just to hang out with…never mind the free shots he was handing out. So what’s coming up at Khan’s? In the near future: a patio, a tapas menu, and Wii Wednesday. A little later: Monday Night Film Festival, stand-up comedy, and pen mic night…all, of course, just ideas for now. The huge screen in the dining area tells me that the film showings WILL happen.
Khan’s Bar & Grill is located at 1125 H St NE. For more information, call 202-399-6010.