Music, Night Life, The Features, We Love Music

Hot Ticket: Submerge 2012 shows/happenings 11/16-11/17/2012

GEMS, photo courtesy of GEMS

Two shows happening this weekend are part of the 2nd annual Submerge, the tail end of a nine-day flash “art happening”. From their site:

Submerge 2012  is an ‘ode to the District,’  an art exhibition and creative art space that will pay homage to the town of its creation; Washington DC. Submerge, the exhibition, will be a “group exhibition” uniquely created from a collection of solo-exhibitions. Participating artists both emerging and mid-career, were presented with the unique opportunity to craft a cohesive concept and body of works in what amounts to micro-installations and exhibition, organized under one roof. As a creative space, it will play host to a number of creative and cultural happenings to fully complement and augment this cities colorful identity.

No Kings Collective will will transform this temporary space on the historic H Street Corridor in an unusual mash up of art and culture. Submerge will surface at this project located at 700 H Street NE. Submerge will be a well curated, transformative environment, one that will cater to the expectations and curiosities’ of the novice and the experienced onlooker.

Friday, November 16
6pm-2am

Get Fashion will showcase local designers and vendor retail pop-ups from 6-11pm, live musical performances from 9pm-2am, H Street only food vendors, local DC brews, and artwork featured in the Submerge exhibition.

DJ starts at 6pm – Music starts at 9pm…

Featuring performances by:
Pree

GEMS
Margot MacDonald
DJ Skim

This event is free and open to public.
FB Event page

Young Rapids, photo by Kate Bentley – Passenger Photography

Saturday, November 17
8pm-2am

All Things Go x Listen Local First x DC to BC

All Things Go and Listen Local First and DC to BC help curate a night of music during the Submerge artfair in the temporary gallery and music venue on the historic H Street Corridor.  This is a great chance to check out some fun, exciting sounds in a cool and temporary space. Saturday night’s show will feature live sets from Turning Violet Violet, Dance For The Dying, Young Rapids, BRETT and Body Language. The night will also feature DJ sets from Nacey of Nouveau Riche and DJ Spicoli. The event will start at 7PM and go until around 2AM. Tickets are $12.

FB EVENT PAGE
This event is Ticketed. Tickets available here.

Food and Drink, The Features

H &pizza Arrives on H Street NE

Photo courtesy of bonappetitfoodie
H &pizza Boxes
courtesy of bonappetitfoodie

Pizza and politics–two controversial things in this town. Like asking what someone thought of the latest congressional vote, if you inquire about their pizza preferences when it comes to crust thickness, toppings or cheese to sauce ratio, you’ll get an earful. Not to mention there’s that group of people who cop out completely by throwing their hands in the air and exclaiming, “THERE IS NO GOOD PIZZA IN DC!” Well, my fussy friends, there’s a new place on H street that might do the trick for you: H &pizza.

Photo courtesy of bonappetitfoodie
H &pizza Jenny Pizza
courtesy of bonappetitfoodie
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Food and Drink, The Features, We Love Food

We Love Food: Toki Underground


Toki Underground, Washington DC courtesy of Plantains & Kimchi

Culinary Ninja. That is the only way to describe Erik Bruner-Yang, the man behind Toki Underground, a tiny ramen sanctuary on H Street. Recognized only by the small blue emblem on the door, this Taiwanese restaurant is serving the best ramen I’ve ever tasted, and in the coolest, freshest environment I’ve been to in a while.

It’s not as if Toki hasn’t received a share amount of praise and hype and I found me a secret. Au contraire, it’s been one of the most buzzed restaurants in town, and given their no reservations policy, a one to two hour wait is to be expected. What the kimchi is right–but seriously–it is worth it.

When you walk up the stairs you enter Erik’s world. A world filled with the most wonderful smells–of fried dumplings, hearty ramens, and tempura vegetables–sights and sounds that transport you. Every inch of the place screams rockstar genius. The walls are filled with graffiti art, skateboards form a faux roof above the kitchen, plastic toys battle each other on the edges. It’s a man’s world, and one which I never wanted to leave. The music blares and track after track the beats just get better.

Hello ninja house party, where have you been all my life?

The drink menu includes imported beers, an extensive list of premium sake, and some Thai drinks I had never heard of. I opted for the Toki Monster- a perfectly stirred Bourbon with honey liqueur, served on the rocks, with a pork belly skewer accompanying it. I’ll repeat–a pork belly skewer, as a garnish. One bite and sip of this monster and I knew this place meant business. I also knew that pork belly skewer was singlehandedly responsible for my increased BAC as one is never enough. But on to the food…
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Food and Drink, The Features, The Hill, We Love Food

One Year Later: Smith Commons

Photo courtesy of philliefan99
smith commons
courtesy of philliefan99

If you remember the H Street corridor from years ago, the place where Smith Commons now stands was the home of a large carpet warehouse. The restaurant is just as massive: three stories with a main dining room and main bar on the first floor, a public house on levels two and three, plus a seasonal patio. Smith Commons is one of the classiest buildings on H Street, both on the interior and exterior, with clean lines, eccentric furniture and the quintessential exposed brick.

The first thing you’ll notice when walking through the doors is how open the space is. Here you aren’t crammed so closely together that eavesdropping on the people sitting next you is involuntary; instead, the excess space makes the restaurant a great place for groups.

Smith Commons bills itself as offering an “international menu of approachable cuisine,” so think  fusion. There’s a lot going on when you look at the menu –  not that there are a lot of choices, but those choices are quite different. The menu changes seasonally with recipes developed by Executive Chef Carlos Delgado, so it can sometimes be sad to see one of your favorite dishes gone, but then there’s always time to pick a new favorite for the night.
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Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

The Queen Vic on H St. Is Almost Here

Courtesy Ryan Gordon
photo courtesy Ryan Gordon

Cornish pasties will soon make an appearance on the ever-changing H St.

If you’ve been anxiously awaiting the beef and potato pie since you heard first of the British gastropub, The Queen Vic, you only have about one month left to go.

The Queen Vic owner Ryan Gordon tells me that the pub, which is named after a “Public House” in the soap EastEnders, will open its doors sometime between February 15th and 25th.  The British menu will not be static, but change constantly.  So expect a regular menu with the traditional fish & chips and curries, but many extras on an additional blackboard menu.

The name Ryan Gordon might be a familiar one to DC foodies or H Street residents. That’s because he’s also associated with The Pug, the low-key, neighborhood spot. Gordon says he chose H Street for The Queen Vic’s location because as an H Street resident he has witnessed the neighborhood’s transformation first-hand.

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Food and Drink, Night Life, The Features, We Love Drinks

Drinks Preview: Fruit Bat

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘erin m’

Wednesday night I was graciously invited by Erik Holzherr (owner of one of We Love DC’s favorite barsWisdom) to a preview of his new bar, Fruit Bat. Located on H Street NE between 12th and 13th, in the spot formerly occupied by the H Street Martini Lounge, my first impression is that it will quickly become a favorite of Atlas District locals, and certainly is worth the trip for those of us in other parts of the city. Tonight is the official opening; here’s a taste of what you can expect.

Erik is part Colombian, and he wanted to give Fruit Bat a relaxed Latin American feel. The most striking feature of the long narrow room lined with simple tables and a bar is the “living wall” that will develop organically as time goes by. Hung on the exposed brick wall are staghorn ferns mounted on wooden boards with grow lights. They’re just babies now but I can imagine how amazingly lush they will make the space as they grow. Fresh herbs are also grown behind the bar and fruit is everywhere. The scent of fried plaintains drove me mad. It all adds to the tropical feel – I think Hemingway and his daiquiri would’ve been right at home.

Speaking of drinks, as you would expect from the owner of Wisdom the craft cocktail menu at Fruit Bat is thoughtfully delicious. Continue reading

Adventures, All Politics is Local, Downtown, Dupont Circle, Essential DC, History, Life in the Capital, The Daily Feed, The District, The Hill, The Mall

DDOT Unveils Historic DC Photos

Photo courtesy of
‘MacArthur Marquee’
courtesy of ‘kimberlyfaye’

After years of scouring, the DDOT historians have posted some fantastic photos of our beloved city from the 1940s thru the 1960s to their Flickr account. The set features cityscapes from all over the district, including an awesome shot from an open air parking lot on H Street NE, a Harlem-esque looking F & 13th Street, and Tenley Circle with streetcar tracks.

My favorite pic is the shot of Rosslyn looking over the Key Bridge to DC taken in 1945.  It’s amazing to think of the now skyscraper filled neighborhood as only having two and three storied buildings. Some may remember one of last remaining relics of that era, Tom Sarris Orleans House, which tragically closed in 2008. That place was definitely a DC insiders go to.

The Daily Feed

H Street Temporium

Photo courtesy of
‘Thomas 08′
courtesy of ‘yospyn’

You have all heard of the craze called the pop-up art show?  Now,  the concept has translated into the fashion world.

The H Street Temporium is a pop-up, temporary store that will be featuring DC’s best designers.  The Temporium will run from July 23rd through August 15th and is located in the former R.L. Christian Library at 1300 H Street, NE.

Designers will include Dopeville, De*Nada, Useagoods, Kristi Love, Hugh & Crye, Derringer Friday, and many more…

Now go and shop till you drop!

The Daily Feed

Final Artist Call for DCCAH Pop-Up Public Art Project

Photo courtesy of
‘(184/365)’
courtesy of ‘kimberlyfaye’

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH), DC Creates! Public Art Program is looking for participants for their “Pop-Up Public Art Project”.   The initiative will establish a 14-block creative corridor along H Street NE.  This project is hoping to help H Street in becoming a destination for arts, business and community experiences in city design.

The deadline to enter is Friday, July 9 at 6pm.

For questions call DCCAH at 202-724-5613.

News, The Daily Feed

Office of Tax & Revenue Revokes Argonaut, Seven Other Local Sales Tax Certificates

Photo courtesy of
‘doesn’t fit the normal stereotype’
courtesy of ‘philliefan99′

The DC OCFO this afternoon announced that eight restaurants, including H Street anchor Argonaut, and Georgetown’s Mendocino, have had their sales tax certificates revoked for non-remission of sales taxes collected. The eight facilities owe just over $860,000 collectively. The revocation of their tax certificates means they cannot legally collect money for food or drink, which means they’ll likely be closed until such time as they’re settled with the city.

Interestingly enough, Argonaut is saying they’ll be open this evening after a brief closure, as they’re working things out with OCFO. Apparently, there was a problem at the OTR (problems at the Office of Tax and Revenue? Really? I never would have guessed that they might be having problems over there.) that necessitated the demonstration of these payments, and while Joe Englert’s other two businesses were able to quickly do so (the benefits of local banking!), Argonaut was not able to move as quickly thanks to Bank of America. Update: They have been returned their Tax Certificate by the OCFO this morning, according to Twitter.

That does leave these seven other places in hot water with the OCFO:

INTI,1825 18th St., NW
Prince of Georgetown, 3205 Prospect St., NW
Besta Pizza, 5029 Connecticut Ave., NW
Porter’s, 1207 19th St., NW
Prince Café, 1042 Wisconsin Ave., NW
Mendocino Grille, 2917 M St., NW
Café Nema, 1334 U St., NW

If you’ve got reservations, you make want to check them. Full release after the break:

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The Features, We Love Drinks

Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar

Little Miss Whiskey's downstairs bar, H St

Little Miss Whiskey's downstairs bar, H St

From the outside, the rowhouse-turned-bar has purposefully little to draw the attention of the casual passerby. Only the purple halo of light around the front window and red-lit address — 1104 — hints that something’s going on there that wasn’t before. Stepping inside however, is like a trip down the rabbit hole: violet light seeps from every fixture and reflects off gilded, well, everything. The velvet wall-papered walls are also covered with frames, mirrors, sconces and other random adornments, all painted gold. If I had seen the Cheshire Cat himself, smile floating in the corner of the bar’s upstairs lounge spot, I would have hardly been surprised. Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Scootergate Starts Now

Scootergate 4 by spoffy

This is it scooter fans, the weekend we’ve been waiting for.  Scootergate 4 has finally arrived!  The festivities kick off at 5pm at The Pug where you can register ($25 cash) if you haven’t done so already online.  What do you get with your registration?  A whole slew of things including a ticket to the Rock and Roll Hotel show Saturday night, a rally bag, a rally patch, a t-shirt, a bunch of coupons, a raffle ticket, and food.  Hell, I’d pay $25 for the t-shirt alone!  Today’s Seattle-like weather is supposed to subside as the day goes on so hopefully it will be prime weather for the late night ride of DC movie hotspots.

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Fun & Games, Life in the Capital, The Daily Feed, The District

Scootergate 4

Scootergate 4 by Spoffy

I recently became the father of a 1979 Vespa P200E, a toy I’ve had my eye on for a long time now.  But to some it’s more than a toy and a mode of transportation, it’s a way of life.  These scooter people make their way across the country for rallies all year long, and in June they’re coming to DC for Scootergate 4.

The festivities kick off Friday evening at the Pug which includes registration and basically a “Hey!  Good to see you, mutherf#*@$r!” type of gathering, complete with a DJ, Stupid Human Tricks, and a late night ride.  Assuming you survive that night, Saturday brings you breakfast, rally rides, Scooter Jackassery awards, dinner, and a concert at the Rock and Roll Hotel.  Still alive?  Then ride to brunch on Sunday at Airborne’s and say your tearful goodbyes until next year.  For a full itinerary that is subject to change, click here.

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Food and Drink, Night Life, We Love Food

We Love Food: Sticky Rice

"Sticky Balls" at Sticky Rice

Sticky Rice is a lot like its brazenly named signature dish, “Sticky Balls” – a chaotic gooey crunchy glorious mess.

This isn’t some temple of sushi where a plate of trembling tempura is placed in front of you with a reverential hush like it’s the freaking Holy Grail. You want that, go to Sushi Ko. You want pristine sashimi prepared by traditional chefs, go to Sushi Taro. You want beautiful experiments and the occasional fugu dinner, go to Kaz.

What you will get at Sticky Rice is irreverent cuisine, a florid interior reminiscent of a tattoo parlor’s secret bordello, and a crazy atmosphere like some art students’ late night party. And resign yourself to waiting on a busy weekend… this isn’t the place to hit with a hard time deadline.

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