Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ulah Bistro

Ulah Bistro is a handsome-looking American restaurant in the U street corridor. It's owned by Med Lahlou, the co-owner of Tunnicliffs on Capitol Hill and Stoney's in Logan Circle. The ambiance and decor at Ulah are nice for a neighborhood bistro. The food is respectable though not outstanding. The brunch service, though, could use the most work.

Ulah has a welcoming casual atmosphere with high ceilings, good wood work, open space, and an exposed brick wall. The brunch menu is fairly extensive with over a dozen breakfast items as well as sandwiches, salads, and pizzas.

The food is generally decent though some dishes are better than others. The massive breakfast pizza is a large pizza topped with proscuito and three sunny side up eggs. This dish could easily feed two people and I compliment them for their creative combination of traditional breakfast and traditional lunch dishes. The pizza was fairly good though the proscuito was a little dry. The eggs were nicely prepared and runny, which made an interesting combination with the cheese of the pizza.

The other highlight was the Eggs Chesapeake -- two poached eggs on top of lightly breaded crab meat with hollandaise sauce and home fries. This is a common dish in D.C. and it was done well here. Many other places serve crab cakes that are either soggy or overly breaded but these were nice and crisp with an acceptable consistency. The eggs were also well poached. The home fries promised on the menu were actually roasted potatoes that had a nice smokey flavor.

I was disappointed with the Mediterranean Omelet (spinach, feta, and tomoto) and the Green Eggs and Ham (Eggs with fresh herbs, sauteed spinach, and ham). As others have noted, the Mediterranean Omelet suffers from poor feta distribution -- it has large haphazardly placed cubes of feta that make the feta-included bites far too salty and the other bites lacking. The Green Eggs and Ham is an interesting idea but it is ultimately an unsuccessful dish. The herbs are bland and do little more than change the color of the eggs. Further the spinach and ham was an unusual and unsatisfactory combination.

The service was also a disappointment. The waitress attempted to memorize our orders and unfortunately forgot what one of the members of our party ordered. When that was cleared up, they did not bring all the food at the same time. The coffee was weak and it came with individual half and half containers, a low-brow offering that is incongruous with the handsome decor. More incongruity was evident in our water glasses, which were miscellaneous beer glasses complete with logo. Ulah needs to fix these problems to bring their service and food more in line with their pleasant decor.

Contact information after the jump. Continue reading.

Brunch menu [Ulah Bistro]

Ulah Bistro
1214 U St. NW
Washington D.C. 20009
(202) 234-0123

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