Monday, February 1, 2010

Lima Restaurant & Lounge - McPherson Square, DC

For my cousin's 25th birthday, us ladies went to Lima Restaurant and Lounge off K St NW. We chose this place because we could eat dinner and then stay to party afterwards. They serve 'Latin-infused' cuisine. Street parking is difficult in the city, but there's valet parking for $6 if you're only eating dinner, otherwise it's $20. The closest metro station is McPherson Square on the orange line.

The lower picture is their covered seating area with heat lamps outside. The bouncer checking ID's to get into the place was really rude to us when we asked him to take a picture of us. Not cool.

Lima is 3 floors. The entrance is on the 2nd floor with the hostess stand, bar and projector TV. The Ravens were playing that night.

After waiting around 35 minutes for our table (we had reservations too), we were escorted up to the 3rd floor. The interior is kind of trendy with glass, stainless steel, etc. They also had another screen behind us.

I don't recall being in a more hectic restaurant ever. This is my theory why:

1. The empty table behind the screen was then filled with some important people that had cameras following them around and recording them eat. We think it was The Real Housewives of DC. So the wait staff was literally running around to make sure things were perfect, managers were yelling, etc.

2. It was a Saturday night, so the place turns into a lounge with a DJ at 10pm. We had reservations at 9pm..

3. They were showing the Ravens in the playoffs on both floors.

4. It was DC Restaurant Week.

For dinner all 5 of us decided to get the pre-fixed restaurant week courses ($35.10 for 3 courses), so the prices I list will be as if they were a la carte.

We each got a roll with Lime butter. It was so unexpected (yes I know the place is called Lima) but I loved it. Tasted like 'Tostitos with Lime' chips.

Top: I ordered the 'Lima's Empanada - beef, pastry, raisin, olives, chimichurri sauce ($10).' It was really flaky with a nice filling, and the sauce really tied the whole thing together.

Bottom: 'Wild Ecuadorian Shrimp- lime breaded, ginger passion fruit sauce ($12).' Two friends ordered this and thought the shrimp was good but not with the sweet fruit sauce.

Top: 'Salted Cod Fritters -with spicy tomato sauce and lemon ($9).' As you can see, they forgot the tomato sauce and when we told the server there was a bit of an argument amongst the staff about the status of the sauce...hmmm.

Bottom: 'Chicken Croquettes - with cucumber, queso fresco, spicy tomato sauce and lemon ($9).' She found them to be OK, kind of mushy. The sauce wasn't as flavorful either.

For my entree, I ordered the 'Cuban Chicken (Organic) - Half roasted chicken, lime braised red onions, steamed aged basmati, black beans, fried plantains ($24).' WOW the chicken was SO GOOD. Very tender, seasoned well and juicy. The grilled veggies, rice and beans were so good and complemented the chicken. I was very surprised at how good it was and the portions were huge! I only ate 1/3 of my plate. The plantains were like chips, where as I like them soft. 2 of my other friends ordered the same dish.

Top: 'Salmon (Wild Atlantic)- Latin spices-blackened, grilled vegetables, yellow corn tamale, chipotle mojo ($24).' My friend thought it was good, and everyone kept picking at the tamale.

Bottom: 'Lima's Churrasco- Grilled flat-iron steak, grilled vegetables, steamed aged basmati, chimichurri ($24).' My friend didn't think the steak was that flavorful and was mushy.

We all agreed... Dessert was a Disaster.
Three of us ordered the 'Coconut Tres Leches' , which was so dry! That's the complete opposite of what the dessert is supposed to be. It looked like they took a dry cupcake and poured 3 types of milk over it.

Top: 'Warm Chocolate Cake- Vanilla creme & dulce de leche ice cream ($7).' The only way to describe the cake would be: Powdery. I don't know how that is even possible.

Bottom: 'Flan Caramel - tropical fruit ceviche ($7).' This was the most edible one, but it was more firm than we would've liked the consistency to be.

I have mixed feelings about this place. I think there were more negatives than positives. My Empanada, Cuban Chicken and Lime Butter were the highlights of the night. The atmosphere, service and dessert were poor. The food is expensive, so I wouldn't come here if it wasn't for Restaurant Week. We checked out the basement level after dinner for some drinks and dancing. It was packed and an older crowd (30's) were dancing to electronica. 30 minutes to get my car from valet wasn't fun. So, if you want to go, I'd suggest going on a weeknight for food only, or on the weekends for drinking/dancing only.

1401 K St NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 789-2800
Lima on Urbanspoon 
Mon-Thu. 4:00 pm. - 2:00 am
Fri. 4:00 pm - 3:30 am
Sat. 5:30 pm - 3:30 am

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