Sunday, March 2, 2014

DC Spotlight: 14th Street Update - Barcelona, Doi Moi, and Masa 14

It seems like a new restaurant opens up every week along the 14th Street corridor that stretches between the Logan Circle and U Street neighborhoods, and it elates me that so many of them are vegetarian friendly.  I previously reviewed Estadio, Masa 14 (rooftop bar), El Centro D.F., Eatonville, and Kapnos.  Today I add two more to the Washington, DC Restaurants page, and also revisit an older one.

Barcelona is yet another Spanish tapas place, which is fine by me because I love Spanish tapas!  Although it is a chain -- with locations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Georgia -- Barcelona offers a unique first-class dining experience.  The cozy atmosphere is reminiscent of the Spanish city's Gothic Quarter (click here for my write-up of the real Barcelona), and the menu includes Spanish tortilla and all of the usual meat-free small plates that are so common in Spanish tapas restaurants.  Although the menu does not clearly identify the vegetarian items, my server was extremely knowledgeable about the menu and sensitive to my dietary restrictions.  I enjoyed everything I ordered, especially the spinach-chickpea cazuela and Manchego cheese plate.

Barcelona's spinach-chickpea cazuela with cumin and roasted garlic

Barcelona's Manchego cheese plate

Doi Moi was opened by the owner of two of my favorite restaurants, Proof and Estadio (click here for write-up of the latter).  Like those two restaurants, Doi Moi offers an elegant and romantic atmosphere with an extensive wine list, and like Estadio, it offers, upon request, a separate gluten-free/vegan/vegetarian menu.  But Doi Moi differs from those two restaurants by specializing in Southeast Asian "street food."  The menu already has changed since I first dined there, but it looks like the delicious mushroom dumplings pictured below are still available.

Doi Moi's pan fried garlic chive and mushroom dumplings with sweet soy-black vinegar dipping sauce
  
Finally, Masa 14 is an old 14th Street favorite with a lively atmosphere and energetic bar scene.  I previously wrote about its tasty rooftop menu here (note that the rooftop menu has changed a bit since then but still offers tasty veg-friendly marinated portobello bao buns, work-seared edamame, and vegetarian handrolls), and like its two sister restaurants by Chef Richard Sandoval (click here for my write-up of El Centro D.F. and here for my write up of Zengo, one of my favorite DC restaurants), Masa 14's regular dinner menu also offers a number of vegetarian items, as well as other items that can be made vegetarian upon request. 

Masa 14's fried tofu with sauteed spinach and sweet and spicy chili sauce

Masa 14's pan-roasted cauliflower with ginger, garlic, and chili

UPDATE:  Click here for my write-up of Le Diplomate, another 14th Street hotspot.

Barcelona Wine Bar & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Doi Moi on Urbanspoon

Masa 14 on Urbanspoon