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I could well have missed a previous thread for this place. If so, my apologies. We stopped by the Royal this past Friday for drinks and some food before a show at the 930 Club. A few quick thoughts on the place. It's a smaller, neighborhood spot. I was only in the downstairs, which was all self seating, but there's an upstairs as well. Not sure how large it is. In the downstairs I think they had around 16 seats (eight or so at a larger communal high table and around eight at regular height tables) as well as somewhere around ten seats at a curved bar. The cocktails are really good. Horus Alvarez is a fantastic bartender, and he's running the show here as well as at Vinoteca. The cocktails my wife and I had were all fantastic. They're also making their own vermouth, which I was able to sample, but at this point they're not using it in any of the cocktails on their menu. Service at the bar, where we were seated, was also fantastic and attentive the whole time. Small, but solid wine and beer list. The food was good as well, although there were a couple of misses. Almost the entire menu is small plates (of course). The two exceptions, which we didn't try, were a burger, and a steak with roasted potatoes. The stuffed arepa was fantastic, with a great braised pork filling. I could eat many of these. The grilled avocado (with quinoa and lentils) was also fantastic, and the grilled quid was very good. The plantains themselves didn't have a ton of flavor, but the sweet crema accompanying them was wonderful. The corn and tomato salad with chickpeas was the one miss, with very sub-par tomatoes. Probably a miss-order on our part. Anyhow, we were very pleased with our visit. It's a good neighborhood spot, and a good low-key option for drinks and food before shows at the Howard Theater or the 930 Club. They are also open early for coffee service and breakfast, which is something I'd appreciate if I lived in the neighborhood.
What is Ondatrí³pica? In short, the Colombian answer to Buena Vista Social Club. From the YouTube album teaser: "Conceived by Colombian musician Mario Galeano, the force behind the band Frente Cumbiero, and English producer Will 'Quantic' Holland, Ondatrí³pica brings together an all-star cast representing both the classic and modern styles of la musica Colombiana. Over 3 weeks in January 2012 at the famous Discos Fuentes studios in Medellín legendary figures from Colombian music joined a group of younger Colombian musicians that included members of both Mario's band Frente Cumbeiro and Quantic's Combo Barbaro. The plan; "to re-interpret the tropical musical heritage of Colombia with new approaches in composition, arrangement and production in a classic and mythical setting." ok, so their cover of Iron Man is a little lame, but if you like smoking latin grooves check out: Linda Manana Bomba Tropica Cumbia Espacial Dos Lucecitas Donde Suena el Bombo