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Komi, 17th & P Streets NW, 2013 James Beard Award Winning Chef Johnny Monis Rocks East Dupont - Tipping Eliminated on Sep 7, 2017 for 20% Pre-Tax Service Charge


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I just made a reservation to celebrate a friend's 40th birthday. I haven't been in 10+ years. I want to say I went in maybe 2005, before they had a set menu. I lived a block away for 13 years so will be revisiting old stomping grounds as well. I'm very excited!

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I cannot remember the exact year Komi started, but a group of my wine pals and I went when it was a much more casual affair ad they allowed us to indulge and bring some really good wine. We talked with everyone on the staff about the food, the wine and just shooting the sh!t. It is a great memory.   Maybe 2004? 2005? 2006?

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13 hours ago, Pool Boy said:

I cannot remember the exact year Komi started, but a group of my wine pals and I went when it was a much more casual affair ad they allowed us to indulge and bring some really good wine. We talked with everyone on the staff about the food, the wine and just shooting the sh!t. It is a great memory.   Maybe 2004? 2005? 2006?

I was at Little Serow a few weeks ago, and Johnny told me he's worked every Valentine's day for 14 straight years, FWIW.

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13 hours ago, Pool Boy said:

I cannot remember the exact year Komi started, but a group of my wine pals and I went when it was a much more casual affair ad they allowed us to indulge and bring some really good wine. We talked with everyone on the staff about the food, the wine and just shooting the sh!t. It is a great memory.   Maybe 2004? 2005? 2006?

Komi opened in 2003 I believe. Took over from a Roberto Donna outpost called Vivo or something like that.

in the early days Komi had a great brunch. I don’t miss much about living across the street, but that’s one thing.

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50 minutes ago, Keithstg said:

Komi opened in 2003 I believe. Took over from a Roberto Donna outpost called Vivo or something like that.

Can you believe how *different* Komi was when it first opened, with Sebastian Zutant getting his start, and those beignets you'd dip in hot chocolate?

---

BTW, here are the original internet posts on Komi - this is when I was active on eGullet, but just before I agreed to become Forum Host (I resisted for as long as I could, but the third time he approached me, Steve Klc wouldn't take no for an answer - one thing's for sure: Steve Klc is the person who changed the course of my life).

For those who care, my very first eGullet post is here (I was a sarcastic little snot even then; this was less than one year after Karen died. My goodness, Isabella must hate my guts: my second post is here); all my stuff there can be found here (not in order; the oldest stuff is on page 31). That said, I got my start posting on one of those rec.dc.restaurants newsgroups on Usenet in the 1990s - ironically, a friend of mine wrote me then and said, "In all seriousness, have you ever thought about being a restaurant critic?" 

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20 minutes ago, Keithstg said:

Took over from a Roberto Donna outpost called Vivo or something like that.

It was an Il Radicchio for awhile. I don't remember Vivo.

ETA: I still have no recollection of Vivo despite living a block away when it was open, but according to the intertubes it was in fact in that space, probably between Il Radicchio and Komi.

16 minutes ago, Keithstg said:

They still had goat back then, too.

That goat was life changing for me. I hadn't eaten much goat up until then. I still fantasize about that goat.

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57 minutes ago, dracisk said:

It was an Il Radicchio for awhile. I don't remember Vivo.

ETA: I still have no recollection of Vivo despite living a block away when it was open, but according to the intertubes it was in fact in that space, probably between Il Radicchio and Komi.

That goat was life changing for me. I hadn't eaten much goat up until then. I still fantasize about that goat.

They still had a pizza oven back then, too.

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2 hours ago, Keithstg said:

Komi opened in 2003 I believe. Took over from a Roberto Donna outpost called Vivo or something like that.

in the early days Komi had a great brunch. I don’t miss much about living across the street, but that’s one thing.

Yes, 2003 makes more sense to me. We've only ben back to Komi, my wife and I, maybe 4 or 5 times from maybe 2003 to 2011 or so. Recently tried to head back, but were thwarted due to our lack of planning. We'll fix that soon.

2 hours ago, DonRocks said:

Can you believe how *different* Komi was when it first opened, with Sebastian Zutant getting his start, and those beignets you'd dip in hot chocolate?

--

Loved that stuff - truly! I remember the dining area was really quite casual at the time when they first opened.

1 hour ago, Keithstg said:

That “Mexican” hot chocolate was incredible! They still had goat back then, too.

Truth!

1 hour ago, dracisk said:

It was an Il Radicchio for awhile. I don't remember Vivo.

ETA: I still have no recollection of Vivo despite living a block away when it was open, but according to the intertubes it was in fact in that space, probably between Il Radicchio and Komi.

That goat was life changing for me. I hadn't eaten much goat up until then. I still fantasize about that goat.

I could not agree more.

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According to their website, the prix fixe is increasing from $150 to $165 as of July 1, with a notation that "A 20% pre-tax service fee will be applied to the final bill; no tipping necessary."  That is to say, the charge will effectively be $137.50 (not including alcohol and tax).  No mention of whether tip is also built into the drink prices (e.g., the $85 pairing).

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4 hours ago, Marty L. said:

According to their website, the prix fixe is increasing from $150 to $165 as of July 1, with a notation that "A 20% pre-tax service fee will be applied to the final bill; no tipping necessary."  That is to say, the charge will effectively be $137.50 (not including alcohol and tax).  No mention of whether tip is also built into the drink prices (e.g., the $85 pairing).

That is not how I read it. I took it to mean they will now auto- tip for you and you don't need to tip extra. Was it $150 out the door before? I would expect the new total cost to be $165 + 10% tax + 20% tip = $214.50.

Otherwise it would probably say "tip included; no further tipping necessary."

Edited by guanabana
clarity
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3 minutes ago, guanabana said:

That is not how I read it. I took it to mean they will now auto- tip for you and you don't need to tip extra. Was it $150 out the door before? I would expect the new total cost to be $165 + 10% tax + 20% tip = $214.50.

Otherwise it would probably say "tip included; no further tipping necessary."

You're right, guanabana, that that's the more natural reading. Perhaps it's right. But wouldn't that defeat the purpose others have had (e.g., Danny Meyer) of building the service fee into the cost and precluding tips, which is to allow the restaurant to share the fee with the BOH?

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I *believe* that legally, if you call an automatic, extra charge a gratuity, then it must go to the server, but if you call it a service fee, it can be split up among many members of the service team, including managers, or even a portion kept by the establishment.

Service charges are also subject to tax. Since this is "pre-tax" my calculation is $165 + $33 + $19.80 = $217.80

Still worth it because Komi rocks

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We had a great meal for our  25th Anniversary the other week at Komi.  Service was personalbe and professional.  Highlights were the amberjack with berebere, the grilled watermelon, stuffed dates, corn tortellini, and of course the goat.  I don’t know how they got corn that sweet in the tortellini.  Also, bergamot soda was great for this non-drinker.  My only question was the mild flavor in the Italian summer truffle for the pasta course. I was expecting something funkier.  Kudos to Komi!

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14 hours ago, ICD said:

We had a great meal for our  25th Anniversary the other week at Komi.  Service was personalbe and professional.  Highlights were the amberjack with berebere, the grilled watermelon, stuffed dates, corn tortellini, and of course the goat.  I don’t know how they got corn that sweet in the tortellini.  Also, bergamot soda was great for this non-drinker.  My only question was the mild flavor in the Italian summer truffle for the pasta course. I was expecting something funkier.  Kudos to Komi!

Summer truffles are never as pungent as Winter truffles, in my experience. 

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On 2/24/2018 at 11:38 AM, DonRocks said:

For those who care, my very first eGullet post is here (I was a sarcastic little snot even then; this was less than one year after Karen died. My goodness, Isabella must hate my guts: my second post is here); all my stuff there can be found here (not in order; the oldest stuff is on page 31). That said, I got my start posting on one of those rec.dc.restaurants newsgroups on Usenet in the 1990s - ironically, a friend of mine wrote me then and said, "In all seriousness, have you ever thought about being a restaurant critic?" 

On a tangent, I never told you that you had me with this comment (on one of your early posts on eG): "Don's House Of Nuts... Get your nuts in here"

---

Happy Gyro (washingtony)

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Went to get some Happy Ice Cream scoops this weekend.  Anne Marler was helping out at the scoop cart so I asked her about Komi:

Happy doing Happy.  Done with fine dining.

Sadly, it appears the Komi days are indeed over...RIP Komi thread.    

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On 11/13/2022 at 2:28 PM, Tweaked said:

Went to get some Happy Ice Cream scoops this weekend.  Anne Marler was helping out at the scoop cart so I asked her about Komi:

Happy doing Happy.  Done with fine dining.

Sadly, it appears the Komi days are indeed over...RIP Komi thread.    

 This is a bummer, as someone who has been to every iteration of Komi since it took over the former "Vivo" space above Happy Cleaners, and who isn't interested in takeout.

That said, I'm thrilled that the Monis/ Marler team has found fulfillment, even if not in fine dining.

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On 2/24/2018 at 11:38 AM, DonRocks said:

Can you believe how *different* Komi was when it first opened, with Sebastian Zutant getting his start, and those beignets you'd dip in hot chocolate?

---

BTW, here are the original internet posts on Komi - this is when I was active on eGullet, but just before I agreed to become Forum Host (I resisted for as long as I could, but the third time he approached me, Steve Klc wouldn't take no for an answer - one thing's for sure: Steve Klc is the person who changed the course of my life).

For those who care, my very first eGullet post is here (I was a sarcastic little snot even then; this was less than one year after Karen died. My goodness, Isabella must hate my guts: my second post is here); all my stuff there can be found here (not in order; the oldest stuff is on page 31). That said, I got my start posting on one of those rec.dc.restaurants newsgroups on Usenet in the 1990s - ironically, a friend of mine wrote me then and said, "In all seriousness, have you ever thought about being a restaurant critic?" 

Totally different! The beignets were fantastic, and brunch was a big focus...

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Is there any high-end place in the city that currently makes you feel like the expense was worth it? Of all the extravagant meals I've had in DC, Komi left me the most satisfied -- both in terms of the length of the meal and the amount of food offered. It's been 14 years, but I can't forget how the meal never seemed to end. After the series of small tasting courses, the pasta was served, which nearly put me over the top. Then they come out and say, "Here's your suckling pig..."

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10 hours ago, The Doctor said:

Is there any high-end place in the city that currently makes you feel like the expense was worth it? Of all the extravagant meals I've had in DC, Komi left me the most satisfied -- both in terms of the length of the meal and the amount of food offered. It's been 14 years, but I can't forget how the meal never seemed to end. After the series of small tasting courses, the pasta was served, which nearly put me over the top. Then they come out and say, "Here's your suckling pig..."

Kinship, Metier, Marcels, Bresca, Fiola (original, NOT Mare)

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6 hours ago, Keithstg said:

Kinship, Metier, Marcels, Bresca, Fiola (original, NOT Mare)

Thanks! Of those, I've only done Metier. It had the advantage of a nice space that made you feel separated from the outside world. And the food was of comparable quality, but Komi provided way more over a greater period of time, and with more engagement with the servers. If I had the Komi experience in the Metier space, it would have been amazing.

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18 hours ago, The Doctor said:

Thanks! Of those, I've only done Metier. It had the advantage of a nice space that made you feel separated from the outside world. And the food was of comparable quality, but Komi provided way more over a greater period of time, and with more engagement with the servers. If I had the Komi experience in the Metier space, it would have been amazing.

Another option is Jont, which I've only been to once, but has a longer tasting menu and engaging servers. Would also suggest minibar, but sounds like it won't meet the quantity requirement (and I have not been since pre-covid). If quantity of food and length of meal is the ultimate arbiter, maybe the Four Seasons is still doing their excellent Sunday brunch?

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