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Marrakech (Formerly Marrakesh Palace), Moroccan at 21st and P Street at West Dupont Circle


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This restaurant has apparently been renamed to Marrakesh, not Marrakesh Palace. Oddly, there are two websites: one for Marrakesh P Street; the other for Marrakech Restaurant, both pointing to an establishment at 2147 P Street.

Does anyone know anything? The original website for Marrakesh Palace no longer works.

This is a first for me. If anyone knows what to call the restaurant, or which is the correct website, I'd appreciate it. To the best of my knowledge, this is the only remaining Moroccan restaurant in DC proper - if indeed it still exists.

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The website you have listed for Marrakech Restaurant is the right one, not the one for Marrakech P Street.

We went last night - a relative wanted to revisit Marrakech on New York Ave. where we'd been together decades ago, and we didn't realize that the one on P Street was not the same one having moved. It is apparently an entirely different one and was quite a disappointment, though not because of the food (I can only speak as far as the appetizers).

We went at 8 so we'd have dinner during the 8:30 belly dancing show, remembering a very well done performance at the former Marrakech. This one started out normally, but turned into the proprietor pulling boys and men from the diners (and literally pulling one, who did not want to go) to have them dance with the dancer. Then it turned into the proprietor tying the dancer's scarf around men's hips, and men stuffing dollar bills into the dancer's straps. It was extremely uncomfortable, as we were there as a family (albeit no small children, but two teens) and had not expected or wanted this.

Then the people at the table next to us jumped up and it turned out a mouse had jumped into one of their laps.  We were sitting on the same wall-length couch as they were.

We left.  One waiter argued with one of us, but I said to the proprietor that I absolutely had to get out of there (being phobic about mice) and he said that's fine. 

Service was a combination of neglectful (not telling us that prix fixe was the only option in the back room, or telling us what was included in the prix fixe - I only knew because a couple of us had been seated in the other room first and had read the menus there) and pushy (asking one guest whether she hadn't liked the soup, and not giving up when she said she hadn't wanted it, but continuing the conversation).  I don't know how to describe pulling the chair of an unwilling young patron onto the dance floor, when the patron was saying 'no, I don't want to,' other than way beyond obnoxious and inappropriate.  And a belly dance performance that turns into the kind of behavior you see in a strip club (no stripping, but encouraging/demanding patrons put dollar bills into the straps of her bikini top and straps at the top of her skirt) is not what we expected (having seen other belly dance performances) and was quite unwelcome.  

Foodwise, I don't have much to say - in the front room, there were menus (we were seated there at first) with a la carte and prix fixe options, but in the back room where the dancing is and where they moved us, they did not bring any menus and just began bringing us the food from the $35 prix fixe menu without saying so. That was all right with us as a group, but a couple people in the group might have preferred a la carte, and the waiter certainly should have told us that it was prix fixe and what that included.

The first appetizer was a cup of soup they said was vegetarian. Not particularly flavorful, rather muddy, with some chickpeas in it along with mushy vegetables.  Then there was a cold vegetable salad: very tasty cooked carrots cut into coins, with a bright flavor (we guessed lemon and cilantro), mashed or pureed eggplant with a good flavor and sliced olives on top, and spinach that was clearly frozen spinach (which I hate, though I like fresh). There was also warm bread with olive oil that had some pureed kalamatas in it with good flavor.  Then they brought bisteeya, slices of pastry with chicken in it and sugar on top. I am fond of bisteeya and this was a nice version. When we had nearly finished the bisteeya, the mouse incident occurred.  We left before the 3 main courses, the dessert (which I think was just orange slices), and the mint tea. The rest of the food could have been amazing or terrible, I don't care, because we are not staying to eat while a mouse is jumping from the couch onto a guest's lap.  Nor will we be returning.

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