Jump to content

Boe (Formerly Oya), Modern American "Comfort Food" at 9th and H Streets NW near Verizon Center - Closed


Recommended Posts

Tom mentioned that the chef and pastry chef of Oya had left. Does anyone have any more information? Was there a mass exodus? Where did the chef go? Will there be other changes? Although I had high hopes for the place, it seems like it is being micro-managed to death.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yikes, this seems like very bad news. I had a few really good meals there and I was smitten with the desserts, especially the banana bread pudding.

They made such a big deal that they got this chef with Aquavit training, there must have been a major falling out. ... Oh well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I actually just heard that the whole establishment is shutting down. Hate to say it, but no big loss in my opinion if this is indeed the case.

This is hard to believe - how much money went into this place?

Can someone confirm or deny this?

And until confirmation occurs, this rumor should obviously be considered false (albeit titillating).

Cheers,

Rocks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just got back from Oya, the self titled French Asian restaurant and lounge downtown.

The space is very nice, borrowing a lot from the LA lounge scene. Service was very attentive and professional.

Food was basically serviceable to okay.

One gripe I have is that if you are a minimalist menu designer (i.e, 5 appetizers), please have all of them at 12:30.

Two of us were going to have the lobster consomme. They were out of that so we went with the warm yellow tomato soup with shrimp. The soup was very nice, but got cold quickly since there was so little of it in the bowl. The shrimp were unfortunately overcooked.

Two others had tuna tartare. One ate most of it, the other pushed it away after a few bites as she said it was a bit too fishy. I tasted it and there was an odd flavor, but I'm not sure it was fishy.

One had a salad of greens and winter berries.

Entrees:

I had the sole and langostine. This was an appalling small sized dish for an entree. Two little thumbsized rolls of overcooked sole, one rubbery langostine, one quartered shitake, a little wilted greens. That would be it. The appetizers were larger. It tasted very neutral would be the best word.

Another had the salmon which he ate some of, but didn't finish. The wild mushroom "dumplings" were actually just ravioli that were okay according to the diner. The steak sandwich, which was offered to me by a dining companion to share upon the placement of my "snack" was tough as all get out. Flavor was fine, but chewiness made it rather unpleasant. Our fourth had a shrimp sarnie that had 4 overcooked medium shrimp in it.

Limeade was good though.

This space is a lot of flash and would probably be a good happy hour place, but I can't see myself dropping serious cash on the food again.

Again, front of house staff were very talented. Kitchen staff not so much. There really wasn't anything egregiously wrong (e.g., spoiled) about the food nor any service concerns, just bad execution in the kitchen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had dinner at Oya during the last Restaurant Week. It was a little too club-like for my taste -- the music was loud and techno-y. I don't remember what I had (I do recall that the RW menu was quite limited), except that it was fish and it was pretty good.

Although I'm no oenophile, the wine list seemed overpriced -- we got stuck with an overpriced $80 bottle because they were out of the overpriced $40 bottle we wanted. And the cocktails came with epic price tags, but were quite good.

There were a couple service mishaps, but damned if I can remember exactly what they were. I think my wife received the wrong first course, and there was some confused to-do about it. Then they served three entrees but left our fourth diner to sit with his hands in his lap for 5 minutes.

A very slick, attractive space though. No doubt.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

:lol: has anyone made a visit to Oya? I checked out the site- The meunu sounds incredible and the images of the restaurant quite seductive. Dinner could be a little pricey- but they do offer a "sunset menu" that is more reasonable for a midweek whim-That menu is offered between 5:30- 7. Anyone interested in joining me- let me know
Link to comment
Share on other sites

From Yesterday's Metrocurean Metrocurean OYA Article

What began as a friendship forged on a snow-boarding trip has made it all the way to the kitchen at OYA. James Stouffer and Jonathan Seningen were recently hired to share the top toque duties at OYA, following the departure of opening chef Kingsley James back in July. The pair met while snowboarding in Argentina this summer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

dry.gif has anyone made a visit to Oya? I checked out the site- The meunu sounds incredible and the images of the restaurant quite seductive. Dinner could be a little pricey- but they do offer a "sunset menu" that is more reasonable for a midweek whim-That menu is offered between 5:30- 7. Anyone interested in joining me- let me know

Oya is worth trying these days. They're bracing for a review from Sietsema, have the ex-sushi chef from Signatures, and two relatively new co-chefs who were supposedly at Le Paradou. During the cold weekdays of December, the restaurant will be relatively empty, and the angular, fire-and-ice architecture is beautiful without crowds mucking it up. Stick with selective mixed drinks or the Affligem Blond Ale from Belgium, stay away from the terrible wines, and don't be afraid to go deep into the menu because the food coming from the kitchen this month is very good. Not great, but very good and better now than later - merits another visit in the near future.

Cheers,

Rocks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's true - Oya is worth checking out. The sushi is every bit as good and creative as it was at Signatures, the space is LA-trendy, but not overly hip, and the entrees and service really very good. High celings, well spaced tables, moderate volume background music, an enormous fireplace and very attentive service extending all the way to the valet.

We had excellent scallops w/ Hen of the Woods (yummy mushrooms), very good Chilean Sea Bass (hadn't seen that in a while), Turbot, and Rockfish. Only the Rockfish was uninspired.

My only complaint was not being able to find something interesting enough to try on the dessert menu. Had I known, I'd have doubled up on sushi to start.

Not a gastronic epiphany, but well worth trying and worth a return visit for the creative sushi alone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was at Oya for a private party early last evening. It was buffet and passed hors d'oevres, so the selections and means of presentation are clearly out of the ordinary. I was unimpressed with a lobster consomme that just sat in these spoons like cold, foul-tasting gelatin. The smoked duck was so-so. I did very much enjoy the sushi selections, particularly a crispy tuna roll. And braised veal cheeks in a foie gras sauce was another tasty winning treat. (Along with all the MacAllen 18 for dessert <_< ).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tried Oya after a show on Saturday night. It was @ 10:00 and the tables in the restaurant were filled, but we were able to get two seats at the bar. We had a nice view of the fireplace, though it meant we could not actually see the faces of the bartenders very well. We just wanted a quick bite, so we got a few of the sushi rolls. The standout was the Crunchy Tuna. On the outside they had crunchy shredded potato, which was great. I would go back for that alone. Yum. FYI, very well dressed crowd. They have some small rooms that are part of the lounge/ bar that looked very cool, as does the whole restaurant. A very attractive place. I am curious to try more, though the entrees look to cost $25-30, which seems a bit high for my tastes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will take this as a bad sign that nobody has written about Oya since I did almost a year ago. We went to the bar one other time last year and it was fine. I had not been back in months, but friends wanted to go to the restaurant, so that is where we went last weekend. It really was a comedy of errors in the service department. As in our last two visits, the sushi was good, but I don't see us going back to eat there again (the bar is fine).

First off, the busboys were overly aggressive in their clearing away of things, including trying to take all of our chopsticks, side plates, etc. between the first and second course. After they didn't listen to us when we said to leave my husband's things we had to literally guard our unused plates and chop sticks so that we could have them for our sushi. They reluctantly gave my husband new chopsticks when we requested them.

Then they made multiple errors in the food, including giving us three orders of something we ordered two of (and charging us for the extra), and giving us multiple wrong items.

But the best of the worst came with the constant clearing from the busboys. They were constantly coming to our table (of 6) and clearing things, filling your water glass after one sip taken, etc. In their constant rush to clear our table they spilled soy sauce down the arm of my husband's shirt.

Our waiter was rightfully horrified by all of this and dutifully got us club soda and called the manager over. The waiter was very nice about the whole thing, but the manger was terrible. First he said he would pay my husband's dry cleaning bill, which at @ 4.00 was not really an issue. The fact was the soy sauce spill was the last of many things that were wrong that night.

Eventually they decided to take 10% off our bill and the manager never really apologized for the terrible service. The waiter was aware of the problems and we saw him talking to the food runners and busboys after each mistake. In the end, he was much more responsive then the manager. We had to leave to get to a concert, but if we had time we might have spoken up further.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will take this as a bad sign that nobody has written about Oya since I did almost a year ago. We went to the bar one other time last year and it was fine. I had not been back in months, but friends wanted to go to the restaurant, so that is where we went last weekend. It really was a comedy of errors in the service department. As in our last two visits, the sushi was good, but I don't see us going back to eat there again (the bar is fine).

Few months ago we stopped in for a drink trying to wait out the Verizon Center crowd. We knew nothing about the place but as soon as we walked in it felt way too cool for me and my Penn State sweatshirt. Funky, trendy vibe. Some people in tuxes and gowns, others in hip pre-club clothes. Drinks are crazy expensive (am I remembering $15 for a mojito?). Despite good reviews from Siestema, the entree prices looked too much for what I thought I would get.

Pax,

Brian

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I enjoyed my meal there this week, although I think it was particularly good because we were charged for so little! We didn't pay for any alcohol, or two of the mains. Some of the alcohol was intentionally complimentary, the rest we weren't so sure of. The sea bass on oxtail was truly fantastic.

ETA: the mains (well, actually they were 'small dishes') were complimentary because they were substitutes. They didn't have what we had ordered, but we didn't sit down until 9pm. Three of us were offered three glasses of wine to taste (it was Sunday, so they do offer some sort of wine tasting) and then a comp glass of our individual favourites. I would imagine that these were the remainder of the Sunday night wine tasting. The restaurant was pretty empty.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just got back from a really enjoyable meal at Oya. I hadn't heard much about the restaurant, so I didn't have a lot of pre-conceived notions going in. We decided to go during Oya's 2nd Anniversary celebtation where for June and July they have a 3-course Prix Fixe menu for $19 at lunch and $29 at dinner.

The space is different from most of the restaurants I've been in in DC. Pretty stark and white but very pretty with the flowing water, silver beads and long fireplaces. We all commented on the white leather/pleather/plastic lining on top of the tables. From 6-8pm they have $7 cocktails and $6-7 sushi. I didn't have a drink but they all sounded pretty interesting on the menu. Before ordering they brought little cheese biscuits to our table that reminded me of a larger version of Central's puffs.

All four of us got the anniversary special and while some dishes were raved about more than others, the general consensus was that the meal was a thumbs up. I started with the Tuna Tempora Roll and was expecting sushi that had lightly fried tuna inside. Instead I had a roll of tuna sushi that had been battered and fried all together. Definitely an interesting dish but quite good with the seven pepper sauce to spice it up. It was a generous serviing of 7-8 pieces as well. My friends had the Spicy Crunchy Salmon (which turned out to be sushi although that wasn't indicated on the menu), the Coconut Shrimp (on skewers) and the Mesclun Mix.

Two of us had the main dish of scallops with hen of the woods mushrooms that was served with a linquine type pasta. The truffle jus was delicious and although it was only two scallops, it was a filling entree and went together really well. I always compare my scallops to Corduroy and the dish as a whole wasn't quite as good, but it was close. Our other two friends had the Roast Chicken with pomagrante (which she wasn't wild over) and the White Tuna with gnocchi and olives (the bite I had of the tuna was tasty but I'm not a big olive fan so I didn't try more).

For dessert everyone but me got the Chocolate Chocolate and Chocolate and said it was good but very rich. I think they were all jealous of the Banana Bread Pudding that I ordered. The rum raisin ice cream that came on top was a little too overwhelmingly rum-tasting for me, but the pudding itself and the caramelized bananas alongside it were warm, gooey and delicious. This may have been my favorite course (except they were all honestly very good).

The service was a little slow, but we weren't in a hurry and our waiter was very nice so we didn't really mind. The only real snafu came when a food runner tried to deliver desserts to our table before we'd even gotten our appetizers. But even that wasn't really a big deal.

I would definitely recommend Oya at the Prix Fixe price and maybe even at regular price (ordering of the main menu my meal would have been $47 instead of the $29 I paid). I can't say anything bad about any of the food I ordered and I'm still pretty stuffed a couple hours after finishing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Seriously - only two scallops?! huh.gif

Yeah, I was surprised myself. But they were large and tender and along with the mushrooms and noodles (not to mention my huge sushi roll and large serving of bread pudding) I left quite stuffed at the end of the night. Afterall, it was only $29. For the record, the servings of chicken and white tuna that my dinnermates had looked like more "normal-sized" portions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my opinion this is the prettiest space in DC, but if you are coming here at any time other than HH (5-7) and getting anything other than sushi, you will probably feel generally disappointed in the food you get for the price you pay for it. Don't get me wrong, the salmon with beurre blanc is nice, but for half the size of the piece you get at Corduroy at the same price, why not just walk up the street and get something bigger and better?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After eating there a couple weeks ago I took some co-workers to lunch at Oya yesterday. They all enjoyed their meals immensely and could not stop saying good things about the restaurant. From the warm, cheesy rolls brought out as a bread basket all the way through dessert.

I was tempted to deviate yesterday, but I ended up getting the same 3 courses I had before. What? They were good! The tuna tempora roll, the scallops and hen of the woods mushrooms and the banana bread pudding were everything I was expecting (with the bread pudding being a tad more overcooked than the first time). A few of us had the tuna roll and all loved the unique presentation and the spicy sauce. For entrees 3 people got the sirloin with rosemary shitake souffle and not one had anything on her plate at the end. The small bite I had of the souffle was definitely good and different. The trio of sorbets (mango, passionfruit and pinneapple) also disappeared quickly.

Now that I've been twice, my conclusion is that I wouldn't recommend Oya at full price, but I would definitely recommend it during their June/July 2nd Anniversary special ($19 lunch or $29 dinner) or during their August 1 - September 9 RW special. I think they also have a pretty decent HH on sushi and cocktails. Wine isnt' cheap, but the food specials make for a good bargain and a full stomach.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anyone been recently? Going on Saturday night for dinner for the first time. Let me know if there any shouldn't miss dishes. Thanks.

Scallops with the hens of woods mushrooms and the spicy crunchy rolls were very good. Service, however, was very, very scattered.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it's still on the menu, get the Chilean sea bass.

Agreed. This was on their $30, three-course menu in December and I still remember it.

(That said, I know of someone who went recently, and who could easily cut-and-paste a message sent to me giving Oya less than a glowing review, hint hint hint.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We were there last Sunday (Easter) for a birthday dinner.

We started with the spicy crunchy tuna rolls and the California rolls, both were good with the spicy crunchy ones being more interesting because of the crunch. I had the crab soup for a first course, it was fine. Had the salmon for the second. The waiter made a big deal about it being cooked medium and asking if I was okay with that, but when it came out it was just shy of being overcooked. Once again, nothing wrong with it, but it did not seem to be the same quality of salmon used in the sushi rolls. The accompanying sides were definitely disappointing. The rice was mushy and lacking in salt and the mushroom and brussels sprouts mixture was both undercooked (at least for my tastes) and disturbingly cool. The sprout/mushroom mixture was sprinkled with micro-greens, so I was left wondering if it was supposed to be lukewarm... most perplexing. Regardless, for me, the veggies definitely suffered for both lack of cooking and seasoning. The dessert (banana bread pudding) was the best part of my meal. rwtye commented that the steak in his salad was a bit tough and his ramen main was also lacking in salt. That said, our other dining companions really enjoyed their scallops (and from an earlier post, with the $30 three-course menu, you do only receive two scallops). No complaints about the service. I liked the decor and how all the white surfaces appear to be designed to be impervious to soy sauce.

Yeah, a lot of damning with faint praise and I wish I could be more positive. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the suggestions. We had a very nice time for a group of 6. We all enjoyed the swanky decors with the white surfaces and fire/water features. The food was mostly very good with a few duds. I loved the little cheese bread biscuits they served - very addictive I think I ate a handful.

The starters were only so so - the mixed green salad was fine, the yellow tomato soup was supposedly very good (I didn't get a bite of either ). The apple-jicama and spinach puree salad with candied nuts was good - except the dressing on the apples had too much vinegar or something else that gave it a nail-polish remover after taste - the rest of the salad was good and creative with the puree. The sirloin tataki was surprisingly bland - more like beef jerky that steak. The salmon tempura roll was very good with its spicy dipping sauce.

For mains, a few of us had the miso-marinated chilean sea bass which was very good and came with really good seafood stuffed piquillo peppers. The roast chicken with preserved lemons was ok, good have use a bit more oomph or another layer of flavor to the lemon taste. The ramen noodles were very large and very tasty.

We also had a side of edamamae with maldon salt which was good (kind of hard to screw up edamame) and brussel sprouts. The brussel were disappointing, no sauce of any kind and little seasoning - basically steamed sprouts.

For dessert we had lots of different ice creams and sorbets (you get 3 scoops per serving and they had 3 kinds of ice cream and five kinds of sorbet) - the passion fruit was strong and one of the best. The chocolate chocolate chocolate wasn't very rich despite its name - pretty good giant bon bon of light chocolate mouse on a disk of yellow cake coated with ganache. The best dessert was the banana bread pudding - soft, but still firm bread pudding with caramel flavors and to banana halves with a brulee-like sugar crust. Very good. Since it was my Mom's birthday, they also gave her a small cake with a candle and wrote out happy b-day in chocolate on the plate. Cake was light and tasty.

Service overall was pretty good. Dealt nicely with some substitution requests and random questions from the picky eaters. A few minor hiccups, but overall very accomodating.

Definitely a great deal with the $30 price fix menu.

Also no size difference in portions for those of us who got the $30 price fix and those who didn't. BTW-they passed out a little card which said they'll have a $30 price fix all year with changes in options depending on the seasons.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

they passed out a little card which said they'll have a $30 price fix all year with changes in options depending on the seasons.

I always like Oya and find it to be a great go-to for a meal after a basketball game. However, the one thing that bothers me about the place is that the menus (both food and cocktails) never change. As far as I can tell, they have had the same menu since the first time I was there 2 years ago. I hope they will start making the changes they referred to on that card!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I always like Oya and find it to be a great go-to for a meal after a basketball game. However, the one thing that bothers me about the place is that the menus (both food and cocktails) never change. As far as I can tell, they have had the same menu since the first time I was there 2 years ago. I hope they will start making the changes they referred to on that card!

I could have misunderstood the card. It said between this month X and month Y - spring price fix menu, then different months - fall price fix menu. I would assume that means changes, but I could be wrong.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If anyone is interested in trying the best fried chicken sandwich in DC, go to Oya and get the Tempura Chicken Sandwich. I know, I wouldn't believe me either, but this is a huge portion of lightly fried chicken (the tempura reminds me a lot of the batter on the fish at Eamonn's) on very good toasted brioche with thinly sliced tomatoes and thai chili aioli. Unfortunately, the fries and salad it comes with are just OK, but I hardly noticed while I happily devoured my sandwich.

If they could get a floor manager to figure out how to fix the service (which is still awful), this place would be harder not to go back to.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oya makes the best Chilean sea bass in the east coast. Other then that....I think the food is not all it is cracked up to be and overpriced. Their wine list is also rather limited and the servers are also a little too snotty for me. However, the bartenders are quite nice and pleasant. With all that said, I will go back and get the Chilean sea bass along with a shot of tequila anyday ;) .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had dinner here with friends this past Friday night. It was pretty busy and loud. We all ordered off the special 3 course menu for $28, which we thought was a pretty good deal. Their website says the special menu will be available until December. The portions were on the smaller side, but the amount of food was fine with me.

I started with the fried calamari appetizer, which was a small serving presented nicely in a mini fry basket. It came with sweet chili sauce. The batter coating looked very pale so I thought it wouldn't be crispy enough but it was actually pretty good.

For the main, I had the scallops (it came with two scallops as mentioned above) with hen of the woods mushrooms and pad thai. I liked the scallops. I wasn't as fond of the pad thai noodles. They tasted like buttered noodles and needed salt. There wasn't any salt at the table so I made do with soy sauce.

For dessert, I had the banana bread pudding with rum raisin ice cream and caramelized bananas. I had the same impression of this dessert as New Foodie:

The rum raisin ice cream that came on top was a little too overwhelmingly rum-tasting for me, but the pudding itself and the caramelized bananas alongside it were warm, gooey and delicious.

And looking back through this thread, it looks like the scallops and banana bread pudding have been on the menu for quite a while.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For the main, I had the scallops (it came with two scallops as mentioned above) with hen of the woods mushrooms and pad thai.

Funny, for all this talk about two scallops, I was served three at lunch today. I really enjoyed the hen-of-the-woods mushrooms and the truffle jus. The pad thai noodles were less memorable, but an ample portion nonetheless.

The tuna tempura roll to start was really the highlight of the meal. Slightly crispy exterior. Marvelously plated with an intricate pattern formed with the different colors of the seven pepper sauce. It looked a bit like the flag of Japan might look after ingesting some powerful intoxicants. The pepper sauce was hot and flavorful, but never turned overpowering. This was a good sized roll bias sliced into 7 or 8 pieces. I would most definitely order this again.

The sorbet dessert was, well..... sorbet, but that's what I wanted.

The service was flawless and unobtrusive, save for a minor soda mix-up handled with good humor. I liked the fact that when get your glass of iced tea, you also get a half-carafe of iced tea you can use to replenish it yourself. This means no multiple half-pours of iced tea by the waiiter throughout the meal, which I sometimes find annoying.

The $19 prix fixe 3 course lunch allows you to select anything on the menu. Considering what I got, I thought this was quite a bargain.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ohh, I guess that was directed at me.

It's been quite a while and the details are a bit fuzzy. The thing I remember most was the look and feel of the place which seemed like a throwback to another time and place. Think "Scarface" when Pacino was riding high.

We ended up getting sushi and sashimi only which was good but I don't remember many other details. I do remember the sashimi was thick and square. It sort of looked like little tiles. Very tasty though

It was all sort of confusing with the regular menu being mostly "non-Asian" and the sushi/sashimi menu being (obviously) full on Asian. Combine that with the look of the place and it was like the place was designed and built by committee, but none the committee members ever talked to each other!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Landlord Sues Boe Restaurant for More than $250,000 in Unpaid Rent" by Jessica Sidman on washingtonian.com

"Boe is on pause" - that's rich; menopause is more like it.

Bull testicles with blue cheese dressing isn't something I've ever thought of calling "comfort food" in the past.

I miss that frosty-white lounge - it was one of the most striking places in the city, and I thought the look and feel worked very well.

It's mildly interesting that both Boe and Del Campo have a 777 address (the former on 9th St., the latter on I St.).

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...