Judging Restaurants


I super curious to know what folks think about Tabaq located at 1336 U Street, NW. I’ve only been for drinks but I hear the food is supposed to pretty good. So any fans out there?

21 Comment

  • I love the space on the top floor. I have found the food to be pretty good if not amazing. It’s a fun brunch spot.

  • Isn’t tabaq an arabic word for tobacco?

  • I thought the manager was a dick.

  • I hope they serve tomacco. I can’t get enough of the stuff.

  • Waitstaff sucks. Happy hour martinis are 2 for 1 though. Problem is martinis are 10 dollars.

  • If you enjoy slug-slow service, hostile management, high prices, über-high-decibel atmosphere and mediocre food, by all means – go! Go quickly! Tabaq gets 5 stars in all categories. You can’t do worse in DC, in my experience. Which is too bad because the rooftop is so conceptually seductive that I have made the mistake of giving them another chance every few years. Big mistake. After the last disaster on my husband’s birthday in Aug. 2008, I’ve gone cold turkey – for good this time.

  • Why is service in DC so uneven?

    Be it restaurants, CVS, or city government, some days it’s adequate, and other days….

  • The top floor is a beautiful space, unquestionably. I ate dinner here only once, and wasn’t that impressed, but not turned off either (it was my birthday, so maybe my standards were a bit high). I haven’t returned since for food, just because there are other better options that I’d rather eat at. I think it’s a great place to get drinks though, especially when on a date.

  • the problem with any mediteranean tapas place is that the food will be compared to zaytinya, and it will fail to measure up, rendering the other tapas place useless.

    sad fact.

    i agree thatt the roof of tabaq is amazing and the brunch here is good if you are not in a rush, but if you want this kind of tapas you should head to zaytinya.

  • The food is nothing special– yet more “mediterranean tapas”. How much hummus and greasy braised lamb can one city consume??

    And the enclosed roofdeck is beautiful, but uncomfortable. It gets insanely loud, it’s hard to regulate the temperature, and the lighting is insufficient after dark. (I’m not even old and squinty.) I hadn’t even remembered the bad service til others here mentioned it, but that was my experience as well.

    In short, I will not return. There are much better places to spend your eating-out budget.

  • In their defense, I’d heard they were good for large parties, and they are — I booked my sister’s bachelorette party dinner there (don’t worry, we were only mildly obnoxious at that point) and they were super-accommodating – we ended up with a different number in our party than we anticipated, and they were fine with it, we had great service on our own floor (also smart – they knew it was a bach party, maybe kept the floor ours on purpose? Granted, it was a late dinner, 9ish, so it may have just been a fluke), and the whole staff helped my sister with her scavenger hunt. The food and the price were both reasonably unremarkable – enjoyable and reasonable enough that no one left with a good-grief-that-was-expensive feeling.

  • I like Tabaq a lot (all turkish places, really). They took a lot of flack when they opened because they had a weird dress code (sometimes no jeans), but they’ve since dropped that, although a lot of people were so turned off they still refuse to go there. The cigar boreks are very good there. I think they used to own Meze on 18th street, and I think the taste/quality is similiar. Zatinya is good too, but sometimes the volume (noise volume/customer volume/volume and quality of food put out by the kitchen) is a little overwhelming and I wouldn’t consider it superior to any other place.

  • Tabaq is one of my favorite places to go for brunch. The food is pretty good and they have $3 bloody marys and mimosas! The best part is the setting. Dining on the rooftop is something you can’t find many places around here. It offers nice views of the city and tons of sunlight. Be sure to bring your sunglasses! Getting brunch here is a great way to start the weekend.

  • Good food. but way overpriced-not worth it.

  • @Anonymous – Tabaq is a stylized spelling of tabak, which means “dish” or “plate” in Turkish.

  • As someone who loves Turkey and Turkish food, I was excited when this place opened. about a month after it opened, I went with friends one hot summer night for dinner, and was refused entry because i was wearing sandals with the linen shirt and linen slacks i had on. um…it’s saturday evening, a Washington summer night, and you are going to turn diners away because they are wearing sandals? they lost me as a customer that night, and i have never been back.

  • I’ve been there for lunch, and the food was fine, not remarkable. We sat outside and it was very pleasant. I don’t remember the waitstaff being terrible though. I went for a weekend happy hour, and we sat at the bar, the service was great, two martinis for the price of one, and they were fantastic.

  • the food is average and overpriced.

  • … I couldn’t disagree more. The brunch on weekends, on the roof deck, is both delicious and inexpensive.

    One of our favourite places.

  • The service is terrible here. Overpriced and terrible food. Ours came out cold. This place is on my banned list.

  • Love Tabaq! It’s the best place in the city to take out of towners due to the gorgeous view. I’ve been probably a dozen times. I’ve never experienced bad service, I think the food is great, and I’ve also never felt like I dropped way too much money. I’m not all that judgy, but it definitely compares to Zaytinya in my mind in terms of quality, and then wins the tie based on location and ambiance.

Comments are closed.