26 Comment

  • worst vegetarian pho on earth. that will be my enduring memory of tenpenh.

    • Odd considering the place is neither Vietnamese nor vegetarian.

      • +1

        It’s like when people complain that the local steak house served the worst fish ever…duh!

        • Why do restaurants have items on their menus that they can’t execute properly?
          If you put it on your menu, I reserve the right to order it and then bitch about it when it sucks. I don’t think I should have to research the origin of dishes, or study the restaurateur’s “philosophy” before ordering.

          • Why does EVERY restaurant offer a grilled chicken caesar salad? Because customers insist on ordering it regardless of the ethnicity or style of restaurant. Also, it’s f**king cheap.

            Conversely, why do people insist on dragging vegetarians to steakhouses knowing full well that there’s nothing there for them to eat?

          • Chicken ceasar salad is pretty hard to screw up though, whereas pho requires a bit of specialized knowledge and skill.

            One thing that drives me up a wall is when people ask me how I can be Italian and not like ceasar salad!!

      • Hey Monkey, remember when their head chef “banned” you from TenPenh back in 2001 because he thought you insulted his girlfriend? Good times, and good riddance.

  • That really sucks. I love Tenpenh.

  • If it’s the same landlords as Les Halles it will be empty for awhile.

    • Has anyone else heard the rumor about Ray’s the Steaks opening a location in the old Les Halles?

      No matter what the restaurant, it’s shocking that any restaurant space on that part of Penn should be empty. Not only because of sizeable lunch/expense account crowds, but have you ever seen the outside seating at Elephant and Castle on spring and summer weekends? They do an incredible tourist business through their proximity to the mall.

      • As an EPA employee, I’d kill for a Hellburger at lunch. E&C’s food is terrible. Great beer selection though.

    • ah

      I always wonder if landlords start kicking themselves after a place is vacant for 2 years (or more). Surely the rent increment they were fighting over won’t pay for the 2 years of rent at $0. (Although Les Halles may have been ready to close up shop anyway).

  • That’s too bad. I work across the street and liked going over there for lunch.

  • Wow…was the food/service to blame? Or is the economy just really bad for restaurants?

    • I’d wager it’s mostly landlords upping rents while tenant revenues stay flat. That’s why places like Les Halles and John Harvard’s have been vacant since forever.

      • Property owners on that stretch of Pennsylvania probably think they should charge rents worthy of Penn Quarter. Tenants probably argue that the area is nowhere near that busy. 10th and Penn is a ghost town after 9pm, save for some hotel guests and Central diners.

        • Agreed on the rent. To survive, it has to be a good enough restaurant to qualify as a destination in an of itself, similar to Palena or Central. In other words, it has to be very well regarded and high end. Lobbyists could take care of the lunch crowd but they’d need a steady stream of business from all around the district to make it.

  • You know what would go great in that space? Gourmet burgers. That or Spike Mendelsohn’s new Nathaniel Hawthorne themed cafe, “Cappuccino’s Daughter.”

  • Space can be divided into three brand new Potbelly’s.

  • I really like the Pho there and thought it was a lot less greasy and the broth more flavorful than other Pho’s I have tried in the area.

    Bear in mind I live in Reston so I’m a bland suburban dickwad whose opinions don’t count or matter.

  • I can only imagine the monthly rent on that location. I’m sure the landlord was trying to squeeze blood from a rock.

    DC Coast, a sister restaurant, was serving the same lobster with crispy spinach during restaurant week. Very tasty. Sorry to see TenPenh go – hopefully something equally as good (or better) will take its place.

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