Jandara Closing in Woodley Park to be Replaced by District Kitchen in October

Tom Sietsema broke the news yesterday:

“A little more than a year after he left Mendocino Grille & Wine Bar in Georgetown to pursue a place of his own, chef Drew Trautmann has secured a 75-seat property at 2606 Connecticut Ave. NW. Trautmann plans to convert the Thai-flavored Jandara into the American-themed District Kitchen in October.

The chef had hopes of opening on the Hill, where he lives, but says that his spot in Woodley Park offers several advantages: two major hotels nearby, lots of foot traffic and a Metro stop.”

I spoke with the owner of Jandara who said that he’d try to stay open for 2-3 more weeks. I asked him if he planned on reopening elsewhere in DC and while he said it was possible, he’s gonna take a breather. He also said if he does reopen that it would likely be in Virginia or Maryland. Anyone gonna miss Jandara?

Jandara is located at 2606 Connecticut Ave, NW right next to the recently opened Italian Pizza Kitchen.

20 Comment

  • Good riddance to Jandara. It was okay, but I was underwhelmed the few times I had been there.

    Don’t know what to think about this guy, since I’ve never heard of him, but he sounds reputable. Maybe he’ll be legit competition to Open City now? The competition could be good– Open City’s due for a menu change/quality-upgrade

  • I won’t miss Jandara. I ate there once and it was pretty meh. I remember the food being fine but the whole place is stuck in the early 90s. It was kind of odd.

  • Jandara is yet another place around there that was once good, but has gone downhill in recent years.

  • Glad to see Jandara closing up shop. Yuk is about the best thing I can say about it.

    Hope the new place is successful!

  • Jandara was so-so. Exciting to see a potentially not terrible restaurant open in my neighborhood.

  • I read somewhere (on DCist maybe?) that the concept for this place would be similar to the Restaurant Woodberry Kitchen in the Hampden area of Baltimore. If that is the case…then I am officially jealous of Woodley Park.

  • This is very good news for Woodley Park.

    Siestema’s comment that Jandara offers “Thai-flavored” food was probably intended as a slight, but it doesn’t go far enough. For a place that advertises “Real Thai Cuisine”, they’ve served a ton of overcooked egg noodles in watery ketchup to tourists.

    Glad something else is taking over that spot.

  • Sounds like a fabulous addition to the neighborhood. It’s great to see some of the mediocre places being replaces by something better.

  • Sounds like a fabulous addition to the neighborhood. It’s great to see some of the mediocre places being replaced by something better.

  • Wow. I truly loved having a Thai place nearby. I’m a bit stunned by the reviews. Their PadThai was really nice and the prices were very reasonable. I didn’t mind the dated decore at all and I loved the option of indoor/outdoor seating. I will miss it.

    • Siam House in Cleveland Park delivers very good Thai food to the Woodley Park area. I’ve been getting food from them since I dropped Jandara.

    • Just go up to/order from Siam House or Paragon Thai in cleveland park. I’ve been happy with both.

  • It is about time that the restaurants in my neighborhood get upgraded. I always loved Mendocino Grill so I can only hope that this will be as good. Just because there is a lot of hotel traffic doesn’t mean that the neighborhood won’t support an excellent restaurant. Right now, residents go to Cleveland Park or Dupont Circle to get good food. Maybe we will now be able to stay closer to home.

    • Not all residents go to Cleveland Park or Dupont Circle. We were big fans of the recently-departed IPOH and were very, very sorry to see it go. I distinctly recent the increased traffic that the replacement Japanese restaurant gets. It’s not a bad Japanese place but DC – not to mention Woodley Park – is not short of Japanese restaurants, whereas IPOH was one of a kind.

  • I live around the corner and welcome a decent restaurant alternative in Woodley. Too many of the places in this neighborhood serve poor-to-mediocre fare, with the understanding that the foot traffic for the hotels and zoo will carry them, regardless of what they serve. Three crappy-indian-restaurants-owned-by-the-same-folks (now 2 plus 1 crappy italian), I’m looking at you.

    Jandara was no different and no better. One funny anecdote I will share: after the bag tax went into effect, the owner charged me $.05 tax for a take-out bag, and then tried to charge me $.01 sales tax on the bag tax. When I complained, he absolutely refused to take off the sales tax. I demanded his name to report him to DC authorities and he adamantly refused to give it to me.

    I’ve always wondered if this guy actually surrenders the 1 penny extra he charges on bags to the District, and if not, if his conduct represents some kind of (tiny) fraud.

    In any event, good riddance to Jandara.

    • A shouting match and threats of reporting him to the authorities, over $0.01? Sounds like a Seinfeld episode.

  • Wow, the rats will miss Jandara. The last time I was there at least two years ago a couple of them came right out of the restaurant to the patio where we were sitting. And that was the end of my Jandara days. I hope the people behind the new place will think about rodent control before they set up shop.

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