Judging Restaurants – Lost Society

Lost Society opened up back in June ’11 at the corner of 14th and U St, NW. You can see their menus here. So I’m curious what folks think of this spot all around. In addition to dinner has anyone checked it out for brunch? What do you think of it just as a spot to get a drink?

48 Comment

  • I was there on opening night for dinner and have been back twice for drinks on the rooftop. Whiile I fully realize that opening night there will be hiccups, I am just going to talk about the structure of dinner. Unless you have a booth there (which there are few) they will seat you in those awkward tables that are way too close to the bar. So it’s like you’re bumping elbows with people standing and shouting over the music while you have dinner. The food was decent but they severely undercooked all my friend’s steaks (I like mine rare so not a big deal to me).

    As for the rooftop, definitely a nice view. But very overpriced on the drinks (even for DC standards) and not enough booze in them. So a good place for a weeknight drink on the rooftop, but they need to decide what’s more important to them on the main level; dinner ambiance or drink ambiance. Because right now they can’t seem to do both simultaneously.

  • Their upstairs location and minuscule sign have led me to forget it exists at all. I haven’t heard anything good about it, though.

  • I brought a friend here for dinner to celebrate her birthday. I had a terrible experience, as I felt like the wait staff was trying to rush me out of the table almost as soon as I sat down. I ignored the pressure for the most part, but by the time we ordered dessert, the staff’s patience had worn out, and we were asked to get up and finish our meal in the lounge area. It’s pretty embarassing to be carring your plate of food and your drinks across the restaurant. We ate/drank the entire time we were at the table, so I wouldn’t consider us camping out. I wrote to management the next day about the experience and never received a reply. Now, I just go there for the occasional drink…no more dinner service for me. I’m disappointed, because I was so excited about this place.

    • why in the world would you EVER return after being treated like that?

      • To meet up with friends who like the decor. Plus, I’m lazy and don’t like walking too far for a drink. 🙂

        • but there’s so many other nice places in that area to go to for a drink…places that won’t subject you to such disservice.

          I’ve also heard that they charge a $25 per seat minimum – if each person doesn’t order $25 of food/drinks then the entire table gets charged a fee. Who does that??!

    • Oh my goodness, that is so tacky. Crossing this place off my list (not that it was very high on it anyways, does DC really need another steakhouse?).

    • That is tacky, insulting, rude and disgusting.

      Good to know to not go to a place that treats its customers like crap.

    • really? did you tip?

    • Really? A restaurant that makes you get up from the table and finish your meal elsewhere? That is absolutely unacceptable.

      Thanks for the warning – with plenty of other places to patronize in the area, why support this restaurant?

      After reading other reviews, I won’t be going there.

  • Like its sister establishment, Local 16, this is a nice bar that happens to bill itself as a restaurant. Ate here once and the food was pretty mediocre with heavy upselling from the waiter. Would go back for drinks but not for dinner.

  • I visited about a month after it opened and it was altogether uncomfortable. Many steps to climb, and the three places I tried to sit weren’t available (roof, and lounge area near main bar.) The rooftop bar only served mixed drinks, no special cocktails, and the bartender on the main floor didn’t know what Campari was. I don’t get the impression thought was put into customer experience, or the importance of a trained staff.

  • Their $5 foot longs are great.

  • I wanted toi like Lost Society, but unfortunately the food is just not good. I went twice for dinner and each time the food was bland. No matter what I ordered (steak, sides, risotto, sandwich), none of it had any flavor. Won’t go back.

  • i was excited to see this place take shape over the last few months. the area around 14th and U really needed some fresh development. but i have tried to have brunch there not once but twice and both times they have been closed. i doubt they will be open for long.

  • I was excited for this place to open, and followed them on twitter. Note to all: posting the exact same text every weekend (and never anything else) is not good twitter usage.

  • We ate here last night with a friend from out of town. We were excited to show him a cool place and there were tables available, but the experience was disappointing. The waitress was very nice and didn’t upsell us, so we didn’t have service issues like others mentioned, and there was no rush or crowds. The problem was the food. Entrees seemed reasonably priced but that’s because you only get a piece of fish – literally one spoonful or puree below it is supposed to be the accompaniment – which isn’t enough food. The fish was prepared well but tasted a bit fishy and we were still hungry when we left. I’d even pay $3 or $4 more per entree to get some decent sides on the plate but they need to make serious changes to the menu/servings.

    Won’t eat there again, only drinks.

  • been there for drinks and dinner, had a great time… the shrimp cocktail is served as a salad and quite nice…. the larger entree i had wasn’t so fantastic,… not bad at all, just not exceptional… but I’ve always had a good time here and will go back. very strange, however, that they tout brunch, but are closed on Sundays…. I mean, that is THE day for brunch, is it not? I’d brunch everyday if i could, just saying…..

  • Like an idiot, I ignored the negative reviews of the restaurants from friends and websites, and went there for my anniversary dinner. Pathetic service and extremely mediocre food–our entrees came out before our appetizer; they only had 5 bottles of wine on their red list and were out of one of them AND champagne, err prosecco. I should’ve known that I was in for a let down when there were very few people in the restaurant at 8:00 on a Saturday night.

    • A contrary view: I had a very nice dinner there and thought the atmosphere was great. I’d recommend it.

    • Went there with a lawyer friend of mine. The door staff did not let us in because they said my friend wasn’t dressed appropriately. I wrote the manager and did not get a response. Oh, we’re both black males. Just saying… Won’t be back.

      • Allison

        Oh dang, good to know– I avoid anywhere that has a dress code on principle! Not that I can’t dress to code, but I just find those places pretentious. Ensuring that customers will only have to look at other well-dressed customers does not give an establishment a justification to arbitrarily jack up the price of the mediocre food.

      • when we were there for dinner there were many, many african americans who all seemed to be having a great time. just saying.

      • Similar experience. Went on a Tuesday night- my boyfriend (Latino) and I were denied entrance b/c he was wearing flip flops. Went a few weeks later on a Saturday night (we were dressed up) and noticed that half of the men in there were wearing flip flops. The inconsistency is ridiculous.

  • Overpriced ok food and drinks. Although our server was nice, the service was terrible and the manager was rude and obnoxious. The rooftop view is awesome, but we all decided that we would not return. There are much better places in the neighborhood.

  • I had dinner here with friends last month. I thought the food was good; a bit pricey, but still good. The waitress was attentive and not pushy. We ate upstairs on enclosed patio; they crammed too many tables into the space leaving 6″ between my table and the patrons on either side. When someone had to get up it caused both parties to move their tables (with food and drink) to allow someone to squeeze by. I literally sat next to complete strangers on their first date. We joked that we crashed their date– it felt more like a communal table.

  • Yeesh.. Sounds like this place is pretty LOST when it comes to SOCIETY. (had to do it)

  • I would never go there–especially for “just drinks.” The place doesn’t even bother putting their beer selection on the website any longer, but at one point it included: Bud, Bud Lite, Miller Lite, Coors Lite, Peroni, and Blue Moon. I’m not looking for Churchkey or Meridian Pint in every restaurant in DC, but that’s just laughable and pathetic. Frankly, it makes me suspect of the entire menu and convinced they cheap out on everything if they can’t put together a menu with anything but the BMC lineup of fizzy yellow lagers, Blue Moon, and one of the shittiest imports out there.

  • They should open a Sid and Marty Krofft themed restaurant called Land of the Lost Society.

    • The place would seem like a good idea until the goddamn Sleestak waitress continually tries to upsell you on more appetizers.

  • Hmmm…kind of surprised at how negative the reviews are. They carded me just to get in the door. (I’m 40 years old). THe first time I went, on a Sunday night, it was dead and I loved the quiet experience. I think their steak sandwich is good, fries good, drinks good, and relatively cheap (I thought). We went back and it was closed inexplicably. Went back again and it was PACKED, weird bar scene, food was the same (I thought it was really good actually, but I just get the steak sandwich), but it was so loud I decided I would only go on Sunday nights when it’s dead. We went the next Sunday night and once again, inexplicably closed.

  • Seconded.

  • Wow – really negative reviews. I’ve been there twice and had positive experiences both times. For a steak place, I actually thought the prices were good. They were a little less than somewhere like Morton’s, but then again, you don’t get quite the Morton’s experience when dining here (due to the space limitations). Service had a few issues to be worked out, but most of it just had to do with the place being relatively new – nothing that was outright rude or that would actually make me angry.

    As far as the food goes, I thought it was delicious. Well cooked steak, good sauces. I really enjoyed the side dishes as well.

    I’ve also been to the rooftop for a drink and I think it’s pretty cool. Again, this is more a special occasion place, but I like it. I’m sorry to hear all the negative experiences people have had.

    • i think this place is awesome. fun crowd – diverse, attractive and international, just what dc is all about. the food is amazing. i had the tuna tartare as an app and the bone-in rib eye for my entree. dessert was the bread budding. if anyone on this blog has tried any of those dishes, they can not possibly be disappointed. the drinks are delicious – i ordered this strawberry basil number that i thoroughly enjoyed. the bar on the first floor is cozy and intimate. the bartenders are charming and attractive. it is a spot to see and be scene – it is not a place to go for a “quiet night”. as a single woman in the city, there need to be more places like lost.

  • Not sure I am all that surprised. Seemed like it was going to be a self-consciously “hip” place with a twee name that was only serving food as a bit of an afterthought to serving liquor.

  • Another two cents. I’ve noticed how this place constantly has websites/news organizations/blogs write about them and every single “celebrity” review has been nothing but outstanding which really makes me question the integrity of these reviews since it overwhelmingly is the opposite on yelp.

    Good for them for trying to market themselves, but I’m sure it leads to unrealistic reviews because the restaurant has full knowledge of this person coming in to write about them and thus they have the best service/ambiance/food.

    • Lots of negative reviews. I went there one time for brunch. I thought the food was very good. I could see that the layout was not really a true restaurant set up and that at night it must be more of a bar/nightclub. I hate that combo. Since I have a 15 month old boy, I never get out for dinner like I used to. Brunch with my wife and little boy there was awesome. I can definitely understand why the previous commenters have complained though. Our brunch service was outstanding though. No rush at all.

  • I have no comment on the food, but the staff is less than welcoming. Arriving with dinner reservations, my boyfriend and I requested a vacant two person table by the window. The hostess was adamant about not giving us the table by the window and guided us to cramped tables near the bar. Before we ordered, we excused ourselves & ventured to one of the numerous nearby restaurants with good food and service. I would never choose this place over: Saint Ex, Policy, Marvins, El Centro, Eatonville, or 1905.

  • orderedchaos

    I had two dramatically different experiences in one visit. We had a reservation but first went upstairs to the deck for a bit. Good initial impression with good outside space and a really interesting mix of guests — great people-watching (and flirting) opportunities. So we grabbed a high-top outside to get a drink.

    Then a server came up to us, stared at us for 2 long seconds, then petulantly said we might have to move at a moment’s notice because a group was coming in (mind you, no indication on the tables, and we were at a high-top by the bar). Then she wandered off, making sure to glare at us whenever she walked by.

    The bartender outside seemed completely distracted. I asked if they had any more bar stools, since it’s a big bar and had only 4 stools there with plenty of unused bar space. She looked at me like I’d asked if she liked poop. “No.” was her reply. Then she went back to… doing nothing.

    We almost walked out at that point, but decided to wander back to the 2nd level for dinner. I’m very glad we did — once seated (by a confused hostess) we had a wonderful evening. Our server was great: attentive, friendly, and more than willing to explain some of their more esoteric menu items. The food was delicious too… juicy steaks, tasty sides, and good portions.

    So my advice: avoid the upstairs unless you just want a quick drink, and even then maybe don’t bother. But the main level dining is well worth trying.

    • orderedchaos

      Caveat: The dining is worth a visit *early*. By the time we left it was mobbed, and as other commenters mentioned people are seated practically on top of each other. But getting there on the early side got us a comfortable non-cramped table.

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