I really like Masai Mora–the new Kenyan/Tanzanian place that opened up on Georgia between Kennedy and Jefferson. I’d never had Kenyan food before and wanted to try it, but was a little nervous the flavors would seem too unfamiliar the first time to be appealing. I asked them for recommendations. I’m usually a slow eater, but there wasn’t a speck of food left on my plate after maybe 5 minutes (and I’m a vegetarian). My husband really liked what he ordered too. Also, the people who work there are super nice.
If you want good stuff to go, I like Healthy Eats. Think they’ve been trying to get a little counter in there so one or two people can sit and eat for practically a year, but the DC govt has been horribly unhelpful and resistant. (Why are they so darn difficult over silly things with small businesses? I digress…) But that’s probably not the type of proper sitdown restaurant you’re thinking of.
I’m also a fan of Taqueria Distrito Federal 2 on Kennedy. The decor is definitely lacking, but the food is great if you want good authentic Mexican food.
Also, there’s supposed to be a place opening on 14th & Kennedy in the old cleaners with all the big windows, perfect for a restaurant or cafe. Hat Check Shop. I wish they’d work a little faster. Fingers crossed!