“Raise the Roof In the Rain Forest at El Techo’s Seasonal Pop-Up, Selva”

606 Florida Ave, NW courtesy El Techo

From a press release:

“El Techo is Making it Rain Latin Fare, Crave-worthy Cocktails,and Vacation Vibes at Its Rain forest-Inspired Winter Pop-up, Selva

8-hour smoked brisket tacos, breakfast nachos, and spiked jarritos served in a skull can all be spotted at Selva, El Techo’s seasonal popup for a cause

When owner Louie Hankins dreamed up El Techo, he did so with his time living and working on the tropical beaches of Ibiza in mind. Through his inspiration, Shaw’s  “adult tree house” was born, bringing with it wanderlust- worthy cocktails, Latin fare, and most importantly, vacation vibes.

After transforming El Techo into a flower-studded oasis last winter, Hankins knew he add to up the ante this year. Reflecting on the “adult tree house” moniker and his desire to transport Washingtonians somewhere tropical during the winter months, there was only one answer: the rain forest. This winter, Hankins and the team behind El Techo give you Selva, a winter pop-up inspired by all things Amazonia.

With the winter pop-up comes an upgraded roof, special dinner, cocktail, and brunch menus, and a philanthropic perk. A portion of the proceeds from Selva will be donated to the Amazon Conservation Team and other worldwide organizations dedicated to preserving and protecting the rain forest.


The most important part of any tropical escape is, of course, warm weather. While last winter’s roof brought the heat, Selva’s rooftop respite is hot fire. Hankins and the El Techo team raised the winter rooftop game with an insulated floor and poly-carbonate walls to keep the heat in throughout the cold weather months. The newly walled-in space increased the capacity of the roof, adding 12 seats to the dining area. To complete the rain forest revamp, the communal dining area, previously open-air in the winter, is now covered so groups aren’t left out in the cold.

With the heated roof overhaul taken care of, Hankins turned his eye towards decor. Selva is studded with over 40 woven lanterns made from re-purposed fishing baskets sourced from a small fishing village an hour outside of Mexico City. To pair the rain forest motif with where guests find themselves in Washington, El Techo staff created a Mayan calendar wall mural with the original Rito Loco logo and Washington landmarks including the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial throughout.


At Selva, guests can enjoy an elevated menu to match the upgraded roof. Hankins started with a beloved menu staple, tacos, and added meat options with more intensive cooking methods, namely 8-hour smoked brisket and chicken made using a smoker housed out back. Also starring on the Selva menu is Pollo Pizolla, their answer to ramen or pho aka the ultimate hangover-busters, featuring chicken thighs and tender pizzola beans in a 24-hour chicken and red chile broth served with do-it-yourself toppings including queso fresco, radish, cilantro, cabbage, lime, and – last but definitely not least- chicharrones.

Knowing El Techo is a dream gathering place for groups, Hankins added the Cast Iron Skillet Latin American Stir Fry with filet tips, smoked brisket, shrimp, chicken, peppers, onions, and yucca, all with a side of rice and tortillas to join their signature Seafood Paella as items ideal for sharing. Brunch brings new menu items as well including the A.M. Nachos with flour tortilla chips piled high with chicken, pico de gallo, cilantro, sunny side up eggs, and Chef Alex’s secret sauce. Other standout brunch items include the Tostado Tower with fresh guacamole sandwiched between two crispy corn tortillas and topped with refried beans, pico de gallo, ranchero sauce, and queso fresco and a Latin-twist on Shrimp and Grits with shrimp, cheesy jalapeno grits, and spicy andouille sausage gravy.

Selva sweetens the brunch deal with bottomless Tecates, Blood Marys, mimosas, or El Techo margaritas for $40 or $25 with the purchase of an entree. The lucky largest brunch crew seated by 2 PM will get their bottomless brunch offer extended until 5 PM.


The cocktail menu at Selva got kicked up a couple notches with a lineup of hot cocktails to keep guests warm in winter including the Hot & Boozy with Ilegal Mezcal or Gran Agave Tequila, house made hot chocolate, whipped cream, and fragrant cinnamon and La Havana featuring Bacardi 4 Year Anejo Rum, anis, cloves, apple, cinnamon, honey, and black tea. Additional cocktails joining El Techo’s staple roster of margaritas include the Caipiroska with vodka, Asian pear, lime, and cinnamon (complete with a cinnamon stick that is set to smoke upon delivery), the El Diablo made with Casa Noble Tequila, cointreau, cranberry syrup, fresh pineapple, spicy habanero, lime, and a sugar rim and the El Ladron de la Noche with Old Overholt Whiskey, honey, averna, fresh lime, and chipotle syrup.

Groups of guests will be in great spirits thanks to the Spiked Jarritos featuring the cult-favorite Mexican soft drink spiked with Gran Agave and cointreau and finished off with hibiscus and lime. The shareable cocktail ($40) is served communal style, fit for five and arriving in a skull complete with a tap to easily serve yourself and your crew.”

606 Florida Ave, NW

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