It was raining, cold, and of course already getting dark, when I wondered over to Compass Rose, a restaurant most would miss if they didn’t know about it.
I arrived only to look around and think to myself, “Where the heck is this place?”
I saw a tent, peaked through it, walked around it and asked the people sitting down and taking photos, “Is this Compass Rose?” The man standing on the other side happened to be the manager. He replied, “Yes it is but we are currently closed for an event.” I expressed my disappointment considering how I was looking forward to trying many of the items on the menu. He quipped, “Come back another time and a drink is on us.” I texted Justin to let him know we needed to search for another restaurant.
Weeks later, I returned to this eclectic, exposed-brick restaurant. True to their word, Compass Rose honored the drink offer, which I offered to my friend Josh. He ordered the Elixer of Quietude, an Edinburgh Seaside Gin with a house-made falernum. I liked it and so did Josh.
Located on T and 14th Streets NW, Compass Rose offers a menu that will transport you south to Mexico and Peru, east to Lebanon and Spain, west to Korea and Japan, and back to the good ol’ U.S. of A. I took out my passport and asked, “Will I need this?”
We traveled first to Hawaii to enjoy a tuna poke; it was one of the most authentic poke dishes I’ve tried, and I've tried many. Next we hopped over to Lebanon for a deliciously prepared hanger steak with cherry tomatoes and kuzbara (Arabic for cilantro). What a fun trip to the Middle East! We boarded our plane to the east Asian peninsula known as Korea. Here, Compass Rose disappointed. Although the marinated short ribs with scallion and sesame and a side of spicy napa cabbage were on top of my list to try, my taste buds were not thrilled. Luckily for Compass Rose their fried cauliflower, made with a Yemeni garlic paste knows as zhough and a condiment from toasted ground hulled sesame seeds known as tahini, made up for the disappointing trip to the Korean peninsula.
The energy and ambiance of the restaurant as well as the service was on point!
P.S. Compass Rose, will you accept this rose?
P.S. by Paulo is a food-critiquing site dedicated to bringing Washingtonians the best food D.C. has to offer through short & pithy reviews. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PSbyPaulo/ and Instagram @PSbyPaulo. Share it with your friends!
As a little boy I would repeatedly say, "A mí me gusta comer y dormir." "I like to eat and to sleep."