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Ocopa Is Tops on H Street, Tom Sietsema Says

This week, the critics review DC Harvest, Bread Feast at Bread Furst, Pop's SeaBar, Yayla Bistro and more.

Adele Chapin/Eater DC

The Washington Post's Tom Sietsema files another double review, this time focusing on two new H Street restaurants. First up, the health-conscious DC Harvest, which earns 1.5 stars and a review that points out the restaurant's inconsistencies. "DC Harvest has its heart in the right place. The newcomer just needs to be more consistent about pleasing the palate," Sietsema says.

On the other hand, Peruvian restaurant Ocopa gets a rave and a 2.5 star review:

Dish after dish suggests Ocopa may be the best thing playing on H Street right now. Among the cold appetizers is chifa de atun, scarlet bites of raw tuna hidden under puffed black rice, strands of pickled daikon and snowlike sesame powder in (ha!) a small tuna can. From the grill come little skewers of winey lamb and beef showered with minced chives and fried sweet potato threads for color and crunch. Munch, munch, gone. [WaPo]

Sietsema also makes it out to the opening dinner for Bread Feast at Bread Furst, a weekly dinner from Frank Ruta and Aggie Chin, formerly of Palena, and Bread Furst's Mark Furstenberg. It seems to somewhat fill the hole left in Sietsema's heart from Palena's closure.

Ultimately, the first Feast yielded more to praise than to pick on. A second-course bread bowl hiding grilled peppers, mushrooms, a sunny egg and tomato sauce was as good for the wrap as the filling; and winy stuffed veal breast was presented with bite-size pastries piped with Yukon Gold potatoes and aged Gouda cheese — gougeres of distinction. Our eyes popped again when Chin’s dessert was introduced: plump apples on a veneer of buckwheat crust displayed on a pale green raised cake stand. Martha Stewart, move over. [WaPo]

Washingtonian magazine's Ann Limpert appreciates Pop SeaBar's fried food, lack of pretension and that crazy ice cream luge.

The paper-placemat menu is unapologetically straightforward and short—the same plastic cup of spicy aïoli comes with every order of fried stuff, and there are no cheffy riffs or dishes in quotation marks. That’s all the more surprising given that Pop’s is run by Justin Abad and John Manolatos, who also own the more ambitious Modern American restaurant Cashion’s Eat Place next door. It’s refreshing, too—a good, basic basket of fried calamari ($9.50) or popcorn chicken ($8.99) can be oddly hard to find. [Washingtonian]

Stefanie Gans of Northern Virginia magazine calls out the lahmacun at Yayla Bistro in Arlington:

There is life beyond cheese and its name is lahmacun. A crisp flatbread topped with ground beef and lamb, onions and garlic—and enough red pepper flakes to let heat swirl around your mouth—doesn’t need a layer of suffocating mozzarella to complete it. [Northern Virginia]

And Bethesda magazine's Carole Sugarman evaluates three places to eat in Kensington: Frankly Pizza, Sub*Urban Trading Co. and K Town Bistro.

THE BLOGS: Whoa, Bitches Who Brunch give a D to brunch at Penn Commons...Girl Meets Food gets lunch and yogurt at GRK...The Pasta Man tries Tsunami Sushi's traditional Thai menu...DC Wrapped Dates gives two out of five stars for food to Agua 301.