Chaia owners Suzanne Simon and Bettina Stern are heating up the comal today at 3207 Grace St. NW. The fast casual restaurant, specializing in vegetarian tacos, originally began as a stand at the Dupont Circle farmers market. It quickly gained an enthusiastic following.
Fans will still be able to watch as the fresh tortillas are pressed and cooked to order on the comal, a Mexican griddle of sorts. They'll also find old taco favorites like mushroom, garlicky greens and creamy kale and potato. The owners are also adding two more filling options that will change regularly— crispy brussels sprouts or Moroccan carrots with goat cheese are on the opening menu.
Custom cilantro-lime jalapeños by Gordy's Pickle Jar are available as a spicy garnish. Sides, which will also change regularly, include beets and quinoa, green rice and black beans. Free-range eggs will be available only on weekends for now.
The restaurant is housed in an old Georgetown carriage house. The light and airy interior, designed by Simon and Stern themselves, incorporates modern touches with the structure's historic elements like exposed brick walls, original ceiling beams and prison windows. The entire space (upstairs and downstairs) is 1,400 square feet and seats about 27 guests.
Diners will notice there are no containers for trash or recycling— just compost. In fact, all the waste created at Chaia is compostable. Save for tea and coffee, all the other drinks (including wines, local beers, cold-pressed juices and seasonal shrubs) are served on tap to prevent waste. Status: Open today. 207 Grace St. NW; website.