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Tom Sietsema Absolutely Destroys The Wharf’s La Vie in Rare No-Stars Review

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It’s The Washington Post food critic’s first “poor” rating in years

La Vie/Facebook

To say The Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema doesn’t like La Vie — the latest restaurant Social Restaurant Group opened at The Wharf last month — would be an understatement.

Sietsema gave the waterfront Mediterranean newcomer a “poor” review (no stars out of four) on Wednesday, August 29 — marking the critic’s first zero-star review since his epic summer slam of downtown’s Founding Farmers two years ago.

His distaste for the new 10,000-square-foot Wharf eatery is evident from the start, with a blunt headline that reads: “La Vie on the Wharf is so bad I’m only writing about it as a warning.”

Sietsema first rips into the interior design, calling it “someone’s idea of a classy-with-a-k.” And “combine Las Vegas with a Carnival cruise, and you have an idea of what to expect,” he writes.

The service also fails to impress the critic. According to his dining diary, servers asked bewildered diners about the order in which they wanted their meals — unsure about whether the starter should come first — and failed to read the table, interrupting conversations to see how the meal was going.

It gets worse from there. The ceviche appeared at the table seemingly fully cooked — and so dry, reports Sietsema, that it “seems to be auditioning for the role of a space meal. (Just add water.)” Basics like Caesar salad and broiled oysters weren’t safe, with the former garnished with what he coins “industrial grated cheese.” The critic also rips into the “dense and sludgy” risotto and sorry desserts. Even the wine list is a disappointment — too pricey and too short, he notes.

Sietsema’s final words are rough:

And you’d better have something in the fridge at home, because the likelihood of your joining the Clean Plate Club here is as good as Omarosa Manigault Newman getting invited to a Christmas party at the White House.

He penned similar sentiments about downtown’s Founding Farmers two years ago, saying “the temptation to finish an order is zero.”

Social Restaurant Group most recently made headlines for securing Chef Nobu Yamazaki to helm their forthcoming Wharf sushi restaurant Tabu.

La Vie

88 District Square Southwest, , DC 20024 (202) 560-5501 Visit Website