Navy Yard’s dining boom will continue next spring with the arrival of a counter-service Puerto Rican restaurant slinging rum cocktails and plenty of plantains.
According to a news release, La Famosa comes from Joancarlo Parkhurst, a 20-year D.C. resident who plans to bring the sights, tastes, and smells of his native Caribbean island to the Bower (1300 Fourth Street SE).
Dishes will include sorullitos de maiz (corn fritters), chillo frito (deep-fried snapper), and tripleta — a Puerto Rican sandwich made of ham, steak, and roasted pork. There will also be mofongo built with fried plantains and guisados, stews that Parkhurst used to cook alongside his grandmother as young boy.
“The food at La Famosa should be recognizable if you’ve had Puerto Rican food, but it’s not going to be strictly traditional. It’ll be an evolution of what that cuisine is,” he tells Washington City Paper.
Other anticipated arrivals en route to the buzzy neighborhood include Erik Bruner-Yang’s ABC Pony, Michael Rafidi’s Albi, and wine bar Maxwell Park. Two ramen shops are also coming: Daikaya Group’s Hatoba and Basebowl, from the team behind Reren Lamen & Bar in Chinatown.
La Famosa — which means “the Famous One” — is named after the Puerto Rican canning company Parkhurst’s family founded a century ago. It’s a big exporter of Coco López, a key ingredient in the piña colada. Naturally, piña coladas will be a big deal at La Famosa, along with other rum-forward drinks like a Rum Sour.
Caffeine will be an all-day event, using beans from Puerto Rico for coffee drinks. Fruity Caribbean ingredients will make their way into juices blended on-site.
Parkhurst previously helped Ruth’s Chris Steak House expand across the U.S. and to Dubai. Most recently, he was cooking at short-lived Lina’s Diner and Bar in Silver Spring, WCP reports.
GrizForm Design Architects’ vision calls for adding colored woods, exposed cement accents, and rustic materials throughout. The in-demand architect is having a busy year, also working on opening Oyster Oyster in Shaw and downtown’s massive Louisiana-style restaurant Dauphine’s.
Starting next month, La Famosa will preview dishes at events and pop-ups. The first is scheduled for the latest New Kitchens on the Block at Mess Hall on Sunday, October 20.