Sunday, July 19, 2009

Ulah Bistro -- U Street

Liza and I have noticed that President Obama has been an occasional diner in the Washington, D.C., area since his arrival in our Nation's Capital last year. According to The Washington Post, our illustrious President has dined at Five Guys in Alexandria, Ray's Hellburger in Arlington and the posh Citronelle in Georgetown.

What? No pizza?

What's up, Barack?

It has also been noted that President Obama has visited Ben's Chili Bowl on U Street. Ben's is a D.C. landmark, of course, and the place seems to have a lot of character. Reminds me of a neighborhood diner where all the locals gather. There is always a lot of hustle and bustle outside Ben's Chili Bowl--a lot of people just hanging out, perhaps because it's open until 4 a.m. on weekend nights.

Ben's does not serve pizza, though.

Across the street from Ben's is Ulah Bistro, a hip bar and lounge. It is a two-story restaurant, plus it has an outdoors seating area which blocks the front door of a bank. (Not sure how the bank feels about that.)

Liza and I were guided to the upstairs and we sat at a window table, overlooking U Street and Ben's. There were some comfy-looking couches across from our table, adding to the trendiness of Ulah. Perhaps I could take a nap after my meal...

Of course, Ulah's menu is eclectic, featuring a variety of salads, seafoods, burgers and steaks. And pizza. Ulah has a wood-fired oven and the restaurant offers all of the traditional pizzas, plus a Ulah special that adds crab meat.

I wasn't that hungry on this evening, so I let Liza do the ordering. She selected a watermelon salad and a margherita pizza. (Liza always orders a margherita.) The watermelon salad was interesting--the combination of watermelon, cherry tomatoes and feta cheese had an odd flavor.

The pizza was a good size for two and it was literally dripping with cheese. The ingredients were fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

At some point, the Ulah chefs must have poured a load of salt on the pizza, because there was a definite taste of saltiness to it. I could live with it, but this upset Liza's sensitive tummy.

I thought the crust was outstanding--among the best that I've had so far in D.C. It was soft and chewy, just how I like it. I had promised myself just one slice, but I had a second slice just to confirm the quality of the crust.

I ate tooooooo much, though. The couch beckoned.

Overall, I thought the pizza was decent quality, although I agree it was very salty. Unfortunately, Liza couldn't get past the saltiness.

Gary's Rating: 3 stars
Liza's Rating: 2 stars

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