I finally made it to this hyped up retail/restaurant place on Washington, D.C.’s H Street neighborhood. I came here Saturday night with a friend (probably not the best time if you want to grab a table.) The first thing I noticed was that Maketto was bigger than I thought. The space continued further inwards than the eye can see and there’s actually plenty of space in the main dining room, so it was a bit surprising to find that the wait time was an hour and a half to two hours for a party of two. My friend and I put our name regardless since we did seek out the place and headed upstairs to check out the bar and café scene.
(Little) Rant: The Atmosphere in Maketto
This is more of a personal preference really but the place is way too loud for my liking, especially if I am to sit down for dinner. It might not be like that on other days, but when I do return here (and I will), it’ll likely be on a weeknight and not on Saturday night.
Rave: Beef Bowl at the Snack Bar
I was starving by the time we arrived, so I knew the moment that the hostess told me how long the wait was, I was going to order whatever looked appetizing from the snack bar. Thankfully, the menu included a few decent real food selections including their popular bao so I got an order of it and a beef bowl. Those two items were more than enough to fill my hungry stomach. I suddenly understood why the guy who took my order gave me a confused look when I placed two orders of bao (one for my friend) and a beef bowl. “Two comes in an order,” he said.
The beef bowl was a decent size. It had equal amounts of rice and ground beef sautéed with what looked like ample amount of chili flakes and topped with a fried egg. To counter the spice and the salt, it also included bits of pickled cabbage. The beef had a good flavor, not too salty, though a little spicy for my taste. The rice was cooked well and the fried egg made for a nice coating. The texture and mixture of items reminded me of the bowls of rice and egg I used to eat as a child. The price is reasonable too, costing me a mere $10 for one order. The only thing I would suggest to make this dish even better is to add a few more pickled cabbage pieces. Other than that, I enjoyed this “snack bar” item and will not hesitate to order it again if sitting at the main dining room is unavailable once more.
We came here hoping to order from their dinner menu but as luck had it, we ended up trying their snack bar items instead. Despite having to miss the main menu and barely experiencing all that the place has to offer, I would still attest that Maketto is worth the hype it’s getting. I’ve already established that I will be back here sometime even before I left the restaurant that night, though unsure of when. The only thing I know for sure is that it won’t be on a Saturday night.