• Buddha Bar, a swank Asian-fusion restaurant/lounge near the Washington Convention Center, has a new executive chef, says the Washington Business Journal's Missy Frederick. Simon Volante has worked in DC at the Willard Room and the late Jeffrey’s at the Watergate. Most recently, Volante cooked at the Red Restaurant & Bar in Los Angeles, in the Pacific Palms Hotel & Conference Center. There, the menu was a mash-up of Asian cuisine (duck-confit spring rolls), poolside fare (turkey club), and high-end pub grub (Kobe burger with truffle fries).
• Missy Frederick also tells us that Fuel Pizza, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, has signed two leases in DC: at 600 F Street, Northwest, and 1606 K Street, Northwest. Owned by a New York-based company, Fuel has 11 locations in Charlotte, and the menu—the slices channel the big floppy ones from the Big Apple—shows pizzas piled high with toppings: the Buffalo chicken has celery, carrots, cilantro, mozzarella, and cheddar; and the “extreme fuel” has pepperoni, sausage, meatballs, ham, and ground beef. Fuel is the latest in a string of pizza companies that have signed leases in DC; we heard about Mellow Mushroom and Naked Pizza last week.
• In more pizza news, Pasha Bistro on DC’s 17th Street, Northwest, between P and Q, closed Monday and is reopening March 1, under the same ownership, as Pizza No. 17.
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