Notes From the Field: Farrah Olivia

Our critics give new restaurants a quick look and report back with their first impressions.

Morou Ouattara might have his name attached to Kora, the Crystal City restaurant he runs with his brother (its tagline is “Italian by Morou”), but there has been little evidence of the hyper-modern chef amid the calzones and meatballs—until now. Farrah Olivia, the Old Town restaurant where Ouattara experimented with mint pearls and bacon powder until it closed in 2009, has been resurrected pop-up style in Kora’s purple-draped back dining room. On a recent visit we fell hardest for the dishes we fondly remembered: tender squares of barely cooked “shocked” tuna with pickled apples and caviar-like orbs of kalamata olive; a sculptural steak tartare spiced with Ethiopian berbere powder; and two tiny lamb chops paired with plantains and white-mint pearls.

Farrah Olivia, 2250-B Crystal Dr., Arlington; 571-431-7090.


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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.