An Early Look at Tortilla Coast Logan Circle

The new eatery aims for authentic Mexican, but serves up frozen margaritas and queso dip nonetheless.

Tortilla Coast’s new Logan Circle restaurant opens officially on Monday. Photographs by Erik Uecke

The official debut of Tortilla Coast, a 152-seat Mexican eatery perched on the corner of 15th and P streets, is Monday. But regular “soft opening” (i.e., practice) service is in effect through Saturday, meaning a Tequila Sunrise and huevos rancheros could be yours for brunch this weekend.

You may recognize the restaurant from its Tex-Mex sister on Capitol Hill (the local Cafe Deluxe chain is owned by the same family, too). But the aim here is to offer more authentic Mexican food to the Logan Circle crowd. Queso, fajitas, and four machines churning out frozen margaritas are the only vestiges of the Hill Tortilla Coast. At the new spot, serrano-spiked guacamole is made to order, and almost everything—from the salsas to the flour tortillas— is whipped up in-house by chef Dan Farber, a Chef Geoff’s alum. Tortas (Mexican sandwiches) stuffed with marinated chicken and avocado or roasted veggies and Chihuahua cheese are on offer at lunch; dinner guests can chow on three varieties of ceviche, crispy fish and slow-cooked pork tacos, and entrées such as smoky skirt steak marinated for more than 12 hours in garlic and cilantro. Mexican spins on brunch classics dot the weekend daytime menu—there’s cornmeal-crusted French toast with piloncillo syrup, and poached eggs “Benedictos” on cornmeal cakes, blanketed with chipotle hollandaise.

But an evening out at the fiesta-themed restaurant (think red booths, street art, and servers in bright turquoise shirts) begins at the 45-seat bar. Tequila takes center stage—there are 99 varieties, plus mezcals—and can be blended into a bright margarita with prickly pear juice or, for the higher-end varieties, sipped solo. Come warmer weather, the 48 seats on the patio should prove popular.

Tortilla Coast. 1460 P St., NW; 202-629-3280; Open Monday through Thursday 11:30 to 11; Friday 11:30 to midnight; Saturday 11 to midnight; Sunday 10 to 10; Saturday and Sunday brunch 10 to 3.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.