Estadio and Proof Owner Mark Kuller Plans a Southeast Asian Restaurant

Familiar names from Kuller’s existing endeavors will head up the kitchen and bar.

Mark Kuller. Photograph courtesy of Proof.

Via a series of tweets this Saturday, Washingtonian restaurant critic Todd Kliman revealed some exciting news: Mark Kuller, owner of Proof and perpetually packed tapas spot Estadio, has a new place in the works.

Here’s what Kuller told Kliman:

Located at 14th and S streets, Northwest, in the JBG building, the yet-to-be-named restaurant is inspired by Southeast Asian cuisine. Chef Haidar Karoum of Proof and Estadio “will bring modern techniques and execution to these traditional dishes,” Kuller said.

The menu at the 140-seat spot will be “an assortment of noodle dishes, soups, and grilled ‘sticks’”—skewers—of meats, seafood, and vegetables. There will be an open kitchen and a “curated cocktail bar . . . along the lines of Little Branch in NYC.” The latter will be helmed by Adam Bernbach, who is the bar manager at Kuller’s other two restaurants. An outdoor patio will accommodate 40 additional diners.

Architects at GrizForm Design are handling decor. Kuller described the concept as “contemporary and decidedly unrustic.”

The decision to open an Eastern-oriented spot has its roots, at least in part, in chef Karoum’s past gig at Nora Pouillon’s (Restaurant Nora) since-shuttered fusion restaurant Asia Nora in the West End. “I fell in love with Haidar’s cooking at Asia Nora,” Kuller told Kliman. “It’s been our hope to take advantage of his experience and skill with Asian cuisine.”

Kuller says the new restaurant should be open by late fall or early winter.