Pork belly has been maligned and mishandled over the last decade—how many bites of pure fat can a person take?
At this Spanish-inflected Logan Circle hot spot, Haidar Karoum not only redeems it; he turns it into one of our favorite sandwiches in the region—caramelizing the edges, giving it a slathering of aïoli, and cutting the unctuousness with pickled shishito peppers.
Karoum’s skill is not in turning the familiar on its head but in giving the usual tapas-house dishes tiny tweaks that key up their flavors in big ways. Soft béchamel croquetas are threaded with meaty mushrooms, plancha-grilled squid gets amped up with a major hit of lemon, and tender grilled chicken is fragrant with sambal.
The cocktail list—with its orange-and-thyme gin-and-tonics and seasonal slushies—is one of the city’s best.
- Cheese and charcuterie boards
- Open-faced sandwich with heirloom tomatoes and goat cheese
- Chorizo and roasted-lamb-shoulder bocadillos (mini-sandwiches)
- Ham croquetas
- Hanger steak with mojo verde
- Roasted corn with aïoli
- Manchego cheesecake