Cheap Eats 2017: Letena

About Letena

3100 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20010

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There’s a chic gallery vibe—concrete floors and white walls enlivened by gorgeous textiles—at this fast-casual eatery. Though the food has a modern spin, it’s still deeply authentic. Vegetables are a standout—look for collards with a hit of jalapeño or finely chopped mushrooms, tossed with bits of red onion, garlic, hot peppers, and olive oil. Doro wat—the spicy, bright-red stew of chicken and hard-boiled egg—has a hint of sweetness to mellow the fire. Tamer but no less flavorful is alicha siga what, a curried beef stew, and lega tibs (ask for it dry so the morsels of beef turn crisp). Also good: Chicken tibs; string beans and carrots with caramelized onions.