DC Hot Spot Bad Saint Will (Finally!) Take Reservations

Goodbye, linestanding for hours.

The line outside the red-hot Filipino eatery Bad Saint. Photograph by Scott Suchman

If you’ve ever stood in line outside Bad Saint for nearly two hours waiting for a table (as we recently did), this will come as relieving news: the modern Filipino restaurant is taking reservations as of today.

Co-owner owner Genevieve Villamora says they’ve been testing out bookings during the 24-seat restaurant’s weeks-long prix-fixe holiday menu. Previously they hadn’t offered them because, as Villamora once described, “Our dining room is essentially like a game of Tetris.” But the team was happy enough with the results to make bookings permanent.

“DC’s a town with people with such hectic schedules. Part of the feedback we’re responding to is people saying they need plan ahead,” says Villamora. “We saw regulars who used to come in the early days when we weren’t quite as busy who we hadn’t scene in awhile, and also new faces who couldn’t come before.”

As of now there’s a month’s worth of reservations available through the locally based booking site giftrocker.com (tables are going fast). As another week or service concludes, an additional week will become available. The tiny restaurant’s policy of having groups of four or fewer guests stands. Villamora says there’ll always be space saved for walk-ins throughout the night. Patrons must reserve using a credit card, but can cancel without a charge up to 48 hours in advance (the fee is $25 otherwise).

“It’s a concern to a small rest with limited seats—if you get a slew of cancellations, it hurts,” says Villamora.

Could the era of linestanding for hot tables in DC be coming to an end? The trend seems to be moving toward reservations, especially as competition continues to grow and restaurants seek ways to entice more customers through the door. Himitsu recently started accepting regular bookings, as did the original line-mongering restaurant, Rose’s Luxury. Little Serow, what say you?

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.