The Washington Post

El Centro D.F. to open in Logan Circle

Neat fact No. 1: He’s hired a tequila sommelier to explain the restaurant’s 200 different spirits. “People still know little about tequila,” available in 1,300 types, says Sandoval.

Neat fact No. 2: The Logan Circle restaurant will have a tequileria with a DJ booth in the basement, a taqueria on the ground floor and an upstairs roof deck with two bars.

El Centro’s chef, Juan Jose Romero, is coming from Sandoval’s Santa Monica, Calif., property La Sandia, which also has a branch in Tysons Corner.

Sandoval, who just spent a week in Mexico with his partner in El Centro -- Kaz Okochi of downtown’s Kaz Sushi Bistro -- doesn’t think he’s competing with their nearby Latin-Asian small plates restaurant, Masa 14 . “This is the first restaurant of this style” in Sandoval’s extensive global portfolio, close to 30 projects big. (The D.F. stands for Distrito Federal.)

There will be no dress code at the laidback El Centro. Flip-flops and shorts are cool, Sandoval says.

Weaned on a beige buffet a la “Fargo” in Minnesota, Tom Sietsema is the food critic for The Washington Post. This is his second tour of duty at the Post. Sietsema got his first taste in the ‘80s, when he was hired by his predecessor to answer phones, write some, and test the bulk of the Food section’s recipes. That’s how he learned to clean squid, bake colonial cakes and distinguish between nutmeg and mace.


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