Thursday, November 24, 2011

Occidental - Downtown

Occidental is a power lunch spot located in the Willard Hotel just blocks away from the White House. Its wood paneled interior, waiters bedecked in waist aprons, and various tasteful brass knick knacks and photos of bygone silver age celebrities usually denote an old school American restaurant that aims primarily to provide a suitably formal ambiance for cutting a deal while leaving the food an afterthought. Fortunately, the food, while unimaginative, was generally well prepared. My nicoise salad had some spicy greens mixed in and the filet of yellowfin tuna on top was prepared properly (that is, rare). The fried calamari was crispy, salty, and generally tasty, though the accompanying aioli tasted like the dregs from a bag of Lay's BBQ potato chip. One of the individuals I was dining with allowed me to taste some of her lima beans, which were rich, buttery, and flavorful. The desserts that were ordered were generally quite tasty as well, including a fruit tart and a chocolate pyramid.

If you work in the area, it is a place worth trying. And the people watching alone can make the meal.

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