14th & R: Cafe Salsa Opened Friday Night

by Borderstan.com March 21, 2009 at 9:28 pm 1,980 7 Comments

The first-floor dining room and bar of Cafe Salsa at 1712 14th Street NW. (Photo: Luis Gomez, Luis Gomez Photos.)

The first-floor dining room and bar of Cafe Salsa at 1712 14th Street NW. (Photo: Luis Gomez, Luis Gomez Photos.)

The upstairs of Cafe Salsa will have several intimate dining rooms and a lounge in the front overlooking the street. (Photo: Luis Gomez.)

The upstairs of Cafe Salsa will have several intimate dining rooms and a lounge in the front overlooking the street. (Photo: Luis Gomez.)

Good news in Borderstan restaurants. Cafe Salsa opened its doors Friday evening at 1712 14th NW, just north of R on the west side.

Luis and I happened to notice it was opening and got the last table in the first seating, at around 8:15. I am happy to report that we had a great meal.

The menu is eclectic Latin American–“Nuevo Latino Cuisine”–and similar to the owners’ first Cafe Salsa in Old Town Alexandria. Luis had a seafood dish… tuna, calamari and shrimp over mashed plantains.

I had Cuban-style pork with black beans and rice. With a drink a piece, the total bill with tax and tip was about $66–and a good deal in our opinion.

Only the first floor dining room and bar is open now (lighting and color scheme are very nice). However, the owners gave us a tour of the second floor, which will contain several additioanl dining rooms as well as lounge that will overlook 14th Street. The upstairs space is intimate, has great lighting and will make a great addition to Borderstan.

  • Joe

    anyone else living on johnson ave or R street whose apt overlooks the alley behind la salsa (i.e., alley parallel to 14th street) bothered by the LOUD and almost constant buzzing noise coming from la salsa’s kitchen hood/vent located above the garage behind the restaurant? Since friday it’s been on pretty much all hours between 10am and 1am. Cork has their kitchen hood just a few doors away and it makes no sound. I don’t know about anyone else but this is really loud and annoying and making living in my apt much less enjoyable, especially when trying to sleep. Regardless of the quality of the food in the restaurant, unless they do something about the noise la salsa is an unwelcome addition to the neighborhood.
    I’d be curious to hear if others are having problems with this.

  • Charles Reed

    Joe: Salsa has a voluntary agreement with your Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC 2F), paragraph 7 of which reads:

    Applicant [Salsa] shall make architectural improvements to the property and take all necessary actions to ensure that music, noise and vibrations from the establishment do not rise above levels permitted in D.C. Code. Applicant will also take necessary steps to ensure that the music, noise and vibrations are not disruptive to the adjacent residential property occupants’ reasonable use of outdoor areas of their property. Should any sound, noise or music be disruptive to any residential occupants, Applicant will take immediate remedial action. If necessary, Applicant will take reasonable steps to reduce noise from the establishment from the opening of entry and exit doors.

    You should meet with the manager there, let him know politely that you are being disturbed and ask him to change that. If this doesn’t get you relief, contact your ANC Commissioner, who is Charles Reed ([email protected]), or attend a monthly ANC meeting.

  • Joe

    Thanks Mr Reed for your reply. I have sent you an email about my discussions with the management of the restaurant and their response.
    Glad to hear that the ANC2 has an agreement with them whereby they are obligated to respond to resident complaints about excessive noise. I certainly did not get the impression such an agreement existed from my conversation with them.

  • Chris

    The most memorable part of Cafe Salsa in Alexandria were the mojitos, which were the best and most authentic I’ve had anywhere in the DC area. Did you try them, and if so how do they compare to the other location? I am dying to try them out!

  • John

    The noise continues. Constant. Unabated. All they need to do
    to build a sound proofing room around the HVAC.

    And, they have 3 trash bins in the alley, unsecured,
    meaning the rat population in our area is also appreciating
    their cuisine.

  • David

    John-please email me at [email protected] about your experience. I believe you and I have spoken before about this issue. I’d like to email/speak with you again so we can discuss next steps to get cafe salsa to comply with their obligations under the ANC agreement and also to get some sense of the numbers of people in the neighborhood with the same complaint. I know many in my building are bothered and I believe you said you were aware of a number of others in your building and elsewhere who are bothered as well.

  • John

    David- Yes, we did talk about this. I sent an email out to
    our folks a while back; got good responses. Just emailed
    a note to you and a couple of our folks. Really too bad
    a nice restaurant can’t simply do the little things to be a
    nice neighbor, too.


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