by May 21, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,591 2 Comments

"Borderstan""Banana Leaves"

Banana Leaves has reopened and Alejandra is thrilled! (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Alejandra Owens. You can find her at her food blog, One Bite At A Time. Alejandra also writes for City Eats DC, a Food Network site, where you can book dinner reservations. Follow her on Twitter at @frijolita and email her at alejandra[AT]

Oh, Banana Leaves. Your pan-Asian cuisine, it comforts me so. Tom Sietsema gave you 2 stars, which, in retrospect is actually quite generous – or degrading to your 2 star cohorts.

In 2007 Tom complained the sushi was too cold (simple solution, Tom, just order in and it’ll get to the right temp by the time it arrives at your house!) and then last year, my favorite spot to order in from suffered quite the fire. Actually, if I remember reports correctly, an explosion of sorts blew out the front windows. Mr. Leaves couldn’t catch a break – such is the life when you’re nestled between a liquor store and a strip club, though.

My love affair with Mr. Leaves could be seen throughout my debit card statements. His pad thai, his “too thick” sushi (whatever, Tom), his delivery boy who knew not only my order, but how to sneak into my building, appearing at my door without making me go through the tiresome trouble of buzzing him up! If there’s such a thing as a perfect order-in boyfriend, Mr. Leaves is it.

And now, glory of all glories, I can beckon Mr. Leaves to my house via the Seamless app. Hello fried rice, drunken noodles, curry laksa, kung pao chicken and maki sushi all at my low-brow finger tips! A meal to please a group – all from one location!

Yeah, you can judge me. But in a city where one can drop $20 on a food truck sandwich or wait two hours to get into a restaurant with servers decked out in “prairie chic” hipster gear, sometimes you just want some down and dirty grub. And you want that grub on your couch, where you can eat post-happy hour pad thai sans pants without being judged!

I know what I’ll be ordering tonight: the familiar, warm embrace of Mr. Leaves.

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by July 9, 2010 at 10:29 am 2,404 4 Comments

Banana Leaves restaurant Alejandra Owens Dupont Circle

Banana Leaves is on Florida Avenue NW, just east of Connecticut. (Alejandra Owens)

You know how everyone has a pile of takeout menus somewhere in their kitchen? The one from Banana Leaves made it into my pile via a menu stuffed into my doorway not long after I moved to DC.

I live something like two blocks from the place (it’s on Florida Avenue NW) and one night I had a serious hankering for pad thai so I gave Banana Leaves a try. Their menu hasn’t left the top of the pile since.

Some would say Banana Leaves’ lengthy menu exhibiting dishes from every Asian country on the map is their downfall. I, being the glass half full type of gal, say this is their strength.

I can order in virtually anything I’m craving, from one menu! I can also take a large group of people with various tastes, desires and tolerances for spice to one place and everyone’s happy.

What do you guys think? Have you been here? Do you order from here? (more…)

by October 1, 2009 at 3:00 am 1,805 0

Here are my picks for things to do during the weekend in Borderstan, really close by or in the city… restaurants, galleries and theater.

Banana Leaves Asian Restaurant & Sushi Bar, 2020 Florida Ave. NW. (Photo:Luis Gomez)

Banana Leaves Asian Restaurant & Sushi Bar, 2020 Florida Ave. NW. (Photo: Luis Gomez)

Azi's Cafe, 1336 9th St. NW.(Photo:Luis Gomez)

Azi’s Cafe, 1336 9th St. NW. (Photo: Luis Gomez)

La Tomate, Italian Bistro, 1701 Connecticut Ave NW.(Photo:Luis Gomez)

La Tomate Italian Bistro, 1701 Connecticut Ave. NW. (Photo: Luis Gomez)

Banana Leaves Asian Restaurant & Sushi Bar, at 2020 Florida Ave. NW. We have eaten there a couple of times and the food has always been wonderful and fresh, with a good variety of Chinese, Japanese and Thai. It is a good bet and reasonably priced. But, they have a somehow sketchy and confusing web page to order online. Take a close look at the menu online before calling for a delivery.

Azi’s Cafe, at 1336 9th Street NW. This is one of the pioneer business in the Shaw area. Their coffee is great and the service superb. They have a selection of sandwiches, soups and salads for the rest of the day. If you feel like a light meal, always a good spot.

La Tomate, Italian Bistro, 1701 Connecticut Ave. NW. Italian food, relatively pricey. It has a great location on the Dupont Circle area with nice outdoor seating. Make reservations. The reviews are mixed, but the place is always crowded.

Barbara Cook's Spotlight: Jane Krakowski, at The Kennedy Center, 2700 F Street, NW.(

Barbara Cook’s Spotlight: Jane Krakowski, at The Kennedy Center. (Image:

Donnell Rawlings  "Ashy Larry" from Comedy Central's "The Chappelle Show" at the DC IMPROV, 1140 Connecticut Ave NW.(

Donnell Rawlings’ “Ashy Larry” from Comedy Central’s “The Chappelle Show” at the DC IMPROV, 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW. (Image:

David Sedaris, Wed. Oct 7, at the Lisner Auditorium, 730 21st St NW.(Image: website)

David Sedaris, Wed. Oct 7, Lisner Auditorium, 730 21st St. NW. (Image: Lisner website)

Barbara Cook’s Spotlight: Jane Krakowski” is Oct. 3 at the Kennedy Center, 2700 F Street  NW. A theater cabaret performance.

Donnell Rawlings’ Ashy Larry” from Comedy Central’s “The Chappelle Show,” at the DC IMPROV, 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW. Shoujld be good.

David Sedaris, Wed. Oct 7, at the Lisner Auditorium, 730 21st Street, NW: “With sardonic wit and incisive social critiques, David Sedaris has become one of America’s pre-eminent humor writers. The great skill with which he slices through cultural euphemisms and political correctness proves that Sedaris is a master of satire and one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today.” Sedairs is a favorite of many friends. (more…)


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