Thursday has long been one of my favorite days of the week—in college, it was the unofficial start to the weekend, and now, as a working professional, I’ve found it to be a fun night to meet up with friends after work because if you’re a little groggy the next day, you can easily catch up on sleep over the weekend.
Last Thursday, Jenn and I went to Spoken English at The Line Hotel. In Tokyo, where floor space is often at a premium, there’s been a trend to do away with tables and chairs, and instead stack customers vertically around a bar. They are known as tachinomiya, or standing bars, and Spoken English pays homage to the popular Japanese trend here in DC. The standing-room only restaurant has two tables and accommodates 16 patrons. Because you stand across from your date, I recommend going with just one other person or as a foursome so that you can easily share food. The kitchen is open behind you, and it’s really cool to see all your food being prepared! Two things to note because of the set up—first, since you stand throughout the meal, comfortable shoes are a must, and second, since the kitchen is open, it can become a tad warm, so I recommend dressing in layers.
You’ll definitely need a reservation for this hotspot, which you can grab here!
Jenn and I shared everything we ate, so we were able to sample a wide variety on the menu. (There is a menu online here, but the one in the restaurant is slightly different so my guess is they switch things up from time to time!) We started with the green hill camembert on toast (my favorite dish of the whole meal, hah!), waygu short rib, radishes, and fingerling potatoes. We then split the chicken yakitori, which is a traditional Japanese dish of skewered chicken. They serve you chicken breast, chicken heart, chicken skin, and chicken thigh, and then they finish it off with the most delicious chicken broth. We also splurged for dessert and got the “green” dessert, which was apple puree over a panna cotta.
Truthfully, I was too busy enjoying our fare to get the best pictures of what we ordered—but there are some great photos of the food on The Washington Post and on Eater. This restaurant was such a fun experience—it’s unlike any other place I’ve eaten before and was a fun way to get outside of my culinary comfort zone! I am typically not the most adventurous eater, but am so glad I was able to check out Spoken English. Some of the food was a little out there for me, but the atmosphere is unbeatable! Next time I would definitely go for the whole roast duck—the patrons next to us ordered it and it looked delicious!