It's not enough these days to open a regular old restaurant in a regular old permanent space. You've got to have a secret password or a secret menu or a pop-up tribute to Willy Wonka's three course meal chewing gum to really make a splash.
Hogo (a new rum-focused bar from the Passenger's Tom and Derek Brown) has thrown its hat into the ring by offering Temporary Works - a diner-like restaurant hidden at the back of the bar. To get there, walk through Hogo's main (dark and moody) bar space to the brightly-lit back room where you can grab one of the seats at the counter.
Temporary Works will feature a rotating selection of chefs and cuisine. Through the end of January, you can take a culinary trip to Hawaii courtesy of chef Javier Duran's dishes. Citing a lack of Hawaiian food in the District, Duran devised a short menu of Hawaiian classics including SPAM musubi and mixed plate.
If you want to get your Hawaiian fix, get to Hogo before the end of the month. Starting February 1, the menu changes to Jewish soul food. While we're not quite cool enough to be on the cutting edge of the hipster trends, we are happy to reap the benefits of having this rotating restaurant in our neighborhood.
Second Thoughts From B
I'm guessing that more than a few of you are reading this right now
and thinking, "what is Hawaiian food?" Even with a Hawaiian foodie
President, the island's cuisine is known mostly as a stereotype or joke
(I'm looking at you SPAM). In other words, Chef Duran was spot on when
he identified it as an under-appreciated cuisine. Perhaps there is a
reason that every TV cooking competition these days includes a
Growing up 3,000 miles closer to Hawaii, I'm guessing that my
experiences with Hawaiian food is slightly more extensive than the
average Washingtonian, but it is still embarrassingly minimal. J and I
enjoyed the bounty of Ono Hawaiian BBQ
as poor students in LA, but that was more for the enormous portions
than anything else. It is also like saying we know Mexican food by
going to Chipotle.
people who like to explore the culinary scene in DC and abroad, it is
rare that we get to explore flavors that are completely different.
Usually it is a modern spin on something or the fusing of two disparate
cuisines or traditional fare done with fancy techniques and local
ingredients. Sure, Hawaiian food is strongly influenced by Japanese and
European staples, but it is also unique. And that is rare in these
parts, so check it out while it lasts.