Last week was a whirlwind one for the New York half of Itinerant Foodies: After an escapist weekend of camping upstate, I hopped on a bus to Washington, D.C., first thing Monday morning to see my TMJ doc. In the nine months or so since I’d last seen my miracle-worker, the disc on the left side of my jaw had completely slipped out of place, making eating, drinking, and talking crazy painful. Given the amount of all three that I had planned for the upcoming weekend in San Francisco, a doctor’s visit was an imperative. I knew that getting myself fixed up was going to hurt; as a normal rule, I insist on balancing out my suffering with something pleasurable, so I rewarded myself (in advance!) for my stoicism with a lovely catch-up lunch with a D.C.-based friend.
Though I grew up in northern Virginia, my experience in our nation’s capital has always been somewhat limited; with friends, maybe a restaurant here, a bar there, but overall, I’ve spent more time in museums and galleries with my family than anything else. Liz had already proven her good taste—she’s an Arsenal fan, what more do you need?—so I ceded to her expertise in the D.C. arena. Given our location and time constraints, she suggested Zaytinya, the Middle Eastern/Mediterranean entry in the José Andrés restaurant canon.