Ulah Bistro: Everything's Pretty, and So Tasty Once You Take It Apart
Eating out is an enjoyable process because you don't have to do anything besides decide what you want to eat and then eat it. However, when eating out becomes a complicated ordeal, like it can be at Ulah Bistro, well then we may have a problem.
Ulah Bistro is a very nice, simple restaurant that sits on U Street across from Ben's Chili Bowl. They turned the area in front of the ATMs that border the restaurant into an outdoor eating area, which certainly adds to its appeal, but it is very odd that people can withdraw money while you are trying to enjoy your food. [THAT'S CALLED "CAPITALISM," ARIELLE -- ED.]
This aside, the food -- what really matters -- is very good. The pizzas are truly out of this world, especially the ratatouille which has a great combination of vegetables and cheese. The sandwiches are big, reasonably priced at $7-$10, and the white bean burger with the avocado spread is particularly good. As for the appetizers, the crab and artichoke dip is your best bet.
But true to the "food tastes SO much better when it looks prettier" concept that seems to have infiltrated most restaurants in the city, eating at Ulah Bistro takes serious effort. Gaze upon the tuna salad as it arrived, beautifully wrapped in what appears to be a genetically modified cucumber.
It's beautiful, which was great and all, but this really just meant hours and hours of cutting and chopping the lettuce before being able to eat. Witness the poor tuna salad undone and note the suspiciously long cucumber:
And the bread tastes better because it comes in a fun cone thing. If it was just on a plate, it would obviously kill you.
Sure, the waitresses at Ulah wear strange shirts with pink sleeves, but they're all Eastern European so you really can't go wrong there. And sure, it's overly air conditioned, the background music makes you feel like you're eating in an old Chris Kattan SNL skit, and the food takes a little bit of effort, but bottom line, Ulah Bistro is a solid place to go for a meal on a Saturday night.