Add another few restaurants to the VOABE (victims of a bad economy) list. Red Lotus is down for the count. The upscale-ish Asian joint from the owners of Kru called it quits last night. In my handful of experiences there I can’t say I ever had a great meal. Decent, yes. A few good dishes, sure. But it was never my go to place. The prices seemed just a hair too high, and the food, just a bit too, well, less-than-rad. It may have suffered from proximity to its sister restaurant as well, since Kru is the go-to place in town to hit up when your stomach is empty, your wallet’s full, and you’re in the mood for Asian cuisine.
Following close on RL’s heels is Celestin’s. The long-running cajun/creole/island joint is calling it quits at the end of this month, and a new venture by Capitol Garage will be taking over its K Street digs. I was always a proud fan of Celestin’s. Their grio (fried pork) and plantains never failed to delight. The gumbo consistently pleased. The flavors sparked and jumped but the vibe always seemed a little sleepy. Strange coincidence then that the space Celestin’s used to hold is now held by Kru. Looking back, you wonder if Celestin’s should have just stayed in the smaller spot.