Lauriol Plaza, a three-story restaurant with a rooftop patio, located midway between the trendy Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan neighborhoods, is a lively place to take your friends on a weekend night.
The restaurant does not take reservations, so be prepared to grab drinks at the bar while you wait. Secure a table in advance if you are going for a birthday celebration or a big night out.
The large portions of Spanish and Latin American cuisine, friendly servers and wall-to-wall murals make Lauriol Plaza well worth the wait. Enjoy complimentary chips and spicy salsa, and be sure to try the popular chicken fajitas ($13.95) or the taco platter ($9.95).
Dishes like vegetable fajitas ($11.75), the sunshine salad ($12.95) and two varieties of vegetarian quesadillas offer veg-heads the opportunity to taste the flavors of Lauriol Plaza as well.
Those looking for traditional Spanish-style seafood can try the Paella Marinera dish ($18.95), which features a generous helping of scallops, shrimp, fish, squid, mussels and clams for a full savory experience.
The extra-large portions are ideal for sharing – which means you'll also save some cash.
For the over-21 set, try a few margarita pitchers ($31.95) for the table, which can be ordered on the rocks or frozen and strawberry-flavored or swirled. For something less filling but just as playful, order a pitcher of red or white sangria ($9.95 for a half pitcher and $19.95 for a full).
Even for underage folk, the great food and buzzing energy of this always-packed restaurant can serve as a complete night out in itself.
1835 18th St., NW
Mondays-Thursdays 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Fridays-Saturdays 11:30 a.m. to midnight
Sundays 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.