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Kaliwa, Washington, DC

Kaliwa

3.6
3.6
186 Reviews
$30 and under
Asian
Award-Winning, Michelin Bib Gourmand 2022 Recepient! Created by Celebrated Chef and Resterantuer Cathal Armstrong, Kaliwa presents upscale, South East Asian fare accompanied by vibrant cocktails in classy, waterfront digs. Enjoy interpretations of Thai, Filipino and Korean dishes under a sky of eclectic chandeliers, or dine Al Fresca on the patio overlooking the bustling waterfront.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 38 times today

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Cuisines

    Asian, Korean, Thai

  • Hours of operation

    Mon–Thu 11:30 am–10:00 pm Fri–Sun 11:30 am–11:00 pm

  • Phone number

    (202) 516-4739

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Executive chef

    Cathal Armstrong

  • Neighborhood

    Southwest Waterfront

  • Parking details

    Street Parking

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Cocktails, Counter Seating, Delivery, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Vegan, Wheelchair Access, Wine

What 186 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

3.6
3.6 based on recent ratings
  • 3.8Food
  • 3.4Service
  • 3.9Ambience
  • 3.4Value

NoiseModerate

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  1. DG

    DouglasG

    Washington DC

    3 reviews

    3.0

    3 reviews

    Dined 1 day ago

    overall3food3service2ambience2
    Third time eating at kaliwa, enjoyed the first two times. This time it was just ok. Beer list is kind of lousy, cocktails on the pricier side. We got the lumpia, the pork belly apetizer, and the red curry with blue crab. Lumpia were decent. Port belly were two nice sized pieces but were kind of dry. Curry was really good but pretty spicy. Service was mediocre at best. Our server left halfway through our meal without telling us. Had to wait a long time to get the blll from the new server.
  2. J

    Jeg25

    Washington DC

    6 reviews

    2.0

    6 reviews

    Dined 1 day ago

    overall2food2service2ambience4
    Very few menu selections. Food was average with adobo ribs not tasting like adobo. Noodles were greasy. Expensive with small portions. Will not go there again. Server never came back to ask if there was anything else we needed.
  3. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined 2 days ago

    overall1food1service1ambience1
    Hands down one of the worst dinning experiences I’ve had in a long time. The service was non existent and it took asking three times just to get water. In fact, the manager even suggested that we give him our food order (even before our entire party had arrived) as they might forget about our table. The server walked by at least two-dozen times before asking if we’d like drinks (never mind food). Three different times another server attempted to bring another tables food to ours, and when our food did arrive, it came in three shifts about 20 minutes apart so everyone at the table either ate alone or waited to eat together only to eat cold food. I was also paying attention to the front of the restaurant and on average, customers waited 10 minutes before being welcomed in and potentially seated. I understand everyone has a bad day but this was literally the entire staff (save the bar backs, kitchen staff, and clearers) having a bad day and passing that on to every customer. I don’t see this place lasting if this is the quality of service they provide.
  4. GS

    GoSomewhereElse

    Washington DC

    28 reviews

    vip
    1.0

    28 reviews

    Dined 5 days ago

    overall1food2service1ambience1
    My first detailed review was nixed by Open Table, so here’s the skinny: don’t go! Mediocre food - not sure how this has a Michelin Star - but the service experience was SO bad, the food would have had to have been magical to even remotely soften the disappointment we experienced taking our niece to Kaliwa for her 21st birthday and not to any nicer of places we love. Metaphor for the evening: when we arrived (and subsequently were left t wait for 20 minutes before being seated with an actively confirmed reservation and promises of making our niece feel the love) and when we left, all members of the host stand team were looking away from the entrance. And, once they turned around - when they even were there - they we far less than interested much less courteous. Notes: don’t expect a specials menu or even the mention of specials. Don’t expect any inquiry about dietary restrictions. Don’t even dream of an explanation of a dish much less enthusiasm for it. We may as well have been at Panda Express...I take that back...they say “thank you” there.
  5. t

    thewib

    Washington DC

    6 reviews

    2.0

    6 reviews

    Dined 5 days ago

    overall2food3service2ambience1
    Had reservations but gotten seated under the stairs in a wind tunnel. Cold. Impossible to hear. Even out waitress couldn't hear. Maybe that's why service was slow initially? Got better but no desire to go back.
  6. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Washington DC

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined 7 days ago

    overall2food4service1ambience3
    When we walked in, the host was on the phone and did not make eye contact. Rather he put his finger up as if we were some sort of animals being asked to sit. Our waitress was not very attentive and was audibly annoyed that we only ordered one entree and one starter for two people. As we were going to a concert after, we did not want leftovers. I felt that because we were not her highest billing table, we were neglected the entire time. The food is the only redeeming quality about Kaliwa. I have been to Kaliwa multiple times pre and post pandemic and I’ve never experienced service as poor as this time. Next time I will probably sit at the bar so I won’t have to deal with the waitstaff.
  7. H

    Hgerm

    Denver

    9 reviews

    2.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on September 23, 2022

    overall2food2service2ambience2
    Such a disappointment. The food was mediocre but it’s very expensive. We ate chicken Panang curry which was nothing like any chicken panang I’ve ever had anywhere, and not in a good way. Usually Panang curry is creamy and a little bit sweet but this was full of vegetables like green beans and not sweet or creamy at all. For the large bowl of curry I was brought maybe 1 cup of rice which was not even enough for 1 person. Rice is cheap and the dish was $30–they could spring for a bit more rice and still make a profit. We also had the short ribs which were tasty, but very expensive for the amount of meat. When they bring it to you, they bring the ribs with the meat all cut off in bite-size pieces so it looks like an enormous amount of food, but once you eat all of the small pieces, you really can’t eat anything else. it’s deceptive. The restaurant was extremely loud. We could barely hear our server. Also we were next to a freezing cold air vent blowing air hard enough to make the plants move vigorously even though the weather outside was chilly. I will say that the decor was interesting, I did like that. Getting to this restaurant is challenging because of its location in the Wharg DC and the difficulty it is to park and get to the place so to have the food be so mediocre really made the whole thing an unpleasant experience.
  8. S

    Sarah

    New York Area

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on September 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We had a great experience at Kaliwa. The food was amazing - cannot overrecommend the crab curry, spring rolls, and sisig (Filipino fried rice). The restaurant is beautiful too; we had a large group for a work dinner, but I would come back for date night.
  9. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Washington DC

    1 review

    vip
    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 20, 2022

    overall1food1service1ambience1
    Awful awful awful
  10. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 20, 2022

    overall1food2service1ambience1
    sat for 70 minutes and complained to the manager 2 times before we were given cold food. the manager was derisive when we complained.
  11. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I’ve been here a few times. I’m vegan and the menu changes every now and then, but each time if found something I can eat and that something turns out delicious.
  12. CS

    CharlieS

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 16, 2022

    overall2food4service1ambience3
    Food was fantastic, atmosphere very fun and energetic. However, our menu and server led us to believe the food was sharing portions, like family style. They were not, perhaps each dish was about a serving and a half. So our group of 6 started with just 2 dishes and 2 appetizers, nowhere close to enough! Also our server tried to tell us that the Galbi Ribs were a good substitute for the Adobo Ribs since it’s “more meat”, even though those two dishes are nothing alike. I think it was an attempt to upsell, but felt poor taste in my opinion. My suggestions to have a better experience: -expect to get about a dish per person, maybe one less dish than your total group number -order drinks first, they take quite awhile to come out -the appetizers are tiny, they are one per person -order what you want and not what the server suggests, especially when their suggestion for something “similar” doesn’t even come from the same part of Asia
  13. SK

    ScottK

    Tampa

    2 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on September 15, 2022

    overall2food2service1ambience3
    Poor service waiter seemed mad he had to wait on us took order didn't get drinks for 15mins food was ok
  14. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Baltimore

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 15, 2022

    overall3food3service3ambience3
    Everything was just okay. Mediocre service and food. Not worth the expense
  15. ED

    EatsinDC

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 14, 2022

    overall4food5service3ambience3
    The food was good, hot, and definitely enough to split on a date. However, the service left something to be desired. We selected the Chef’s Experience and I expected a conversation with the chef, e.g. name of the dish, it’s inspiration, etc. All it ended up being is a seat at the bar in front of the chefs. And since we were seated there, the server was inattentive and we actively had to hail her in order to place our orders. But the food was good, so still worth a visit if you’re on the Wharf.
  16. r

    robertv

    Washington DC

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 14, 2022

    overall5food4service4ambience5
    some of the food is outstanding, some food is good.
  17. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Washington DC

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 13, 2022

    overall4food4service3ambience4
    There seems to have been some confusion but I did attend this reservation. Food was good, service was alright- it seemed like they were between shifts.
  18. PD

    PinoyDynamo

    Washington DC

    3 reviews

    3.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on September 12, 2022

    overall3food3service3ambience3
    If you want fusion Filipino/Thai food, this is the place. If you want to introduce a newbie to Filipino food, save this place for next time. The lumpia has a flavor that hits a Philippine tongue just right, and the Thai chicken satay was tender and flavorful. The pancit was different . . . might just be a different variety but it was chunkier and soupier than one would expect. It did have good mushrooms though. Service is a bit slow, but I think that is by design so that groups can enjoy each other's company with minimal interruption. If you're dining alone, it is a bit inconvenient. The staff is well-mannered though and professional. Overall, one of the better places in town for Filipino food, but just misses the mark that is easily hit in markets like California.
  19. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 10, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    Amazing food and very nice staff. Only thing was one of our meals came out way after the others. But besides that amazing experience. Would definitely go back!
  20. J

    Jill

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 10, 2022

    overall2food5service1ambience2
    The food was delicious. However, the menu said it’s family style for sharing. The portions were very small and definitely not for sharing. The service was extremely slow and the waiter was rarely around. We would have ordered more food and drinks, but couldn’t find the waiter. Drinks from the bar took almost 30 minutes. It was fine, but wouldn’t recommend or return, considering there are so many other great options nearby.
  21. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Washington DC

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 9, 2022

    overall1food1service3ambience3
    I reserved a outdoor table spot. Was told upon reservation there were no outdoor spots available. I would’ve chosen another restaurant if I knew.
  22. LM

    LindaM

    Washington DC

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on September 9, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    It was a beautiful night. We ate outdoors so ambiance and noise level apply to outdoors. It was quieter outside than in, warmer and more comfortable too. One in our party was not quite happy with her meal but the other three persons were very pleased. We had lumpia appetizer, pork hash fried rice, Thai fried rice, Kaliwa burger, Bicol Express, and pad see ew. Service was excellent.
  23. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 8, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The food was excellent, presentation was superb and quantity was perfect.
  24. MM

    Marjana M

    Washington DC

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 4, 2022

    overall1food2service1ambience2
    Very severely understaffed. Our sever was overwhelmed. Took 20 minutes to even get service, as we we’re about to leave. Once we ordered, the appetiser arrived within 10 minutes, but no plates, utensils, napkins, drinks, or water. Our drinks were last to arrive. Dishes are overpriced, and the quality is far below what it used to be. Not worth it!!
  25. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 3, 2022

    overall2food4service1ambience4
    Extremely poor service when it is busy.
  26. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New York Area

    1 review

    vip
    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 3, 2022

    overall1food1service1ambience1
    Was almost asked to wait in a line of people trying to get walk ins even thought I had a res, but the guy seemed a bit green so I understood Server didn't ask if we liked our food Server didn't ask us if we wanted dessert Server didn't even ask if we wanted boxes Server didn't even say "happy anniversary" Got overcharged $16 for a bottle of wine Overall felt like we were just getting pushed out to make room for the walk ins that you got from the jazz festival at the wharf Not cool.
  27. A

    Anonymous

    Washington DC

    49 reviews

    1.0

    49 reviews

    Dined on September 3, 2022

    overall1food1service2ambience3
    Ridiculous place. Asked for a table, said there wasn’t. It took 2 mins for me to book on open table as I was standing there. They took us in and the place was over 50% empty. Food was bad to mediocre at best. We told them there was no soap or paper towels in the bathrooms - twice. No soap was replaced. What do the the waiters use to wash their hands?? Disgusting The one girl that served us was lovely tho. Would NOT recommend
  28. A

    Anth

    Tucson

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 3, 2022

    overall2food3service2ambience2
    The food was decent. Nothing special and about double the price of what it was worth. There was nothing bad about it but there also was nothing great. We were sat upstairs in a corner next to a loud oscillating stand fan as the ac was either off or not working. We were at first the only people up stairs but then inexplicably the next group that was sat was directly beside us. Not an issue if the restaurant is full but as the only two parties in the building it was awkward and uncomfortable to be that close to strangers when all other tables were available. Personally won’t be returning as the wharf offers plenty of worthwhile restaurants.
  29. PM

    PinayMommy

    Washington DC

    8 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on September 3, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience4
    The location was great. We received a friendly greeting upon entering. We had to wait about 20 minutes for our table and we had reservations. The table near the window was great. We ordered the lemongrass chicken, green curry with chicken, red curry with shrimp and the bicol express. Although the flavors were delicious, the presentation did not match the name of the dishes. Also the restaurant could use a deep clean as the seating and floors were dirty.
  30. M

    Mamaj

    Washington DC

    78 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    78 reviews

    Dined on September 3, 2022

    overall2food3service2ambience3
    Where to start? Service was slow and was below expectation. We ordered several items from the menu and just like other reviews the price didn’t match the portion served. Very disappointed! My second time since my last visit which was a few years ago and wanted to give it another chance but I will not be dining at Kaliwa again.
  31. T

    Tino

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 2, 2022

    overall2food4service1ambience4
    Very disrespectful and poor services, waiters barely responded to the customers. I raised my hand many times and waited for a while for waiters to come to me. Waiting more than 20 mins for the main dishes and the waitress served us sent the wrong food to us. Lastly, foods are very overpriced! $14 for only four chicken skewers. $28 for two chicken legs and two chicken breasts. Won’t come again.
  32. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 2, 2022

    overall2food3service1ambience2
    Everlasting waiting times and terrible customer experience. I sent a note describing my evening earlier.
  33. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Washington DC

    5 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on August 31, 2022

    overall4food4service3ambience5
    I enjoyed the ambience and the opportunity to try new Filipino and Korean food. My only criticism is that service was not attentive—we had to keep calling for waiters despite the restaurant not being crowded.
  34. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 30, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The short ribs were AMAZING! Perfect amount of fat, braised perfectly, with a subtle soy sauce flavor. 5 stars
  35. K

    Kkkk

    Washington DC

    18 reviews

    4.0

    18 reviews

    Dined on August 28, 2022

    overall4food3service5ambience5
    We chose because of closeness to Arena Stage on the wharf. The service was terrific, with charming and helpful staff, and outdoor seating was spacious and surprisingly quiet. The menu was quite eclectic and original. However, several dishes disappointed, eg, Panang chicken, noodles. Side vegetables and ribs were better.
  36. SD

    SebastianD

    Washington DC

    3 reviews

    2.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on August 28, 2022

    overall2food3service1ambience3
    Service was horrible and they included 20% tip.
  37. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Washington DC

    14 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on August 27, 2022

    overall4food5service3ambience2
    Great food as always, at a price. Drinks are a little overpriced too. Still a great meal though. One note, don't make reservations at the bar- you're likely to end up in front of the open kitchen and it's hot. Great service though.
  38. M

    Marilyn

    Baltimore

    10 reviews

    2.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on August 27, 2022

    overall2food2service1ambience3
    As someone who grew up with Filipino food I was very disappointed in the Filipino dishes I ordered. Although, they did a better job on their Thai curry dishes. Service was the worst I've had in a long time. Friendly well-meaning waitress, but on multiple occasions they brought dishes to our table we didn't order. One in our party didn't get his dish until all of us were done eating. With food just, over priced drinks and very very disorganized service, I wonder how long this place will be around. How hard is it to know what table to take the order to?
  39. DC

    DeeCee

    Chicago

    70 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    70 reviews

    Dined on August 27, 2022

    overall3food3service2ambience4
    Service inexperienced, inattentive, and forgetful. Too much wrong with service to go into. Waiter didn’t know the menu-didn’t recommend any dishes in lower left corner of menu, saying they were all “stews”. Food was okay. Ribs and chicken dry.
  40. DV

    DouglasV

    Washington DC

    22 reviews

    vip
    1.0

    22 reviews

    Dined on August 27, 2022

    overall1food5service1ambience1
    The service was horrible but the food was good, their too many tables for the waiters as they try to rush people out because the it's towards the end of the night. Waiter didn't even offer us the dessert menu so.

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Physical distancing

    • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace

FAQs

Kaliwa offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (202) 516-4739.

Kaliwa is rated 3.6 stars by 186 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 38 times today
Google Map for Kaliwa

751 Wharf St SW, Washington, DC 20024-3433

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Neighborhood

    Southwest Waterfront

  • Hours of operation

    Mon–Thu 11:30 am–10:00 pm Fri–Sun 11:30 am–11:00 pm

  • Cuisines

    Asian, Korean, Thai

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Parking details

    Street Parking

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive chef

    Cathal Armstrong

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Cocktails, Counter Seating, Delivery, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Vegan, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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