A new restaurant called Kora has recently replaced Bebo Trattoria on 23rd st in Crystal City. I have been eying this place since it opened in August and decided to check it out yesterday. First let me comment and say that this restaurant is big and beautiful. The decor in this place is amazingly beautiful and pretty original. They have wonderful artwork and architecture displayed throughout. I went to Kora at about 5pm right as they were preparing for dinner it was almost empty when my girlfriend and I arrived but slowly it filled up throughout the course of our meal. We ended up sitting at the bar as I enjoy doing so as it provides more entertainment then the normal dining experience. The bar is beautiful it is a white concrete counter top (I think) that is just lovely to eat and drink from. The only complaint here is that the TV is in an awkward place that is hard to see and there is only one.
So on to the important part of Kora the FOOD! The dinner menu at Kora is pretty extensive as it is separated into multiple sections including antipasti, le zuppe e insalata, calzone or pizza, three course pre fix, farinacei (pasta), and main course. We decided to get two appetizers and their pizza tasting while sipping on some of their happy hour specials. Kora has a pretty good selection of wine and beer and I decided to try a new beer called Moretti La Rossa which was pretty good. It tasted similar to my favorite beer Leffe. For our appetizers we had the Pepperoni Arrostiti and the Calamari. The Pepperoni Arrostiti is roasted bell peppers, burrat creamy cow milk cheese stuffing, basil pesto, and a balsamic reduction. This was different. It is served cold and has very mild flavors that combined well to give off a fresh taste. I enjoyed and thought it would be better for a summer dish. The Calamari Fritti consisted of crispy calamari, basil aioli, gromolata, and marinara sauce. The calamari was fried perfectly and did not have an oily taste. It went well with all the sauces my favorite being the aioli. For dinner we decided to get the pizza tasting which consists of four pizza of your choice. This is a pretty cool Idea and I though it was pretty interesting the way it ended up turning out. We tried the BLT which is bacon, spinach, tomato, and mozzarella which was my favorite it had so much flavor from the bacon that made it irresistiblele. The Salsiccie e Spinaci consisted of tomato, mozzarella, sausage, spinach, and garlic that was OK but nothing to write home about. We also had the Napoletana which was a white pizza with sausage, rapini, provolone, and garlic oil this was my second favorite as it had a distinctly different flavor. The last split of our pizza was Melanzane e Olive which had tomato, mozzarella, oregano, basil, olives, and roasted eggplant. This was OK as well but nothing special. Overall the service was pretty good and was really fast. There was not many people there but fast service is good anytime.
Overall I thought Kora was pretty good and I would return. Kora had good service and decent food. I think bringing this type of restaurant to Crystal City is essential to its development. It needs more character like Kora instead of all the chain restaurants that currently inhabit the space. I think Kora will continue to succeed and with all the development going on in Crystal City their business and food should only get better.
2250-B Crystal Drive
Arlington, VA 22202