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Kaliwa, Washington, DC

Kaliwa

3.6
3.6
180 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 p.m.


Booked 52 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

  • Neighbourhood

    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 180 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
  • 3.5Service
  • 4Ambience
  • 3.3Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Washington, D.C. Area

    Most Booked 1,000-Point Tables

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  1. H

    Hgerm

    Denver

    9 reviews

    2.0

    9 reviews

    Dined 4 days ago

    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.
  2. S

    Sarah

    New York Area

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined 6 days ago

    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.
  3. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Washington DC

    1 review

    vip
    1.0

    1 review

    Dined 7 days ago

    overall1food1service1ambience1
    Awful awful awful
  4. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined 7 days ago

    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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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!
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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!!
  19. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 3, 2022

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

    OpenTable Diner

    New York Area

    1 review

    vip
    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 3, 2022

    overall1food2service1ambience5
    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.
  21. 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
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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
  29. 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.
  30. SD

    SebastianD

    Washington DC

    3 reviews

    2.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on August 28, 2022

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

    OpenTable Diner

    Washington DC

    12 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    12 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.
  32. 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?
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Mexico City

    4 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on August 23, 2022

    overall2food3service1ambience3
    I am so disappointed with Kaliwa. I expected something totally different from a Michelin recommended restaurant: food was average and the service was awfully bad. The food took a lot of time to arrive and my dish came before my wife’s. Flavor was average. It was just ok, nothing to remember, not what I expected from a Michelin recommended place. The dish presentation was ok, although I did not expect something something fancy. Price was average, but I have to say that I’ve paid the same for better food and service. So far, the only thing that I really liked about Kaliwa was it’s location.
  36. K

    Kaushal

    Houston

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 23, 2022

    overall1food1service2ambience4
    Not attentive Vegetarian food was very bad Ambiance was good
  37. MM

    MaddyM

    Washington DC

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 21, 2022

    overall1food1service1ambience1
    We happened upon restaurant week. I never do RW, being in the business. Music was way louder than needed to be, the mood lighting shift was abrupt. Service… I’ll always tip, but the service desperately needs work. The food… you’re looking for punchy flavors and the calamansi sorbet was the only course that delivered it.
  38. RK

    ReenieK

    Baltimore

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on August 21, 2022

    overall4food5service3ambience4
    I ate at Kaliwa during Restaurant Week. The prix fix menu was limited, but wonderful. Kaliwa did not make the regular menu available. Our server was average at best. He was telling us about the desserts when I asked him about one of them. Granted, I interrupted him, but... he gave me a look and repeated what he had just said. I still didn't get my question answered. When I asked him if the pad thai was on the sweet side, he said he didn't know. Finally, he was clearly in a rush to get us out the door. He laid down the check before he'd served us dessert. My friend had ordered a different dessert than the one that she received. She let the food server know, but the main waiter had no idea. Finally, the desserts were served on disposible plates. For a $55 meal, I'm expecting real plates and silverware. Overall, I'd be CAUTIOUSLY willing to try this restaurant again.
  39. SF

    SoFedUp

    Atlantic City

    14 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on August 21, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    Restaurant week menu needed more variety. Was hoping too see some additional items from their regular menu
  40. M

    Monica

    Baltimore

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 21, 2022

    overall2food1service4ambience4
    Customers service was ok. Food was subpar for price. Went restaurant week for lunch and menu items were not tasty at all. Drinks were ok. We expressed displeasure and manager on duty just blew it off and went about his business. No apology or anything. We left unsatisfied so went to another restaurant for food and drinks. Two stars is generous and only because our waitress was very friendly and accomadating.

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitising

    • Surfaces sanitised between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitised menu provided
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Sanitiser 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 180 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 p.m.


Booked 52 times today
Google Map for Kaliwa

751 Wharf St SW, Washington, DC 20024-3433

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Neighbourhood

    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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