The latest restaurant from Richard Sandoval arrived this Monday at 1300 I Street NW along McPherson Square. Toro Toro is a Pan Latin Steakhouse with a unique spin on South and Central American ingredients and flavors. The restaurant uses the finest meats, poultry and seafood and Latin flavors to offer several different dining experiences. From sharing delicious small plates, enjoying a nice steak entree, to the unlimited meat experience most commonly associated with Brazilian steakhouses where beef and chicken is carved off a skewer and onto your plate directly at your table.
The atmosphere is definitely lounge inspired. Decor is dark with browns and blacks. Each section of the restaurant to bar and to kitchen is partitioned by iron bars. Antelope and long horned cattle skulls adorn the walls, with large leather chairs throughout the restaurant. At a few of the longer dining tables 8 foot leather thrones are placed at the heads position.
Friendly and knowledgeable staff sport western style shirts with patches on the elbows and matching aprons. We’ll forever be greatful to our server who recommended La Bomba (more on that later).
Many of the dishes are served on planks of wood and tissue made to look like vintage Cuban newspapers. Not to worry, an from the manufacturer inscription disclaims it is made with 100% vegetable based non toxic ink.
The chef de cuisine Steve Hartzell recommends the Cachapas or Octopus. He also enjoys working with small plates because it’s the way he likes to eat. So grab some friends and a table and enjoy as many small plates as you can!
Naranja Fizz (finlandia tangerine, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, egg white, blood orange soda) Sweet and fresh with a nice finish and garnished with a mint leaf.
Raspberry Collins (bombay gin, fresh lemon juice, fresh raspberry, simple syrup, champagne) Cocktail with a kick, the fresh lemon juice adds a tart flavor and the champagne adds a bubbly lightness.
Passion Fruit Pisco Sour (pisco capel, passion fruit puree, bitters, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, egg white) The passion fruit really comes through this drink. On first inspection it looks like freshly squeezed fruit juice with a foamy top.
Buena Vida (vida mescal, Campari, sweet vermouth, orange bitters) A barrel aged cocktail. Excellent smokiness the orange and Campari add a nice bitter flavor with a smooth finish. Drink slow and savor.
Shared Plates (Cold)
Smoked Guacamole (avocado, chipotle chili, onion, tomato) smokey flavor really shines through making it more interesting and flavorful than traditional guacamole. Served with thin crispy plantain chips.
US Prime Beef Steak Tartare (chipotle chili, balsamic reduction, capers, sundried tomato) Little egg yoke on top with thin crispy bread and a chipotle chili on the side. The tartare is creamy like butter with a nice spiciness from the capers and balsamic reduction.
Shared Plates (Hot)
Short Rib Coca Flatbread (braised short rib, manchego cheese, horseradish, arugula) topped with fresh arugula and thinly sliced red peppers. Crispy shredded meat topped with a spicy horseradish yoghurt. Offers a perfect balance of both crispy and soft textures over the bread.
Lomo Saltado Empanada (stuffed pastry, beef tenderloin, oyster sauce, tomato, onion, guacamole sauce) Three empanadas arrive in a tissue lined fryer basket. Guacamole sauce is creamy and whipped. The beef tenderloin melts in your mouth and the flavors are beautifully marinated.
Cachapas (duck carnitas, corn pancakes, Oaxaca cheese, tomato jam) Flavorful duck on three corn pancakes. The tomato jam adds a delicate sweetness to the dish.
Chicharron de Camarones (crispy shrimp, aji amarillo sauce, pickled chiles) A basket of tiny and crunchy shrimp. The pickled chili sauce had a heat that builds but pulls so many flavors into your mouth.
Pan Latin Specialty Dishes
Palomilla de Res (beef filet, bell pepper, onion, poblano chili, cognac black pepper sauce) This dish has beautiful colors with peppers and onion with a few french fries mixed in. The filet arrives on your plate cooked as four large juicy slices. In a way it is a plated version of the meat you might expect to get during the Rodizio experience . I strongly recommend ordering the cheesy Oaxaca mashed potatoes or Yucca fries as a side.
La Bomba for two (cream cheese mousse, passionfruit sorbet, chocolate cookie crumbs, strawberries & cream & dulce de leche ice cream, mixed berries, caramel, vanilla bean cream anglaise) Genius! Thin chocolate shell filled with the various ice creams explodes when you drop it on the table. A fun way to end the night!
If you don’t save room for dessert you should make some and have the La Bomba.
1300 Eye Street NW
Between 13th and 14th Streets NW
Washington, DC 20005
Sunday – Thursday: 5:00pm – 11:00pm
Friday – Saturday: 5:00pm – 12:00am
Late Night Dining
Sunday – Thursday: 11:00pm – 1:00am
Friday – Saturday: 12:00am – 2:00am
Late Night Dancing
Available in the second floor bar/lounge
Sunday – Thursday: 10:00pm – 2:00am
Friday – Saturday: 10:00pm – 3:00am
Upstairs bar: Daily – 4:00pm – 7:00pm
Downstairs bar: Daily – 5:00pm – 7:00pm