Young and Hungry

What’s the Toughest Reservation in D.C.?


Want a table at Le Diplomate at 8 p.m. on a Friday night but it's fully booked on OpenTable? My favorite secret weapon for getting the reservation I want is Rezhound. Basically it works like this: You enter the name of the restaurant and the reservation time you want, and Rezhound's bots repeatedly check back to OpenTable and then email and text you as soon as a spot opens up, so you can swoop in and grab it.

The website launched last January by Reed Kavner, a San Francisco-based product manager for crowdfunding platform Piggybackr who runs Rezhound as a hobby on the side. Now that the site is coming up on its one-year anniversary, Kavner has compiled a list of the most frequently requested restaurants in six major cities. Given that people only use Rezhound when they can't get a table, Kavner sees the request information as a pretty good indicator of the toughest to get tables.

So what are the top 10 toughest reservations in D.C.?

1. Le Diplomate
2. Rasika (Penn Quarter)
3. Blue Duck Tavern
4. Birch and Barley
5. Range
6. Rasika (West End)
7. Zaytinya
8. Estadio
9. Masa 14
10. Founding Farmers

"Le Diplomate is far and away the top restaurant," Kavner tells Y&H. "Le Diplomate blew the other [top] two out of the water."

The main drawback of Rezhound is that it only works with OpenTable. As for the prospect of incorporating CityEats? Kavner says he has no plans to in the immediate future, given that Rezhound is a side project for him and OpenTable still covers the majority of restaurants nationwide. "I would like to have every restaurant that has an electronic reservation system. I'd like to work with them eventually," he says. "But I can't tell you with a straight face that I'm planning on CityEats right now."

Photo by Jessica Sidman


  1. #1

    ...or you can just make the reservation a couple weeks in advance like I did for four of these restaurants this year? ::kanye shrug::

  2. #2

    I've eaten at almost all of those restaurants, including Le Diplomate. But none of those is as hard to get reservations at as is Komi. One of the hardest reservations I've tried to get than at any restaurant. Le Diplomate is a walk in the park in comparison.

  3. #3

    Komi wasn't hard at all for me. I called precisely one month to the day for the reservation I wanted, booked it, and was done. Like Jen Jen, it's not hard at all if you make reservations weeks in advance.

  4. #4

    Yeah, that's exactly what I did. I called Komi at the exact time the reservation line opened precisely one month to the day and got a busy signal. In fact, I got nothing but a busy signal for about a half hour. And then when I finally got a ring, I waited on the phone for about 30 minutes, by which time I missed the time I was hoping for.

    Le Diplomate, by comparison, is a breeze. They accept reservations via their website, so it's much easier to go there and, if necessary, browse for an opening if the time you want isn't available.

    If the Michelin guide comes to DC one of these days (which it will) and Komi gets awarded (which it will), it will become near impossible to get a seat there.

  5. #5

    johnny rotten had a good line about waiting in line.

    anyway, pommes français avec mon burger américain, sil vous plait.

    and don't forget the mootard.

  6. #6

    A painful article for the same fools who stood in endless lines at Georgetown Cupcake. It's for all those wanna-be pretentious Virginians/Marylanders who don't know where to go so they fight each other to get into the biggest line. All the ugliness of Black Friday competition available every night. Playing hard to get is nothing new, but it is absolutely unnecessary to endure when there are many other equally good dining options.

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