Farrah Olivia offers a menu reflective of the DC-metro area: international and diverse. Chef Morou fuses seasonal American ingredients with French technique and his Ivory Coast roots to create a playful and inventive menu. This creativity is what lead him to be a competitor on Iron Chef.
Dishes can be ordered a la carte, but the 3-course ($60) or 5-course ($75) fixed price menus are a better value. There is always at least one vegetarian choice per course. As a vegetarian, it's refreshing to be offered options that go beyond the typical standbys of pasta and roasted vegetables. When I ordered grits stuffed with mushrooms, I was surprised to receive a a crisp, tall stack of them over candied red cabbage and a tangy achiote sauce. Our other courses were just as imaginative: a painted curried eggplant and tomato soup; mushroom sausage with date flan and crunchy manioc couscous; gnudi over a bed of arugula and artichokes finished by a green apple essence themed dessert of sorbet, lollipops with caramel and gelée.
Finding the restaurant can be confusing. After being forced out of its former Old Town location due to leasing complications, Farrah Olivia was relocated to a special tasting room in the back of Morou's other restaurant, Kora, in Crystal City. The ambiance is not quite as charming as the previous space, but the food does not disappoint.
To get there, take either the Blue or the Yellow line to the Crystal City Metro; free parking in public lots after 6 pm.