Farrah Olivia is a unique dining experience in Arlington, Virginia. Owned and run by Morou Alexandria, it follows the "restaurant within a restaurant" concept and is housed within Kora, one of his other venues. The cozy space is sectioned off from the larger dining area with purple drapes and houses 10 to 15 tables.
Farrah Olivia provides an upscale dining experience. The menu features three, four or five-course dinner options. The knowledgeable and friendly staff will gladly describe and explain each beautifully presented course as it arrives at the table. Butter poached lobster, lemongrass duck breast and beet salad are just three of the many inventive dishes featured at Farrah Olivia. Customers may bring wine to enjoy with dinner.
Service was very slow. Server not knowledgable about menu. Courses came out at wrong time. My wife's second and third course came at the same time and mine came 45 minutes later.
I've been in DC for 15 years, and had only about 5 excellent (not even stellar) meals. The original Farrah Olivia restaurant in Alexandria was one of them. This evening, Chef Mourou did not disappoint on his creative appetizers and entrees.
- Cauliflower flan
- Lemongrass Cured Duck with gingered sprouts and date flan.
- Goat Cheese Gnudi with asparagus, artichokes, arugula
We enjoyed a five-course meal to celebrate Valentine's Day. The dishes each had their strengths and the service was very good. The restaurant within a restaurant concept is very unique and I think it was done quite well. It would be nice to go back and try out the larger restaurant.
We eat out often and it was superb food, very good service, but with a somewhat loud bar next door. That said, it was not packed and there was no hurry and it did pose a slightly upscale romantic night out - if you can get past the noise and find a corner in the large open room. Going during non-high volume bar hours is likely a better experience - and given the high volume noise next door - the price is more reflective of a high end place that has it all. F. Olivia has it all - just not the perfect ambience.
I've been here twice. We had the same waiter both times. The first time he was knowledgeable, fun, talkative, patient, and all around wonderful. This recent visit he was just okay. We had a really large group for Valentine's Day. It was noticeable that he had been busy and was ready to get the heck out of there. He didn't take our drink orders so we had to go to the bar on several occasions, and they were very slow with service. The food took a while to get to us HOWEVER it is completely worth the wait.
It was a busy night, over worked staff, and a huge table. I would DEFINITELY go again, just not with such a big group. I don't think they are able to handle it.
We have eaten here a year ago and had a terrific meal. Tonight was off the mark in places. The first courses -- scallops, tortellini, and beet salad were all excellent. The entrees were unexceptional -- chicken confit and strip steak although the spinach with the chicken was terrific! Both desserts - citrus cake and chocolate cake were excellent -- never thought I'd say a slice of anything chocolate was too large but this cake is so-o-o rich that it could have been 1/2 the size and satisfied.The one waiter was too busy although there were enough other staff to fill water glasses, etc. Did love the $10.00 wine flight that was offered with the Restaurant Week menu - generous pours and decent wines. Wish more restaurants would do the same.
The food looks better than its taste.
Farrah Olivia is nestled within another restaurant, Kora. It's an interior room without windows and maybe a dozen tables. We were the only ones dining during this restaurant week experience. This gave it sort of an eerie feel to it, but once the food and wine started coming, that quickly subsided.
Every dish was well crafted with excellent presentation and style. A complimentary tapa was served before the meal began. Everything we had was delicious.
My wife and I wanted to try a place we have never been in Norther Virginia that served more gourmet food. After looking at reviews, we decided to try Farrah Olivia. We were impressed with the quality and presentation of the food. We liked it's convenient location in Crystal City. We, however, were not impressed with the view, for we were in a single, windowless room within Kora, a larger Italian restaurant. We learned that the chef owns both, but started with Farrah Olivia - a finer dining experience to Kora. The night we went, the Kora staff helped support the patrons of Farrah Olivia. While their attire was consistent with Kora, it was a step down from the expectations of Farrah Olivia. Nevertheless, the service was helpful and kind.
Service - Our host tried his best.
Portions - VERY small. I spent over $130 for two people; I left this place hungry. During dinner, I sent the message to the chef that the portion is too small for my meal. Our host took the message back; No one responded.
Ambiance - It is a closed room INSIDE another restaurant, with a few tables, . The room has minimal decor. At 7:30 pm on a Friday night there was just another table occupied.
We just enjoyed another wonderful dinner at Farrah Olivia. The food is always perfectly prepared and combines interesting ingredients in a beautiful presentation. The service is friendly but very professional. This is a special restaurant that we highly recommend. Our appreciation and compliments to the chef!
My partner and I had several FABULOUS meals at Farrah Olivia in its previous location on Washington Street in Alexandria. I was thrilled to hear that they were participating in Restaurant Week and made reservations right away. I called ahead to confirm that a wine pairing was available, if our past experience was any indication, the wines would make the food even more enjoyable. Surprised by the cavernous space upon entering, confused by the poker chips on the dining table behind the reception desk, we were led to the back corner through curtains to be seated. Our waiter was welcoming and energetic.The wines were well chosen and helped the food be more enjoyable but shouldn't have been necessary. Maybe it was the tight budget of $35.13?
Tried Farrah Olivia inside Kora Restaurant in Crystal City during Restaurant Week with 2 friends. All three of us enjoyed all three courses. Food and service was excellent.
The food is outstanding. This is serious cuisine, for people who enjoy the very best in taste, variety and presentation.
This was not a experience that I would like to have again. Upon arrival to Kora which is the restaurant in which Farrah Olivia is located you would think that you are going to be in an environment that would be nice however, we were taken to a back room that was clearly previously used for banquet space that they in a sad attempt tried to make a pop-up restaurant. The decor was sad, white tablecloths sadder and the pictures on the highwalls deplorable. No music, no atmosphere which really took away from the meal. Wait the food took away from the meal, the service was okay but nothing could make up for the sad attempt at a secondary restaurant in another. Would not recommend that anyone tries to make sense of this place or waist money there.
I went for restaurant week, and was impressed that the chef used restaurant week as a venue to show off his dishes rather than serve small portions, which many of the more expensive restaurants do. The dishes have a nice variety of styles from Asian to Latin to American, and the chef employs molecular gastronomy which is also interesting (my friend had salmon japanese style with siracha gelee bubbles, I had cauliflower flan with fried quinoa, and my other friend had scallop with bacon dust).
But despite the good technique and style, the food taste was only good and not great. So for the price, I wouldn't go back again. There are many other restaurants in the area as expensive but much tastier.
Chef Morou never disappoints at Farrah Olivia. This IS my special event restaurant, and with Restaurant Week going on, I dropped in for no 'special' reason. And, again, the meal and service was outstanding. The food is always expertly prepared and with innovative flourishes. I have been going to Farrah Olivia's for a long time - since their days in Alexandria - and I have never been less than extremely satisfied with the dining experience.
We were spending a long week-end in DC and were excited to try this restaurant. The food was not even mediocre. My husband had chicken that was dry and over-cooked. It was covered by some thick and unidentifiable sauce. My salmon was fishy tasting. It was swimming in some type of strange broth. Both dishes were salty and we could not finish either one. Presentation of the dishes was not attractive. We were drawn to this restaurant because of the pictures of the food on the website and the food we were served did not look anything like those. Beware of believing any of the positive reviews. Very disappointed and would never return here.
I cannot say enough good things about the food at Farrah Olivia. I mistakenly believed that it was a tasting menu only, but finally tried it during Restaurant Week and discovered they also have an a la carte option. From the plantain amuse to the weird-sounding but phenomenal cauliflower flan, everything was beyond delicious and innovative. The only dings were the atmosphere--you can hear ALL the noise from the bar so it's kind of like being in a gymnasium, and the decor is very corporate--as well as the service. While my server was extremely polite and gracious she was not very knowledgeable about the food and failed to explain any of the wine pairings with the courses. Not a deal breaker, but something I expect for that price bracket.
I have always wanted to try Farrah Olivia and I wasn't disappointed. The food was excellent, we had great attentive service, and the 4 course price fixed meal was a great value for the caliber of food/dining. I'm looking forward to going back soon.
Food was awesome. The tasting was maybe a little too expensive. The service was excellent. The noise was ridiculous! They need to install some sound dampening material, otherwise the noise from Kora just reverberates off the walls...
Farrah Olivia actually exist in a small private room inside Kora, which can be jarring when the next table over is ordering pizza and talking loudly and you're looking at a gorgeous tasting menu and feeling fancy, but all of the food was DELICIOUS. Definitely one of the top five meals of my life -- don't miss the lobster chowder reduction and the flourless chocolate cake and make sure you take someone with you who will share their divers scallop and salmon with you.
Visiting from Boston and had good reviews--so we went. A bit surprised that this was a "private room" inside of another restaurant. But we enjoyed that experience---and we certainly enjoyed the food, the service and the flexibility of having a nice long dinner with old friends without being pushed out. I would come back here. We all did the four course price fixe menu----
All the great food photos in the world are meaningless unless you can produce decent stuff in the kitchen. Even great ingredients won't amount to much unless the chefs pay attention to things like cooking times, texture and salt. Without that kind of attention to detail, there's moments when the product of this place smacks of "kids in the kitchen."
Look...it's OK...not all bad and with a few decent moments and tastes. But it's nothing I'd go back for or recommend to others.
What an amazing extravaganza for all your senses. Incredible combinations of tastes. Exquisite presentation.
The noise from the bar area was unacceptably high.
Both the food and service were outstanding.
Wonderful experience. Attentive and knowledgeable service with attractive presentation of the courses. Beet salad was an interesting flavor combination. I had the quail and my husband had the steak -- I think I had the best choice! The scallop and risotto was also quite good. I have already been recommending it.
Food is fabulous. It is a hidden gem!
Farrah Olivia sits inside a windowless private dining room inside another restaurant by the same chef.
The food is fantastic even if the atmosphere is weird. However, because the two restaurants share a kitchen, if either is crowded, service takes forever. We ordered the five course tasting menu - which is always going to make for a long dinner - but it took 35 minutes before we received the first course and another 30-40 minutes until the second course.
Inside of Kora, the decor may leave a lot to be desired but the food is delicious. The wait staff is knowledgeable and will take their time explaining unfamiliar vocabulary on the menu and walk you through how each dish is prepared. I was extremely impressed with the acute attention to detail. The food was prepared by someone who is well seasoned in the industry. They dark decor or the room left a lot to be desired.
Farrah Olivia is a small dining room within Kora in Crystal City. Signage a bit confusing. Each dish was beautifully presented and prepared with perfect portion sizes in the 3 course meal. Our waiter was very knowledgeable about the menu choices and we ordered a wine pairing option which made things so much easier for us. Pacing was great and the room was not too noisy for us to have a conversation while eating. A wonderful and memorable evening - classy, but not ostentatious; vibrant, but not too noisy, and wonderful food. Who could ask for more?
Girlfriend and I ate an early dinner (5:30 pm) on a Friday. Beet salad was creative and good. Gnudi was kind of a "deconstructed ravioli" gently fried-- taste was good, if a bit bland and dry (I'm not one for adding sauces to everything, but the gnudi could use a sauce of some kind). The lamp chop was excellent. Presentation was excellent.
Service was excellent, very knowledgeable waiter (unasked, he brought us two plates to share the salad).
Decor is generic-- it really is a box in the back of Kora. The two doors to the room lead into the noisy bar area. When the doors are shut, it's fine back there; when they're open, it's very loud. If I were the owners, I'd look into replacing the doors with swinging doors that stay shut.
The painted soup had all the hallmarks of a culinary masterpiece--wonderful presentation, well-orchestrated flavors, AND "love from the kitchen" in every spoonful! It was the perfect prelude to a memorable dining experience. Enzo, our waiter, provided five star service throughout the evening!
The food is quite hit or miss. I came for restaurant week and while my husband got a really great entree (hanger steak), I was really disappointed with the main dish I ordered: the stuffed chicken breast. It was a bland, uninspired version of chicken cordon bleu, which is really surprising for a place that boasts of creativity. While the appetizers were good, the desserts were also terrible. The meal ended horribly with uninspired, thoughtless pieces of cake that could have come from the supermarket. Lastly, we had TERRIBLE service. We weren't told what was being put in front of us half the time, they kept pouring the wrong drinks into our glasses, and we were charged for a drink that we didn't order!
scallops were very good. Chicken was not.
Hidden inside Kora is a square room. That is Farrah Olivia. Inventive way of preparing food while playing with gastronomy. The standard of food doesn't match the ambience of Farrah. It was very high ceilings with a giant curtain wall with stickers/wall decals on the wall. Not very contemporary like how the food is presented. The service was wonderful and the knowledgable staff was attentive.
A little hard to find but worth the effort. Small space carved out of another restaurant, the food was very good and we enjoyed our meal.
My husband and I love Farrah Olivia! We discovered Farrah Olivia in Alexandria, VA. We were sad that it had closed, but were delighted that Chef Morou re-opened his restaurant in Kora. Every bite was exquisite! The butternut squash tortellini was like heaven in my mouth. The wine pairing was perfect. Our main courses were phenomenal! My husband enjoyed the salmon. Yum! I had fancy comfort food…roasted chicken and macaroni and cheese. Nothing like home cooking, but far more superior! We will be back!
Food was wonderful. So was the service. The room was out of place