The tragedy is that the Mediterranean small plates at Neyla really are quite good, so you want to come back to eat, but service is so painful that the food just cannot make up for the service. The menu is comprised of a plethora of Greek, Lebanese, and Turkish small plates, with plenty of vegetarian options.
Highlights on the menu include a rich, smooth, velvety bow of labneh; creamy, perfect hummus; crispy, savory pumpkin and mushroom kibbeh, which are fried Lebanese dumplings; small and earthy falafel; fresh, soft pita; crispy chickpeas; sweet and salty hallumi and watermelon salad; flatbreads smothered in decadent burrata cheese and sweet cherry tomatoes; and potatoes sautéed with onions and herbs. For dessert, crispy baklava is a delight and a dense chocolate cake is a real temptation for dark chocolate lovers.
But oh the abysmal service at Neyla. It’s not so much that servers are rude, it’s that they are absentminded, distracted, and unavailable. Food comes out so slowly you go from hungry to starving to just being over it. Equally as slow drink refills makes the situation even more unbearable, and the sickeningly sweet cocktails do nothing to ease your pain. And that is if they even remember to refill your beverage.
The venue is attractive, and the food is tasty, but unless you have several hours to waste, dining at Neyla just isn’t worth it. There are equally as good Mediterranean venues in D.C. with better services and drastically better beverages.
Neyla, 3206 N Street Northwest Washington D.C. 20007, 202-333-6353