After three years in the making, Maketto finally opened its door this past weekend for a sneak preview of the retail, restaurant, cafe and bar.
So this joint better be on the hype if Wale comes through, right?
Maketto does not disappoint. The shop is more innovative than anything else I’ve ever experienced in the DMV area.
Upon entering, the first aspect is the retail space. Complete with sneakers, the shop boasts apparel from the DURKL brand and select retailers. The layout is fresh and simple so that any avid shopper can easily pick out items.
Go past the retail section and there’s a full-service bar. Hennessy sponsored the night and any cocktail complete with the dark liquor was free for the first several hours. Bartenders quickly served drinks across the hipster-looking countertops.
A small section of tables aligned the back room, perfect for couples or a group of four who wanted to sit together.
Delve further into the area and you’ll see the open patio space complete with long picnic tables, a grill and chef cooking chicken teriyaki kabob over a flame and stairs leading way, way, way up. The patio setting is ideal for the late-night outing or spending the day on your laptop, coffee in hand.
The final aspect of the first floor is a medium-sized kitchen where Chef Erik Bruner-Yang oversaw all the food orders for the night. He graciously chatted with us for a few minutes, explaining his excitement about the restaurant opening.
We ordered a Cambodian Noodle Soup, Pork Steam Buns and Taiwanese Sticky Rice Wrap.
The buns had the perfect ratio of bread:meat. The bit of duck sauce smothered on the side added to the contrasting tastes and added to the flavorful braised pork stuffed on the inside.
While I expected a different soup, the Cambodian bowl tasted similar to a Vietnamese Pho Bowl. The soup, a bit thicker in the Cambodian dish, and the abundance of greens added to the overall flavor of the bowl itself. Whenever I eat a bowl of Pho, I’m left feeling sluggish, full and sleepy. After eating this dish though, I felt satisfied and didn’t have that laggy-like feeling. There’s no need for Sriracha because the bowl has the perfect amount of spice.
Finally, the sticky rice wrap felt similar to a burrito. The meat slightly drier than the braised meat in the dumpling, the rice acted as the burrito wrap holding all the goods neatly compressed inside. We felt we needed a bit of a sauce since the meat was slightly drier than any of the other food, but we would order it again for sure.
A couple of hours into the night, I took a bite of the Num Pang Sandwich. I stared at others as they ate it, and knew that I needed to try it before I left. The sandwich didn’t disappoint with its loads of meat, enough greens to satisfy and perfectly toasted bread. Usually I’m not one for grabbing a sandwich, but this Asian dish is an exception.
I headed upstairs to find a porch setting complete with colored lights, a DJ and a small stage. Later, artists took the stage to rap about their woes and dj’s dropped familiar tunes throughout the night.
We saw a vending machine shipped straight from Asia. Inside we found Asian lucky cats, imported snacks and a handful of other goodies.
Next we peeped inside into both a cafe and bar setting. Bartenders shook cocktail drinks while several other baristas made espresso drinks on the side. Initially we thought the combination was strange, but after having a few drinks, we craved coffee and decided the combo was perfect.
The final touch to the shop is next to the cafe. A small library of magazines and are neatly laid out across a counter. Readers can find Hypebeast, Complex and Ala Champ Magazines across the plain white countertop. Similar to downstairs aesthetics, the top-floor shares the simple “less is more” quality.
We deemed the pop-up shop a success and definitely worth checking out when it opens on Monday. With good food, drinks and wi-fi, guests can spend sunrise to turnt up night in Maketto.
Executive Producers: Stereo Champions
Producers: Justine Hong, Rodney Curl
Photographer: Kevin Assié
Special Appearance: Chuck Inglish, Avers, M.I.L.F., DJ Gavin Holland and Bond St. District
Sounds: Us by Aviscerall
Partners: Maketto, Durkl
© 2015, Stereo Champions. All Rights Reserved.