Kaliwa ‘Is a Trip,’ Says Tom Sietsema



Washington Post restaurant critic Tom Sietsema heads to the Wharf’s newest restaurant, where he breaks down the three distinct cuisines chef Cathal Armstrong is cooking (Filipino, Korean, and Thai). “Early contenders for a customer’s time and attention” include grilled pork belly served with banana ketchup, as well as roast chicken marinated with lemongrass, juniper, lime juice and even Sprite. One of the best dishes on the menu, Sietsema says, is a Thai creation combining crab, fiery red curry, and fried garlic. Stumbles include a Korean fried chicken sandwich devoid of crunch and heat, as well as long wait times. Support is solid in the kitchen and behind the bar, Sietsema notes, hailing chef de cuisine Paolo Dungca, who has cooked at Bad Saint, and bar vet Todd Thrasher’s “whimsical” cocktail list. The go-to dessert to get is the pandan cake with coconut cream icing.