photo credit: Frankie Cole

Calabrian prawns in a bowl with hummus and pita on the side.




$$$$Perfect For:Date NightHappy Hour


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Ela is a great option to meet friends for a classy yet relaxed night out in Virginia-Highland. For those that remember this Va-Hi space as The Original El Taco, walking into the new dining room of Ela will feel like the big reveal at the end of an episode of Fixer Upper. What was once dim, divey, and more suited for a college campus crowd has been transformed. It’s now a trendy and sophisticated Mediterranean restaurant where groups of adults pass around very good shareable small plates. Get the crisp falafels with moist centers and gourmet spinach and feta hot pockets with an impossibly flaky crust. Sauces move from sideshows to the main event with the “Get Sauced” tray, which includes five tasty dips like hot sauce, a green, herby oil, and a creamy yogurt-based spread that elevate everything on the menu (bland harissa chicken skewers included).

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