Contact Us

Three Hot Downtown Openings

This week saw three hot openings in downtown DC, starting with the long-awaited Mango Tree. The new restaurant from chef/restaurateur Richard Sandoval and Mango Tree founder and CEO Pitaya Phanphensophon is a real looker in CityCenterDC


We snuck in for a sneak peek in the final moments before the restaurant opened on Jan. 15. A buzzy downstairs bar is where you’ll warm up before heading upstairs to an expansive, attractive dining room. It’s there that we snapped chef Paul Kennedy and managing director Trevor MacKenzie, who is in from Bangkok for the launch of the first Mango Tree in America. Trevor says the Thai-based restaurant group also scouted New York, Boston and the West Coast. “If you fail in New York, you can’t open anywhere else,” he tells us. He continued to explain that he digs how DC is constantly reinventing itself.


Chef Paul Kennedy runs his kitchen with an accent, but it’s not Thai. He hails from England, and has spent five years embracing not only Thai food, but Thai culture too. Mango Tree scooped him up in Dubai, where he was working as a chef for Formula 1 racers, among other gigs. “I’ve been cooking Thai so long that there’s a little Thai in me.” His menu includes this tom yum soup with Maine lobster; crispy catfish with green mango salad; and, of course, various forms of satay. The restaurant is now serving dinner, with lunch coming soon.