This was our second time trying the restaurant and after being unimpressed the first time, were hoping the second try would be a better experience. It was extremely disappointing. Much-hyped mango margarita was too boozy and cloyingly sweet. Chips & salsa - chips were soggy with grease, salsa tasted more like marinara sauce than anything else. The evening special for $14 was sliced flank steak smothered with bell peppers & onions (not Ropa Vieja, which is on the menu) and when it was served, much to our surprise, it was sitting on top of a bunch of limp Ore-Ida fries (not advertised), despite a generous serving of white rice on the platter. The chicken fajitas had been doused in some tomato based sauce and were completely unappealing. The tostones were dry, bready hockey pucks - could hardly taste the plaintains. And to top it all off, the service was abysmal. The only good points of the meal were a stuffed yucca appetizer - presentation was lovely, tastes were interesting (comibination of yucca, chorizo, raisins, onions, and olives), it was a little heavy, but otherwise well executed - and when we finally asked for the check it was delivered promptly. Good thing we had cash and didn't have to wait on a receipt.
The concept of the Banana Cafe is great given the revival on 8th Street and would definitely fill a niche on Capitol Hill. Unfortunately it fails to deliver.