Last weekend I dropped by Soussi Restaurant in Adams Morgan with a few friends. We arrived around 10pm and the place was packed - luckily some friends had already snagged a place on the patio and were busy smoking a hookah by the time we got there.
The bar inside and upstairs is dark, and set up to look like it's always full. There are low-lying sofas and cushions in dark shades with dim lighting and heavy curtains everywhere; chic individuals are draped on the furniture, lazily smoking their pipes. Outside the crowd is more active, but maybe that's because of all the lighting streaming in from the street. Tables and chairs are set up to accommodate large groups, and it does seem that everyone in the place is with ten other people.
I don't smoke, but the smokers seemed happy with their hookah experience. I ordered a blonde on tap, not unreasonably priced and quite tasty. The sheer noise of that many people makes it difficult to converse, but the set-up of tables allows for more intimate conversations, even with multiple people. The service was quick and came by to check in often. We didn't order food, but I saw some steaming plates of seafood bisque and tagine being delivered to a table. Considering that those dishes are appetizers, they did not skimp on size and it smelled and looked delicious.
All in all, I definitely recommend this for a group gathering or a pre-party meeting place (especially during happy hour!) but it may be too busy for a date and definitely not a good place for kids.
2228 18th St NW
Washington, DC 20009-1813