Here is an informative post for Web API developers breaking down the Django REST Framework versus other REST frameworks.
The author argues that, when building high-performance Web APIs, you should focus on the "right" things. The right things being that the framework is mature, well-supported and well-tested.
You should avoid making your decision based on the false belief that smaller = faster. Instead, consider the performance of the application's overall architecture.
This post dispels some popular myths, too, like that you should roll your own framework, and that you should always use a "lightweight" framework.