100 Very Best Restaurants 2014: Rasika and Rasika West End
No. 19 on this year's list.
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Jessica Voelker, Anna Spiegel
Photograph by Scott Suchman.
Comments () | Published January 28, 2014
100 Best Restaurants 2014

Rasika
Address: 633 D Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004
Phone: 202.637.1222
Neighborhood: Penn Quarter/Chinatown, Downtown
Cuisines: Vegetarian/Vegan, Indian
Opening Hours: Open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM. Open for dinner Monday through Thursday from 5:30 to 10:30 PM; Friday and Saturday from 5:30 to 11 PM. Bar and lounge open Monday through Thursday from 11:30 AM to 11 PM; Friday from 11:30
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Kid Friendly: Yes
Nearby Metro Stops: Gallery Place-Chinatown, Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter
Price Range: Expensive
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Eggplant with peanut sauce; ragda patties; poori; fried spinach leaves; galoutis; lobster masala; masala crab cakes; lamb rogan josh; lamb kebabs; wild-boar vindaloo; chocolate-filled samosa—get it with a bowl of house-made ice cream.
Price Details: Small plates, $7 to $12; entrees, $14 to $27.
Special Features:
Wheelchair Accessible, Kid Friendly, Valet Parking Available

The food at the Penn Quarter location of Ashok Bajaj’s modern Indian hit maintains an edge over its younger sibling in DC’s West End, but both put out some seriously delicious dishes. Begin with the justifiably famous palak chaatappetizer—crispy spinach topped with sweet yogurt, tamarind, and date chutney.

In Penn Quarter, try the velvety black cod marinated in honey, dill, star anise, and vinegar. A similar preparation at the West End restaurant had a drier texture; we preferred the plump shrimp bobbing in a Kerala-style curry resplendent with cumin and coconut. A disappointment at both: the bread basket. Once-pillowy naan felt thick and heavy, and the pungent mint paratha wasn’t the bright accompaniment we remembered. 

Open: Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday for dinner. 

Don’t miss: Pork chop vindaloo; scallops moilee, with ginger, green chilies, and coconut milk; chicken tikka masala; tandoori lamb chops; dal makhani; goat-cheese-stuffed kulcha.

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  • ROBERT

    WHAT IS THE NOISE LEVEL?

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