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Cheap Eats 2011: Masala Art
Comments () | Published August 15, 2011
100 Best Restaurants (2011) Cheap Eats 2011

Masala Art
Address: 4441-B Wisconsin Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20016
Phone: 202-362-4441
Neighborhood: Upper Northwest
Cuisines: Indian
Nearby Metro Stops: Tenleytown-AU
Price Range: Inexpensive
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: N/A
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Bhel puri; samosas; chickpea-and-onion fritters; dal; butter chicken; sole curry; chicken in saffron-and-cashew curry; naan with rock salt and cilantro.
Price Details: Starters, $4.25 to $5.50; main courses, $9.95 to $21.95.

Tenleytown isn't exactly known for its restaurant scene, but it does have one enviable destination spot: this serene, celadon-painted Indian dining room, which puts out some of the area's most vibrant curries. The flavors of the kitchen's chicken makhani (also known as butter chicken) are at once amped up and complex, and it's hard to resist sopping up all the tomatoey gravy with blistered rounds of cilantro-sprinkled naan. Same goes for a lush cashew-and-saffron curry and the cilantro-mint sauce draping hunks of lamb. Appetizers are just as appealing, including the tamarind-and-yogurt-streaked potato salad called papri chaat, the similarly adorned puffed-rice bhel puri, and the tangy Chicken 65. The weekday lunch buffet ($9.50) is an excellent introduction to what the kitchen can do.

Also good: Samosas; crispy potato cakes; tandoori cauliflower; khasta roti; pineapple sorbet.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 08/15/2011 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews