Passage to India
4931 Cordell Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20814
Neighborhood: Bethesda/Glen Echo
Cuisines: Vegetarian/Vegan, Indian
Daily for lunch and dinner.
Nearby Metro Stops: Bethesda
Price Range: Moderate
Noise Level: Intimate
Sev-murmura chaat; samosa with chickpeas and yogurt; lamb cooked in the tandoor oven; shrimp in coconut curry; pickle plate; fresh mango with yogurt.
Cuisine: Owner/chef Sudhir Seth’s careful approach to regional Indian cooking—the menu covers a wide swath of the subcontinent—translates into refined plates that are light and complex.
Mood: Intricately painted and carved doors hung as wall art reinforce the “passage” motif in the serene dining room.
Best for: A lingering night out; lunch or dinner that ventures far beyond tandoor and palak paneer.
Best dishes: Sev-murmura chaat, a pileup of puffed rice, tamarind, cilantro, and dates; masala-spiced mounds of lump crab; warqi pudina paratha, a mint-flecked whole-wheat flatbread; Parsi-style lamb stew with apricots and straw potatoes; curry of okra and onions with mango powder; shrimp stew with cloves, ginger, and cinnamon; the area’s best Indian pickle plate.
Insider tips: Servers may look formal, but engage them and they’ll help put together a meal so you avoid the trap of many first-timers: too many similar-tasting dishes.
Open daily for lunch and dinner. Moderate.