633 D St., NW
Washington, DC 20004
Neighborhood: Penn Quarter/Chinatown, Downtown
Cuisines: Vegetarian/Vegan, Indian
Open for lunch Monday through Friday 11:30 to 2:30. Open for dinner Monday through Thursday 5:30 to 10:30, Friday 5 to 11, Saturday 5 to 11.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Nearby Metro Stops: Gallery Place-Chinatown, Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter
Price Range: Expensive
Noise Level: Chatty
Palak chaat; lobster moilee with ginger, green chilies, and coconut milk; tandoori lamb chops with cashews, ginger, and green herbs; truffle-oil naan; tomato/gold-raisin chutney; chocolate samosas; apple beignet with cardamom ice cream.
Small plates, $7 to $12; entrees, $14 to $27.
Special Features: Wheelchair Accessible, Valet Parking Available
The star of Ashok Bajaj’s impressive restaurant portfolio has long been this glittering Penn Quarter Indian hot spot, done up in the warm tones of a spice market. So when he set out to open a spinoff in a West End condo building, it wouldn’t have been surprising if he cloned the original. Instead, the new sibling has its own personality—all cool blues and quirky design touches (ask for a seat in one of the carriage-like booths).
The restaurants have different chefs, but both excel at deeply fragrant curries and creative tweaks on samosas and breads. Stick to the familiar and you’ll encounter a gold-standard chicken tikka masala, or branch out and discover, say, tender duck roasted with honey and ginger. If only the desserts lived up to the rest of the meal.Don’t miss: Ragda patties (spicy potato with chutneys); palak chaat—fried spinach with yogurt and tamarind; mango shrimp; avocado-and-banana chaat;scallops with honey and ginger; black cod with honey and dill; chicken makhani; shrimp masala; goat-cheese-stuffed kulcha; garlic naan. Open: Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday for dinner. Expensive.