Bombay Bistro

A flashy Indian mini-chain with outposts in Rockville and Fairfax.

From June 2005 Cheap Eats

You might be tempted to make a meal of tandoori flatbreads and musky dal, the Indian lentil dish, which is worthy of star status. But then you would miss such gems as spiced mussels in coconut milk, spicy lamb with cilantro, and yogurt-marinated whole fish–usually rockfish–cooked in the tandoor. More-familiar classics like southern Indian dosas, searing northern Indian lamb vindaloo, and coconut shrimp curry are deftly done. And the puffy Indian bread known as poori is rave-worthy.

Service is gracious, and both restaurants have avid enough followings to make dinner reservations a must on weekends. Fairfax has the bigger, flashier dining room; Rockville sports an open kitchen. Both are done up bazaar-style with Indian fabrics, jewelry, and art.