A chandeliered Indian cafe and cocktail lounge.

From January 2006 100 Very Best Restaurants

THE SCENE. Traditional and modern are come together to great effect at this stylish Indian duplex in Cleveland Park–think burnt-orange walls and crystal chandeliers–where young professionals and more-settled sorts throng for Indian food gone glam.

WHAT YOU'LL LOVE. The downtown-comes-uptown sensibility and a menu that embraces the cuisine of northern and southern India and dishes up some fusion surprises, too. The $20 three-course pretheater menu is a steal.

WHAT YOU WON'T. Servers who need to bone up on the food and the occasional wait, even with a reservation. The open floor plan and split-level design make for an ambient din that can escalate to a roar.

BEST DISHES. Creative cocktails that aren't cloying, among them the terrific Lychee Bubbles and Pomegranate Martini; surprisingly good red-pepper-and-anise-flecked crab cakes; mini dosas with a lineup of offbeat chutneys; the deconstructed vegetable samosa, as delicious as it is stunning to look at; tandoori shrimp; tandoori lamb chops; Cornish-hen curry with hot peppers and curry leaves.


Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.