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.