100 Best Restaurants 2011: Indique Heights

Only the top 40 restaurants were ranked in 2011's Best Restaurants list.

In a perfect world, Indian street-food spots would be as plentiful here as burger joints. As it is, we can satisfy our cravings at this color-splashed Friendship Heights dining room.

There are familiar dishes—samosas with chickpeas, the tamarind-and-yogurt-swirled potato salad called papri chaat, and miniature dosas, tissue-thin crepes from Southern India. But beyond those mainstays are excellent Syrian-style lamb with coconut, and paani puri—crunchy one-bite puffs filled with tamarind water. Tandoori meats are done particularly well, and curries are assertively spiced.

While many Indian restaurants have skippable desserts, a trio of rice puddings, the pistachio-dotted custard called shreekand brûlée, and kulfi with orange are lovely here.

Also good: Kathi rolls, wraps of chicken and chutney; gingery seafood soup; shrimp varuval with lemon rice; chicken tikka makhani; Malabar shrimp curry; spicy chicken chettinad.

Open daily for lunch and dinner. Moderate.

>> See all of 2011's Best Restaurants

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.