Cheap Eats 2012: Bollywood Bistro

Aam palak chaat salad. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Cheap Eats 2012

Blown-up images of bejeweled Bollywood stars gaze from the walls of this date-night-ready dining room. But we’re most seduced by the chili-stoked Indian cuisine.

Among the kitchen’s triumphs is the fabulous aam palak chaat, a toss of green mango, crisped spinach, tamarind, and crunchy chickpea nibs. Chicken curry is punched up with dusky red chilies. Tender masala-spiced cauliflower and smoky eggplant laced with ginger show respect for vegetables, and offbeat versions of naan add a note of fun—the cheddar variation is a bit like a cheese quesadilla and ideal for a toddler rebelling against tandoori chicken.

Also good: Creamy chicken Malabari; Punjabi goat asala; lamb shank vindaloo; twice-cooked black dal; carrot halwa.

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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 Logan Circle.