100 Very Best Restaurants 2014: Rasika and Rasika West End

No. 19 on this year's list.
Photograph by Scott Suchman.

The food at the Penn Quarter location of Ashok Bajaj’s modern Indian hit maintains an edge over its younger sibling in DC’s West End, but both put out some seriously delicious dishes. Begin with the justifiably famous palak chaatappetizer—crispy spinach topped with sweet yogurt, tamarind, and date chutney.

In Penn Quarter, try the velvety black cod marinated in honey, dill, star anise, and vinegar. A similar preparation at the West End restaurant had a drier texture; we preferred the plump shrimp bobbing in a Kerala-style curry resplendent with cumin and coconut. A disappointment at both: the bread basket. Once-pillowy naan felt thick and heavy, and the pungent mint paratha wasn’t the bright accompaniment we remembered.

Open: Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday for dinner.

Don’t miss: Pork chop vindaloo; scallops moilee, with ginger, green chilies, and coconut milk; chicken tikka masala; tandoori lamb chops; dal makhani; goat-cheese-stuffed kulcha.

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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.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.