The lights are low. The mood is serene. You sip a cocktail and relax as you await the rest of your meal. Nothing out of the ordinary if we were talking about a trendy new restaurant in downtown DC, but in a strip-mall several miles from downtown Silver Spring, and from the owners of Woodlands in Langley Park, a place as tasty as it is worn? Fortunately, the cooking has the oomph and finesse typically absent when restaurants decide to emphasize style and setting. Of particular note, for a kitchen generally strong across the board, are the curries, which manage to be hearty without weighing you down, and the handful of seafood preparations, including an excellent shrimp jalfrezi.
Where you can get it: 10151 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring; 301-408-2200
Also good: Papri chaat, a snack of fried dough, chickpeas, and potatoes with yogurt and tamarind; tandoori prawns; tandoori lamb chops; prawn vindaloo.