You’ve been here before, even if you haven’t. The order-at-the-counter operation that moves you down the line, asking you to customize your bowl with rice, a choice of meats or tofu, a selection of sauces, and an array of add-ons—Chipotle started it, and a slew of copycats have emerged to cash in with their various culinary twists. This Indian spot does it better than any—including, yes, Chipotle. The strength here is the saucing: the four curries cooked up daily by chef Upendra Thapaliya, pulsing with color, flavor, and heat. Don’t miss the naan pizzas, smeared, say, with tikka masala in the role of tomato sauce, sprinkled with cheese, topped with tender cubes of lamb, and baked to a wonderful crispness.
Where you can get it: 5501 Baltimore Ave., Hyattsville; 301-209-0080
Also good: Slow-simmered chickpeas over brown rice with kadai curry, a dark, spicy gravy from northern India; simmered lamb with spinach curry and raita over white rice.