Restaurateur Ashok Bajaj and chef Vikram Sunderam of Rasika are teaming up for another Indian restaurant: a second location of their Cleveland Park street food spot, Bindaas. The 90-seat eatery will take the place of the former Johnny Rockets at 2000 Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest (at 20th Street). A fall 2017 opening is expected.
The original Bindaas just opened in August, and true to name—Hindi slang for “cool”—the place is often packed. Bajaj doesn’t plan to make too many changes to the menu of regional street eats, though a larger kitchen will allow for a greater variety of chaat (savory snacks), flatbread-like kathi rolls, pao buns, and kebabs. And while the flagship doesn’t serve curry—leave that to sister restaurants Rasika and Bombay Club—Bajaj is considering adding one or two “street curries” at the new branch. Prices will reflect the original, landing around $7 to $12 for appetizers, and $12 to $15 for entrees.
“The menu will be a little more elaborate than what we have, but the same in principle,” says Bajaj. “It’s approachable food.”
The downtown Bindaas will also add lunch to the rotation (Cleveland Park only serves dinner and brunch), as well as carryout. A separate to-go counter will be part of the design from Martin Vahtra of Project Design Associates in New York, who’s also behind the looks of Rasika West End and 701 Restaurant. For those planning to linger, a bar will pour wines on tap and Indian-spiced cocktails like a chili-spiked gin fizz.
Bindaas. 2000 Pennsylvania Ave., NW. Opening fall 2017.