100 Very Best Restaurants 2017: Rasika/Rasika West End

Photograph by Scott Suchman

About Rasika/Rasika West End

633 D St NW
Washington, DC 20004
1190 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington, DC 20037

Rasika has long been cherished by Washington food lovers as our treasure, besting even New York. Kudos to longtime chef Vikram Sunderam for keeping it so. Few can layer spices with such finesse that all 14 aromatics in the lamb xacuti curry sing, coax vegetables to steal the show (this is the place to treat vegetarians), or reimagine classics with a fine-dining eye that’s not gratuitous (yes, vindaloo curry tastes better with seared duck). Menus vary by location, and you won’t go wrong at either, especially because must-try staples such as glazed black cod grace both. Still, we tip favor to the original in Penn Quarter for its lustrous, spice-hued decor and chef’s tasting counter. As for dessert, sweets such as mango tarte Tatin are as refined as the savories. Expensive.

Also great: Crab-pepper masala; mango shrimp; lobster hawa mahal; gobhi mattar (gingery cauliflower); goat-cheese kulcha; tandoori lamb chops; apple beignet with cardamom ice cream.

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 Petworth.

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.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.

Kristen Hinman
Articles Editor

Kristen Hinman has been editing Washingtonian’s features since 2014. She joined the magazine after editing politics & policy coverage for Bloomberg Businessweek and working as a staff writer for Voice Media Group/Riverfront Times.