Kismet Modern Indian Restaurant Opens in Old Town Alexandria

The spinoff of DC's Karma Modern Indian offers chicken tikka masala and snapper peri-peri.

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Karma, a modern Indian restaurant in DC known for its artful plating, has a new sister restaurant in Old Town Alexandria—Kismet. The new spot is open only for takeout right now, but the dining room will debut on Nov. 10.

While the DC location tends to cater to a lot more business clientele, Kismet will have a bit more of a “relaxed” vibe, says co-owner Sachin Mahajan. Some staple sides like the dal makhani and slow-cooked pindi chickpeas have carried over, while Karma dishes that had gone off menu—like the chicken biryani—are making a comeback at Kismet.

Grilled pulled chicken is a new addition to Kismet’s menu. Photograph courtesy Kismet.

Chef Ajay Kumar also has plenty of new offerings: a red snapper peri-peri served with lemon rice, lamb ghee roast with whole green cardamom and cloves, and a tandoor-grilled pulled chicken with tartare sauce and chickpea flour crisps on top. Mahajan describes the latter as “our take a on a traditional chicken salad but in a little bit more of a fine-dining environment.” Chicken tikka masala, which, surprisingly, had never been on Karma’s menu, also makes an appearance.

The cocktail menu includes both takes on classics (“reflections”) and house creations (“manifestations”) such as a mix of color-changing pea flower-infused gin, midori, and lemon juice as well as a tequila drink with pumpkin chai shrub. You’ll also find a handful of Virginia and European beers alongside a small wine-by-the-glass menu meant to pair well with the spiced food.

The 4,000-square-foot space, formerly a BurgerFi joint, has retained some of its industrial look but has been warmed up with a wall of candles, orb lights, and a mosaic-tiled bar. The restaurant also has a courtyard patio seating up to 30.

Kismet Modern Indian. 111 North Pitt St., Alexandria. 703-567-4507.

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.