Cheap Eats 2016: Curry Leaf

Cheap Eats 2016: Curry Leaf
Dine and eat delicious curry food at Curry leaf. Photo by Scott Suchman.
Good for Groups No Alcohol

Northern Virginia is home to some of the most rewarding subcontinental cooking in the area. Rasika, Bombay Club, and Indique—which have helped shape the direction of contemporary Indian cooking in the country—all reside in DC. Curry Leaf is in Laurel, far from the vital center or even any sustaining pocket. Yet it attracts crowds nightly, a testament to the consistency and quality of chef Sam Krishnan’s cuisine, as well as to an audience that doesn’t seem to care if it turns up a good lamb korma in a setting suited for a diplomat or, as in this case, a faceless strip mall. While all the usual suspects are here (butter chicken, palak paneer), it’s the obscurities—such as a Hyderabadi egg curry with a thick, peppery gravy or a chili-pepper curry that’s not the fire pit you expect but a subtler, more nuanced expression of spice—that give the place its culinary character.

Also good: Goat curry; lamb vindaloo.

See what other restaurants made our 2016 Cheap Eats list. This article appears in our May 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

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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 Logan Circle.

Anna Spiegel
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.