Restaurant Review: Rasika

“Gunga Din, I’ll kill you where you stand if I hear you sing another Bollywood song.”

The wife and I have a short list of go-to restaurants for friends visiting from out of town. Rasika, which offers a modern take on Indian cuisine, just made the list.

There are two locations – one in Penn Quarter and the other in a nondescript area in D.C. called “West End.” We were well on our way to the former location recently, but our reservation was at the latter. After a few twists and turns that would make Popeye Doyle proud …

… we found ourselves careening into the valet stand at the restaurant, which was obscured by a construction site that covered half the street. Black and blue dominated the interior, very chic. This was the kind of place where guys were expected to unbutton their shirts to the second button and necklines plunge beyond the belly nether regions, yet it was very cozy. The hosts were impeccable and polite, and immediately showed us to our table in the middle of the dining area. I noticed that on the ceiling adjacent to the bar, there was a big statue hand giving the “shocker” sign. I thought it was funny and chuckled to myself. The wife did not.

OK, back to the food. The spinach appetizer – which most Yelp.com reviewers raved about – was crispy, light, tasty and creamy, all at once.

No, I didn’t go dumpster diving. I’m no freegan. This is Palak Chole, my crispy spinach appetizer.

We followed up with the Galouti Kebab, consisting of smoked lamb, cashews, rose petals and saffron. I washed it down with a glass of pinot noir (or two).

Galouti Kebab, half-eaten by Chairman.

My entree was Dum Ki Buryani, lamb chunks with basmati rice and saffron. The lamb melted in my mouth and the rice was fantastic. Dare I say it was a thousand times better than any plain white rice I’ve had with Chinese food? No way! 2 + 2 = 5. Oy-y-y.

I came very close to ordering rice pudding dessert, but discretion was the better part of valor this time. The meal and service were excellent, and we left Rasika fat, sleepy and happy. And we have plenty of other dishes to sample on our next trip.

On a scale of 1 to 4 hurricanes bearing down on the East Coast with 4 being best, Rasika earned 4 hurricanes. Shocker.

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About Chairman Mao

I like fomenting socialist revolutions and purging my homeland of pseudo-intellectualism and capitalist dogma. I also like sports, dogs and food (although I wouldn't consider myself a foodie).
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