Often touted as the best Indian restaurant in America, getting a table at Rasika is now a little easier thanks to a second location in the West End. We went to the original, which may not be as chic and modern as the newer spot, but the menu is almost identical at both so we were happy. Having been years ago and remembering it as one of the best Indian meals I’d ever had, I was excited to go back. While it may not have exceeded my lofty expectations, I loved most of the dishes we ordered.
Marinated cottage cheese / onions / peppers
Spinach / garlic / green chili / onion
Duroc pork chop with Vindaloo / Peri-Peri masala / spiced potatoes
Chicken Green Masala
Chicken / mint / coriander / ground spices
Cauliflower / green peas / cumin / ginger
Bell Pepper / cumin / mango kadi
We also sampled naan in almost every flavor, including onion and sage, garlic, and chile and olive oil.
My son’s favorite dish on the menu is the spinach and, while it may not sound exciting, after trying it, I had to agree. It was crispy, and bursting with a complexity of flavors that belie the description. The paneer dish, which one usually finds floating in creamed spinach, held its own as a kabob, and I could have made a meal out of the cauliflower. I was a bit disappointed in the pork chop because though the sauce was spicy, it didn’t sing to me. The green masala was lighter than the typical red version since it didn’t contain cream, but if you don’t love coriander, this is not the dish for you. The lobster pulao was similar to a biryani rice dish, so I loved that.
It’s a hopping place and is quite loud, but we had a prime window table making it easier to converse.
If you like Indian and you’re going to DC, call well in advance to try to snag a table.