I will be coming to DC in a few weeks to visit my daughter and I was able to get reservations at Rasika. Can anyone give me some guidance as to what are their best dishes or can't miss dishes to order? Thanks.
633 D Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004
Well the crispy spinach appetizer is a must order. I really like the lamb kohlapuri, but I often order based on the level of heat I feel like exposing my stomach to. The servers can normally tell you what is really spicy, what is mild and what is in between and what are the better options based on what you would like to eat. I find almost all the servers there immensely helpful.
We ALWAYS get the veggie dish that has paneer, cream, and cashews. I forget what it's called but it's SO good.
Also, I really like the paneer sashlik.
I've never thought that their bread was that good, however, compared to any other Indian restaurant.
Just ask your server and let him/her know how spicy you like your food. The menu is quite extensive and the dishes are made for sharing. Both times I have eaten there, the server recommended the crispy spinach, which is really unique and wonderful. I would say it's a can't miss because you probably won't get anything like it elsewhere. But trust the servers -- their recommendations are superb.
You may want to consider their tasting menu, which is one of the most reasonable tasting menus in the city. That's what we did the first time there because we wanted to try as much as possible - he got the meat one and I got the vegetarian one. There are a few overlaps between the menus and the waiter allowed us to substitute.
If you don't do that, always get the crispy spinach. I was there last night and we also tried the sev batata puri which, I have to confess, I actually enjoyed even more than their signature crispy spinach.
And save time for a drink at the bar first in the hopes that they have their awesome curry popcorn out.
You have to get at least one order of the crispy spinach dish. (I say at least one because my bf and I ordered a second because we loved it so much.)
We also really enjoyed the salmon dish....I think it was the Tandori salmon. It was delicious and flavorful.
The only thing we were a little disappointed in was dessert. I kind of wish we had gone elsewhere for dessert or just skipped it all together.
I absolute love Rasika, even though I've only eaten their twice.
And out of all the dishes, I'd have to go with the Palak Chaat and the Green Tikka Masala.
Here are just some of my initial impressions from my notes (I'm working on a review of Rasika for my blog as we speak!):
"Palak Chaat (crispy spinach, sweet yogurt, tamarind, date chutney): This is a house specialty, and for good reason—it was the best dish I had and quite possibly the best use of spinach I’ve ever seen. It seems deceptively simple, with just four ingredients, but everything just melds so perfectly. The crispiness gives it a nice crunch, but since it’s spinach, it doesn’t feel greasy but rather very light. The yogurt adds an interesting sweetness but also a nice, light, milky coolness to it that gives it a nice contrasting texture. And to top it all off, there’s a fantastic spiciness that kicks in near the end, counterbalancing the sweetness. Combining the sweet, spicy, and crunchy perfectly, this is a near flawless dish. 4.9/5.0
"Chicken Green Masala (Chicken, mint, coriander, ground spices): This one really just came out of nowhere as one of the most inventive and best tasting foods of the evening. The chicken is absolutely tender, even more so than in the Makhani, and it’s incredibly succulent. Plus, it suits the minty sauce very well, which gives it a nice kick and zestiness. And the sauce itself just makes your taste buds go all over the place. It’s rather spicy, but the mint and coriander act as a perfect counterbalance, giving it a nice cooling freshness that really adds lots of flavor and a great contrast. It can, however, be too salty. 4.3/5
I can also easily recommend the Black Cod, which is extremely tender and has a good bit of honey sweetness, and the Tawa Baiga, a fried eggplant appetizer.
Hope some of that helps!
The Food Buster
633 D Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004
The spinach appetizer is amazing. You'll maybe even want seconds of it...it's that good. I think the tandori chicken is far better than the chicken masala. Its got a unique cinnamon flavor which most Indian places don't really do a good job of doing. If that type of flavor is not your cup of tea the waiters are exceptional and know the menu very well. You can tell them what your palate is craving and they can pretty much order for you. That is what I like about this restaurant. It is very rare that I trust the wait staff to order or even make suggestions as to what everyone else likes, but they are really that confident about what comes out of the kitchen and onto the diner's plates.