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Bombay Club vs Rasika

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mdpilam Mar 24, 2011 12:06 PM

I know both are owned by the same people, but I went to Bombay Club for the first time last night (I've been to Rasika once - just moved here), and was impressed. I liked it better than Rasika. Maybe this is because I like spicy food, and at Bombay Club, they actually made our food spicy (green chili chicken, and med. on paneer makhni). At Rasika, we also requested "very spicy, as spicy as you can make it" for the spicy dishes (a lamb one and a kebab). Neither were spicy at all. The food was good at Rasika, but being from CA, I wasn't overly impressed with it (and even more underwhelmed when our food wasn't spicy). The food at BC I thought was a notch above Rasika (we also ordered the spinach and arugula chaat), and properly spiced. I think both were still pretty expensive - but that's DC I guess.

I will be frequenting BC much more than Rasika.

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Rasika Restaurant
633 D Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

Bombay Club
815 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20006

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  1. hcbk0702 RE: mdpilam Mar 24, 2011 12:40 PM

    Rasika isn't an "authentic" Indian restaurant, so you're not going to find very spicy food there. It leans towards fine dining. The strongest dishes there IMO:

    Palak chaat
    Black cod
    Tandoori lamb chops
    Date and toffee pudding

    Stick with the above and you'll have a very good (but not spicy) meal.

    I'm not sure what to make of your CA comment; Indian food isn't particularly strong there.

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    Rasika Restaurant
    633 D Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

    14 Replies
    1. re: hcbk0702
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      lawhound RE: hcbk0702 Mar 24, 2011 12:48 PM

      I can't compare BC to Rasika (never having been to the latter), but I too ate at BC last night for the first time (not with mdpilam, to the best of my knowledge!) and came away mostly impressed. The green chili chicken was outstanding (and smoking), and so were all the appetizers -- quail, malabar shrimp, spinach and arugula chaat. My sister's veg entree was solid, as was my wife's salmon thali. Great (and food-appropriate) wine list as well.

      The only weaknesses were, oddly enough, in the bread ("truffle" naan, onion kulcha and another) and the chutneys, all of which tasted rather like jam -- too sweet, and nothing in counterpoint to that sweetness.

      Also, the surroundings are beautiful and the service is first rate.

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      Rasika Restaurant
      633 D Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

      1. re: hcbk0702
        m
        mdpilam RE: hcbk0702 Mar 24, 2011 12:49 PM

        Are there any "hole-in-the-wall" Indian/Pakistani in the area that has good food?

        The only other Indian I've had was Ghar-E-Kabab, which I thought was just ok, and not spicy at all (Lamb vindaloo).

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        Ghar-E-Kabab
        944 Wayne Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910

        1. re: mdpilam
          s
          Steve RE: mdpilam Mar 24, 2011 01:36 PM

          Saravana Palace in Fairfax is very impressive overall and has some good Indian-Chinese items like Chili Paneer. Another South Indian, purely vegetarian place is Woodlands in Langley Park, MD. They also have a Fairfax location, but it's not as good. Get a paper dhosa there.

          Shiney's in Annandale is Pakistani and has very good kerahi and also chaat papri. If you are lucky enough to be there when they have long pepper pokori, get that. Or when you walk in, ask them to make some for you if you can wait.

          One of my favorite meals in the area has always been the tandoori chicken and an order of dahi vada at Punjab Dhaba in Falls Church.

          Rasika has a lot going for it, but I do not consider it to be straight up Indian food, and not as great an experience as Saravana Palace.

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          Punjab Dhaba
          7263 Arlington Blvd, Falls Church, VA 22042

          1. re: mdpilam
            d
            Doh RE: mdpilam Mar 24, 2011 02:02 PM

            If you are downtown I actually like the Indian food in the Old Post Office building food court. The only problem is I find their "medium" spicy dishes not that spicy (good-- just not that spicy) and their "hot spicy" dishes a little too spicy.

            1. re: Doh
              m
              mdpilam RE: Doh Mar 24, 2011 03:57 PM

              I'm pretty new here (< a month), so I don't know where that is. (I live in Chinatown)

              1. re: mdpilam
                d
                Doh RE: mdpilam Mar 24, 2011 07:06 PM

                12th and Pennsylvania Ave., NW (the building with a Ben Franklin statue out front and a big clock tower), across the street from Fed. Triangle metro. I'm not sure it's the kind of place that's worth a detour, but it's definitely a good option if you are in the neighborhood.

              2. re: Doh
                s
                spinachandchocolate RE: Doh Mar 24, 2011 07:41 PM

                For real?

                1. re: spinachandchocolate
                  d
                  Doh RE: spinachandchocolate Mar 24, 2011 08:05 PM

                  Yes, if you are looking for a hole in the wall place to get some Indian food for lunch, and you are around 12th and Penn, then I think it's worth a visit. They used to also operate one of the Indian restaurants in town (maybe Nirvana?) before it closed.

              3. re: mdpilam
                Jay F RE: mdpilam Mar 24, 2011 02:14 PM

                A friend of mine who moved downtown recently likes this place. I've not been.

                http://mayurkababhousedc.com/

                1. re: Jay F
                  s
                  sweth RE: Jay F Mar 24, 2011 08:24 PM

                  It's a solid cheap hole-in-the-wall place. They used to have a spicy tandoori chicken dish that was very good (and actually spicy) that was part of the buffet on certain days of the week, but I think when they remodeled (to make themselves a bit less of a hole-in-the-wall), they took that out of the buffet rotation. I went there a few months ago, though, and it was still pretty good for cheap Indian food.

                2. re: mdpilam
                  h
                  hamster RE: mdpilam Mar 24, 2011 06:48 PM

                  Check out Masala Art in Tenleytown. *Not* a hole in the wall, nice place. Delicious, amazing food. It is definitely my favorite Indian place these days.

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                  Masala Art
                  4441 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, MD 20016

                  1. re: hamster
                    woodleyparkhound RE: hamster Mar 24, 2011 08:23 PM

                    I second Masala Art; it's excellent - and steps from the Metro.

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                    Masala Art
                    4441 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, MD 20016

                  2. re: mdpilam
                    s
                    sweth RE: mdpilam Mar 24, 2011 08:28 PM

                    Anyone been to Delhi Dhaba in Arlington recently, by the way? That used to be a good very cheap Indian meal; it was always entertaining to count the number of British expats (and in particular, it seemed, rugby players) who would come in for carryout while I was eating there. For whatever reason, though, I haven't been there in years, although I believe it's still there. Any recent reports?

                    1. re: sweth
                      s
                      Steve RE: sweth Mar 25, 2011 06:37 AM

                      I never thought much of the place except that you could get the food immediately from the steam table. Just as good or better will be MInerva Express, Saran, La Jawab all on Lee Highway. And of course Ravi Kabob. At Ravi Kabob I can make a meal of the lentils and rice for under $5 and it's quite a bit better than anything I've had at DD.

                3. m
                  mdpilam RE: mdpilam Mar 24, 2011 03:58 PM

                  I also had a friend mention a place that is supposed to be near me (in Chinatown) that is supposedly an "Indian Chipotle"; anyone know what this place is, and if it is any good?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: mdpilam
                    m
                    marcj RE: mdpilam Mar 24, 2011 05:21 PM

                    Merzi. I've heard so-so reports, haven't been there myself.

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                    Merzi
                    415 7th St NW, Washington, DC, DC 20004

                    1. re: mdpilam
                      d
                      dcandohio RE: mdpilam Mar 25, 2011 05:27 AM

                      Merzi is fine for what it is - a faster food version of Indian. If you order well, you can eat well here. The Tandisserie chicken is great, served on the chick peas. Ask for the hottest sauce they have. It's made to be healthier than traditional Indian, and therefore doesn't taste as rich, but it hits the spot when you want to be kind to your waist and wallet.

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                      Merzi
                      415 7th St NW, Washington, DC, DC 20004

                      1. re: dcandohio
                        h
                        hamster RE: dcandohio Mar 25, 2011 08:52 AM

                        I agree. I think this is a good deal, but you have to order carefully and not have them slop everything together like you can do at Chipotle. Some of the flavors do not go well together, so you have to be more careful here. I saw one woman actually order so that the different dishes were piled separately on her plate, sort of treating it like an Indian buffet - I thought this was very smart, and plan to do that in the future.

                    2. s
                      spinachandchocolate RE: mdpilam Mar 24, 2011 07:41 PM

                      Check out Heritage in Dupont. Not hole in the wall but still good.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: spinachandchocolate
                        woodleyparkhound RE: spinachandchocolate Mar 24, 2011 08:37 PM

                        I have't been to Heritage Dupont, but I've been to the one on Wisconsin Ave. and I think it's quite good, second only to Masala Art for straight up Indian (as opposed to Rasika). I've heard that the Wisconsin one is better than the Dupont one. Has anyone been to both?

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                        Rasika Restaurant
                        633 D Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

                        Masala Art
                        4441 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, MD 20016

                        1. re: woodleyparkhound
                          s
                          Steve RE: woodleyparkhound Mar 25, 2011 06:54 AM

                          Heritage on Wisconsin is a bit precious for my tastes. I think all of the chicken is boneless skinless chicken breasts, lassi is too sweet, and that, in general, they hold back.

                          Heritage Dupont has an interesting Street Hawker menu (scroll down), with some highlights. The problem I've had in going with a group is that they immediately make everything mild so as not to offend anyone. If you go solo or just as a couple then you need to assure them that you don't want anything dumbed down. The gobi masallam is excellent and you should try the bhel puri; but I've gone with a group and and they substituted sweetened yogurt for sour, that sort of thing.

                          http://www.heritageindiausa.com/conne...

                          1. re: woodleyparkhound
                            h
                            hamster RE: woodleyparkhound Mar 25, 2011 08:50 AM

                            I agree that I'm not that into the formality of either Heritage India - I get really annoyed by all the oversized plates and cups and this and that they crowd onto the small tables, especially at Dupont with the Streethawker menu and all those plates. I've tried that twice, and though there were some good dishes, many were served cold and I just did not see the respect for excellent food that those prices call for - they brought out all the dishes at once rather than bringing them out at their appropriate temperatures, etc. Something about the service there really bugs me.

                            The Wisconsin Heritage has a lunch special that is a great deal - like $11 IIRC for rice, a couple curries, and naan. I always bring home one or two additional meals. I think this is weekdays only. I quite like the food here, but I prefer Masala Art.

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                            Heritage India
                            2400 Wisconsin Ave NW Ste A, Washington, DC 20007

                            Masala Art
                            4441 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, MD 20016

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