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Best Indian food in DC?

I have found some great restaurants in the District but I have yet to come across an Indian place that wowed me. Any suggestions?

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  1. Have you tried Masala Art in Tenleytown? My second favorite is Heritage India Georgetown. And then, of course, there is always Rasika, which is so great it rises above the level of being classified as mere Indian food.

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

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

    Masala Art
    4441 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, MD 20016

    2 Replies
    1. re: woodleyparkhound

      I love Taj of India in Georgetown. Great food and great service. If you want to spend money, Rasika is delic.

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

      1. re: Energy09

        I completely disagree with Taj in Georgetown. Maybe I'm spoiled by all the great selections we have in the burbs, but I found this expensive and weak.

    2. If you don't mind going to Bethesda I just had an awesome meal at Passage to India. We had the chef put together a menu for us and it was incredibly good and very reasonable for the amount of food we had.

      I have also really enjoyed Rasika and Indique.

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

      Passage to India
      4931 Cordell Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814

      Indique
      3512 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008

      8 Replies
      1. re: ktmoomau

        It' only does lunch takeout, but I really love Nirvana in the food court at the basement of International Square, 18th and K NW

        1. re: SimonF

          I'm a bit skeptical of food court restaurants, but if you say it's authentic I might as well give it a try.

        2. re: ktmoomau

          Bethesda is a bit of a trek but I'll keep it in mind. Thanks!

          1. re: ktmoomau

            We went to Indique last night after finding out that it was who catered my friend's wedding (which had really good food). We came away utterly disappointed though. We ordered the papri chaat, some chicken taco special (I know, I know, but I'm a sucker for a taco), paneer makhani, lamb nigrili (sp?) korma and garlic naan. The papri chaat was WAY too yogurty, bland and just not good. The chicken tacos were ok, but kind of reminded me of what you'd get at a tex-mex place. The lamb korma was supposed to be spicy (server said it was medium spicy, and I requested very, very spicy), but was incredibly bland. The lamb itself was pretty good though. The paneer was strange - it was very thin and very tough/dry. You almost needed a knife to cut through it. Seemed like it could have been store bought. The curry itself was pretty good though. The naan was pretty good too. Overall, the food was mediocre, but the service was bad. Our server was incredibly surly and curt. She kept sending over a busboy to see if we were finished. It has been a while since I've had such bad service.

            1. re: mdpilam

              Indique is the kind of place that 'molds' their papri chaat to look pretty on the plate but winds up compressing it, which is not a good idea. More style than substance.

              1. re: mdpilam

                You should try Masala Art.
                Is korma ever spicy? I thought it was kind of sweet and creamy.

                1. re: hamster

                  It wasn't what I've known as korma (the yellow-orangish creamy curry) - it was described as "cubes of lamb cooked with green masala and cilantro and hot peppers". I was expecting it to be like Bombay Club's green chili chicken (which they've inexplicably taken off their menu), which we loved and was spicy. Besides, it was the only spicy looking thing on their menu. It was similar to Bombay Club's green chili chicken, except it was incredibly bland and spiceless.

                  Yeah, Masala Art is next on my list for Indian in the District.

                2. re: mdpilam

                  korma is not a "spicy" dish in my experience with dating an indian, marrying a sri lankan, and eating a lot of indian food over the years. i have never seen it "very, very spicy" -- but i have only eaten it in england and the u.s.a. (not india). it is a mogul dish, a northern india prep, and they tend to be more subtly spiced than the south, which is informed by a different palette of spices and other ingredients. in fact, after trying many kormas, i decided years ago not to order the dish because it has always been a little too "subtle" for my tastes. LOL.

              2. Himalayan Heritage on 18th street (near Kalorama). It may not have all the dishes you are looking for but is affordable, nice atmosphere, and some great dishes. Highly recommend the vegetable tandori if you like lots of grilled, flavorful veggies and the lamb appetizer.

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                Himalayan Heritage
                2305 18th St NW Ste 1, Washington, DC 20009

                1. I like Aroma (19th and I) and, if you are willing to trek, Saravana Palace in Fairfax. I love that place.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: pamelak52

                    best Indian food ever. I should offer rides there for $2. LOL

                  2. You really can't beat Rasika, it's true! But if you're looking for something more casual, and you are ever out in the 'burbs, hit up Jaipur in Fairfax. It's the only place in the metro area that actually makes outstanding malai kofta, which is my usual go-to meal.

                    I've never been to Heritage India in Georgetown, but I found the Heritage in Dupont to be quite disappointing.

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

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

                    1. As many have said, Rasika is amazing. Bombay Bistro in Rockville is also pretty solid.

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

                      Bombay Bistro
                      98 W Montgomery Ave, Rockville, MD 20850

                      1. Every Chowhound should hop on the Metro (if you don't have wheels) and go to Passage to India in Bethesda. Continues to be the finest Indian in the area. Go meatless here. Whatever you get, try the pickles and spices on the last page of the menu and share the black dal. Experiment by adding these to your foods. An exceptional experience.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Steve

                          Passage is my favorite "upscale" Indian....saravana is my favorite Indian, hands down. But it's definitely not as nice inside as Passage