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“Top Notch, but not quite a perfect 5”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Rasika

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Ranked #7 of 3,196 Restaurants in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$31 - US$50
Cuisines: Indian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly, Special Occasion Dining, Business meetings, Romantic, Groups
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, After-hours, Full Bar, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Valet Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighbourhood: Downtown / Chinatown
Cross street: On D Street Between 6th and 7th Streets.
Transit: Two Block Walk From the China Town/Gallery Place Metro and One Block Walk From the Archives/Navy Memorial Metro.
Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
184 reviews
128 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
“Top Notch, but not quite a perfect 5”
Reviewed 14 April 2012

As you know by now after reading other reviews this is a highly popular, fashionable and delicious Indian restaurant. Although the Lamb Roganjosh and Paneer Chili Garlic were a bit bland, the Chicken Tikka Masala and Palak Chaat were culinary exclamation points. $16 for a glass of basic Gewürztraminer is a bit too much and we also noticed that we were quite thirsty for awhile following our dining experience. All that said, the flavor combinations and unique dishes are not to be missed.

  • Visited April 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Irreverent-in-Cleve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,182 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
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  • Spanish first
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  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
45 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 April 2012

My family went to Rasika for lunch today. It was amazing. The spinach dish was our fav, and the lobster was also really good. Would go back again and again if we lived nearby. The service was as good as the food and the wines were as well. Strongly suggest booking ahead of time.

  • Visited April 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank KarieP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Crestview Hills, Kentucky
Level Contributor
33 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“You MUST make reservations”
Reviewed 12 April 2012

Voted the BEST Indian cuisine in the district, and I can understand why - my husband even enjoyed it!! Little pricey - but worth it! Servers were extremely helpful!

Visited April 2012
1 Thank Teacher202
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“The best of DC”
Reviewed 10 April 2012

In the interest of full disclosure, I live in very close to Rasika. I guess I could be called a regular, but that is a testament to the amazing food and wonderful people that work there, not just it’s proximity to my home. I have been going there since they opened six years ago and never once had a bad dish, neither has any friend I’ve taken there. I haven’t been to every restaurant in DC, but will go out on a limb and say that Rasika is the best restaurant in the DC area. At the very least, you’ll find no restaurant better. Chef Vikram Sunderam is a genius, well-deserving of the many accolade he’s received. (I mention Chef in particular because another review incorrectly refers to Rasika as a Chef Jose Andres creation. It is not. Chef Sunderam deserves all the credit, along with owner Ashok Bajaj who brought him to DC from Bombay Brasserie in London.)

Before getting to my favorite dishes, some caveats/advice. Rasika is VERY popular. If you show up on a Thurs, Fri or Sat night without a reservation, don’t expect to get a table in the dining room. However, you may have a better chance if you get there when they first open. You can also likely get a spot in the bar/lounge where it’s first-come first-served. If you can’t make a reservation in advance, try a Mon or Tues. Again, the earlier the better. They open at 5:00 Mon-Fri and 5:30 on Sat. Just plan to head to Rasika as soon as you leave the National Gallery/Smithsonian Museums on the Mall/Newseum/Spy Museum—all close around 5:30 and are just a few blocks away. If you’re coming straight from a day of sight-seeing, don’t worry about getting dressed up. Rasika is definitely a high-end restaurant (another travel website refers to the attire as “dressy”), but it’s been my observation that locals tend to dress casually, suburbanites dress up for the special occasion, and tourists come as they are. All will feel comfortable. Okay, if you come on a Saturday night in a t-shirt and flip-flops, maybe not, but on a Tues at 6:00 or Sat at 5:30, there will be other people just as casual.

The restaurant is loud. It doesn’t bother me, but I have heard some people complain about the noise level. If it’s something that will ruin your dinner, you’ve been warned. If you go early in the evening/early in the week it will likely be less crowded & noisy.

Final advice before recommendations—share. The food is not exactly served “family style” (read: large portions in big bowls), but the way it is served is conducive to sharing. I highly suggest you do that. There are so many fantastic dishes and such a wide array of flavors, you’ll enjoy the experience more if you try as many as you can.

For appetizers or small plates, I always enjoy the Ragda Patties (spiced potato & chick peas), Mango Shrimp (4 shrimp, I think), and/or the Spicy Reshmi Kabob (spiced, minced chicken formed on a kabob). These are small portions, but nice to share among 2-4 people. An absolute MUST, and probably something you’ll want all to yourself, is the Palak Chaat (flash fried spinach salad). Plenty of other people have written about it on TripAdvisor, so I’ll just give this little anecdote--a friend that tried it literally made an “mmmmmm” sound with every bite he took. I make that sound too, but just in my head.

If you like classic Indian dishes, the Chicken Tikka Masala and Lamb Roganjosh are delicious—I love the chicken and more than one friend I’ve taken there has declared the roganjosh the best lamb dish they’ve ever had. The sauces for both dishes are delicious. Be sure to order plenty of naan to get all of it. Speaking of bread, in addition to the naan, I’d suggest at least one order of the Goat Cheese Kulcha (I’m making the “mmmm” sound in my head right now). Also, the Black Cod is always a crowd pleaser.

Among the tandoor cooked dishes, I really enjoy the Tandoori Chicken Tikka (3 small kabob-sized pieces of chicken breast, each spiced differently) and the Bhatti Ka Murgh. For both, the chicken is very moist with wonderful flavors.

As for the vegetables, this is when I really, really suggest sharing. I seldom go without ordering at least side-dishes sizes of the Dal, Gobhi Mattar, and the Malai Palak. I’m addicted to these three dishes. Each is absolutely delicious. If you like Indian food, you’ll love them. If you don’t like vegetables, you’ll love them. Also, the Paneer Chili Carlic is great vegetarian dish.

Finally, the people at Rasika are as great as the food--just as warm and welcoming to someone walking in for the 1st time as they are to someone walking in for the 100th. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

  • Visited March 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
2 Thank lgluther
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
148 reviews
75 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Delicious tasting menu, great service”
Reviewed 10 April 2012

Both my husband and I ordered the larger of the two tasting menus. He ordered the "regular" menu; I ordered the vegetarian menu. Each course was interesting and delicious. The crispy spinach was incredibly good. The curry course was huge! We ended up taking most of that course home, as we were already stuffed by that time. We opted not to do the tasting menu wine pairing and instead worked with the sommelier to choose a red wine that could complement just about anything. He helped us choose an excellent, lighter wine that went well with both our meals. Our server was sweet and very helpful, describing in detail each of the courses, their ingredients, and the preparation. Raskia is a bit pricey, but we'll be back.

  • Visited March 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank 1060WestAddison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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