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Rasika, with 2014 James Beard Award Winning Chef Vikram Sunderam, and Rasika West End, Modern Indian in Penn Quarter and West End

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12 minutes ago, eatruneat said:

The meal was lovely and very good, but wish I had do-overs on the makkai kofta and chicken tikka masala. Guess I will have to order a bit more non-traditional the next time I am at Rasika. 

I was fooled by this line, and went an extra time to try and be open-minded: Learn from my mistakes.

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2 hours ago, DonRocks said:

I was fooled by this line, and went an extra time to try and be open-minded: Learn from my mistakes.

Evergreen comment.

It has probably been about two years since my last visit to Rasika and it'll probably be another two years until my next one. Just a mental note for the next time I end up there.

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My wife and I were downtown last week and decided to have lunch at Rasika.  We had heard a lot about it, and since we both love Indian food, we were happy to give it a try.  We arrived at the restaurant shortly after 11:30 and were able to get seated without a reservation. We tried the onion and sage bread, the Chicken Tikka Masala, Sweet Potato Roast (“red chili/caramelized onion/black pepper”), and Makkai Kofta (“sweet corn/cashew nut/garam masala”).  All four dishes were very good, but the Makkai Kofta was easily our favorite.   

In addition to the food we were pleased with the service.  The chairs were very comfortable, which is important for people our age.  Only one visit, but I would still rate it a bit above the three Indian restaurants we most often visit in Northern Virginia: Raaga, Saravana Palace, and Woodlands.

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On 8/17/2017 at 10:03 AM, eatruneat said:

Evergreen comment.

It has probably been about two years since my last visit to Rasika and it'll probably be another two years until my next one. Just a mental note for the next time I end up there.

Dammit. I forgot Rasika has "jumped the shark." The staff members are very lovely people. That said, the house seems to be aging and not well cared for and the food tasted like the Indian stuff I get at the grocery and make for myself when I need a quick Indian fix. Why do people love this place? Bombay Club, OTOH, always delights me. 

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Perhaps when it first opened, we all just weren't used to eating so much Indian food and it seemed new, some of the best dishes we have now had, they aren't a surprise and we eat more Indian than we did before and are more open to a few more items on an Indian menu than we were before?  The dining room was shiny new and pretty, it seemed exotic.  But now it just isn't a surprise, the jewel box it first was?  A thought.  I haven't been in years, just reading the above, I kind of thought this.

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I'll offer kind of a reverse take -- when Rasika first opened I went a few times and found a lot of the dishes pretty average (my comp was above average neighborhood British Indian/Bengali). Fine but nothing extraordinary. The palak chaat was delightful though. 

Went with my parents about 6 months ago and dinner was wonderful. Fish and lamb curry dishes were rich, perfectly spiced. Service perfect. Palak chaat still delightful. 

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I came back to...scale down my review because it was my experience today and last time I went (probably a year or two ago). Both times I had the same impression but others like it. Oddly, last two men I lunched with there both love and are both named Paul. Kev29; is your name Paul? (Kidding, I'm going to assume it's Kevin).

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Palak Chaat is going into the list of things to make finally in 2019!

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Hahahahaha Rasika got name-checked (or actually, probably a product placement, but that's kind of weird) on Season 2, Episode 1 of Designated Survivor!!  Apparently it's where President Kiefer gets his takeout chicken korma? LOL, that doesn't even sound like something they would have on their menu (I checked, it's not there now).  Note that the episode aired in late September 2017, which is possibly interesting or completely unrelated to the Michelin announcements in October 2017? What can I say,  I've been bingeing on the show and now have conspiracy theories on the brain 😉

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2 hours ago, Simon said:

I'm being taken here for dinner soon.  What should I order?

The Palak Chaat if you've never had it. 

Beyond that, order things you wouldn't find in your average Indian place. All the usual dishes are fine, but you'll leave wondering what the fuss is all about. 

Their seafood tends to be excellent, and I always really like their spicy lamb curries. 

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43 minutes ago, jca76 said:

while we agreed that the food is more interesting than rasika's and most of it quite good,  the overall experience wasn't one that will have any of us rushing back.

I was wondering if a comment like this would be made. At some point in the future - and it might not be Punjab Grill that does it - Rasika is going to be exposed for the fraud it has always been.

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18 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

I was wondering if a comment like this would be made. At some point in the future - and it might not be Punjab Grill that does it - Rasika is going to be exposed for the fraud it has always been.

That's what you got out of this review?!?

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7 minutes ago, mtureck said:

That's what you got out of this review?!?

That's what I got out of the fourth sentence of the first paragraph. As for the review itself, I gave it a trophy 🏆, highlighted it here, and then promoted it on Twitter and Facebook. How about you, champ? 

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2 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

That's what I got out of the fourth sentence of the first paragraph. As for the review itself, I gave it a trophy 🏆, highlighted it here, and then promoted it on Twitter and Facebook. How about you, champ? 

You think a meal that "wasn't one that will have any of us rushing back" will expose Rasika for the "fraud it has always been"...that seems a leap of logic that I can't quite connect. 

But to each his own. 

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1 hour ago, mtureck said:

that seems a leap of logic that I can't quite connect. 

But to each his own. 

Indeed.

On 2/20/2019 at 6:51 PM, mtureck said:

The Palak Chaat if you've never had it. 

BTW, the last time I got the Palak Chaat at Rasika West End, it was in the form of a salad. Here's our four-star, James Beard-winning, Indian restaurant in action:

PalakChaat.JPG

And the beer I ordered - Tikka Gold - was completely ruined with oatmeal-like sediment. When I asked for the sommelier, and pointed it out, he had the audacity to tell me that this is how the beer always is, and the flakes were the Golden Tikkas!!! ("Tikka" means "small pieces" - cf: Chicken Tikka). What a boatload of bullshit!

TikkaGold1.JPGTikkaGold.JPG

And in case anyone thinks I might be wrong about this, I went to a lot of trouble to verify I wasn't.

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46 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

Indeed.

BTW, the last time I got the Palak Chaat at Rasika West End, it was in the form of a salad. Here's our four-star, James Beard-winning, Indian restaurant in action:

PalakChaat.JPG

And the beer I ordered - Tikka Gold - was completely ruined with oatmeal-like sediment. When I asked for the sommelier, and pointed it out, he had the audacity to tell me that this is how the beer always is, and the flakes were the Golden Tikkas!!! ("Tikka" means "small pieces" - cf: Chicken Tikka). What a boatload of bullshit!

TikkaGold1.JPGTikkaGold.JPG

And in case anyone thinks I might be wrong about this, I went to a lot of trouble to verify I wasn't.

What's palak chaat supposed to look like? It's always looked like that when I've gotten it, and it's always been delicious. 

As for the beer,  yeah that would have pissed me off too, and quite possibly would have giving me a grudge against the restaurant for a long time. 

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3 hours ago, mtureck said:

What's palak chaat supposed to look like? It's always looked like that when I've gotten it, and it's always been delicious. 

If you want to give awards to raw, red onions, cold, soggy "fried" greens, and bad salad dressing, knock yourself out - I'm long past the point of caring about what the masses think.

Want some more four-star photos? 

IMG_4187.JPGIMG_4193.JPG

3 hours ago, mtureck said:

As for the beer,  yeah that would have pissed me off too, and quite possibly would have giving me a grudge against the restaurant for a long time. 

TenYearsAfter.jpg

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On 2/20/2019 at 4:44 PM, Simon said:

I'm being taken here for dinner soon.  What should I order?

Black Bass

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29 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

TenYearsAfter.jpg

I'd love to change the world, but I don't know what to do, so I'll leave it up to you.

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34 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

If you want to give awards to raw, red onions, cold, soggy "fried" greens, and bad salad dressing, knock yourself out - I'm long past the point of caring about what the masses think.

Want some more four-star photos? 

IMG_4187.JPGIMG_4193.JPG

TenYearsAfter.jpg

The vindaloos, daals, and curries at Bombay Club and Rasika come from a steam table.

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  Is that always necessarily a bad thing?

 In my experience, many dals and “ curries”,  especially the ones without large chunks of vegetable in them,  are unaffected by sitting around for a while, if anything they may be slightly better, as many of those things are definitely better the second day than the first day  as the longer the ingredients are together the more they marry .  I think it’s one of the reasons Indian buffets are actually relatively good-a lot of the food doesn’t suffer from being held on the steam table.

 In addition,  I would think a lot of the dishes would have to be made on the steam table in order to be served, because they simply take too long to make to be prepared individually per order. 

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4 hours ago, sandynva said:

  Is that always necessarily a bad thing?

 In my experience, many dals and “ curries”,  especially the ones without large chunks of vegetable in them,  are unaffected by sitting around for a while, if anything they may be slightly better, as many of those things are definitely better the second day than the first day  as the longer the ingredients are together the more they marry .  I think it’s one of the reasons Indian buffets are actually relatively good-a lot of the food doesn’t suffer from being held on the steam table.

 In addition,  I would think a lot of the dishes would have to be made on the steam table in order to be served, because they simply take too long to make to be prepared individually per order. 

All this is correct: Dals and curries are (or should be) long-cooked, so they're never cooked "to order" (and it doesn't really matter whether they're stored in a pan or a steam table) - ironically, I don't care for Rasika's dals or curries precisely because they lack a long-cooked depth of flavor.

That said, I went to an Indian steam-table buffet a couple weeks ago that bordered on being disgusting - one reason is that the oil (or ghee, or whatever it was) had separated in the steam table pan - that stuff needs to be kept warm and occasionally stirred to prevent this.

Woodlands is the king of area steam-table buffets - the selection is tremendous, the recipes use a light touch with oil, and since it's mostly vegan, the food holds really well. Damn, I'd love one of their Rava Masala Dosas right. this. minute.

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