The following review appears in The Washington Post’s 2016 Fall Dining Guide.
Rasika West End
It would have been easy for the owner and the chef behind this sibling of the revered Rasika to open a mirror image of the original. Instead, Ashok Bajaj and Vikram Sunderam came up with a novel script, enticing India-philes with turquoise booths that look like wedding carriages, private seating in the downstairs kitchen and some of the best reasons to get out of bed on Sunday morning: fluffy steamed lentil cakes on a stripe of mint cilantro chutney, pressed rice threaded with sweet crab and mustard seeds, and coconut jaggery pancakes. Meanwhile, lunch finds me hoovering up super-moist, gently tingling chicken tikka with the help of olive naan. Anywhere else, this breezy establishment would be the top Indian restaurant in town, never mind one day’s chewy lamb curry or a constantly interrupting server. Compared to the pitch-perfect Rasika right now, the spinoff is a great second choice for vegetable biryani.
Rasika West End: 1190 New Hampshire Ave. NW. 202-466-2500. rasikarestaurant.com.
Prices: Mains $17-$30.
Sound check: 74 decibels / Must speak with raised voice.