Haute Indian Fusion in the District
633 D St NW
Rasika is an India flavor fusion restaurant that has refined all components of a great dining experience. The atmosphere/interior has clean lines, warm earthy colors, funky room divider textures, and a balance of form and function. Rasika managed to maximize seating in the space, we sat very close to both tables on either side, but the layout design made me fell like I had plenty of room and a semi-private dining experience.
This restaurant is located between the National Archives and Gallery Pl/Chinatown metro stops, and currently this area is about high quality restaurants and going to the theater. Through the 1990’s this area around the Gallery Place/Chinatown metro stop was left in disrepair and decay. I recall dirty streets, dim lights, and crappy metros stop, streets and sidewalks. From 2000+, the District has transformed this area from being a complete mess to a trendy see and be seen area. Rasika does a great job fitting into the fabric of this renewed part of the District.
What struck me first was that this Indian restaurant has a well stocked bar, has a list of fun cocktails and a very nice dessert menu, and all these things are nice treats above and beyond any typical Indian restaurant I have been in. At that point I knew I was in for a great ride. Since there were only two of us, my cousin who is a complete “foodie” and myself, we had to limit ourselves to only a few dishes, but I could have ordered every dish! We got a fabulous mango cosmo that would make your toes curl! We opted for curry crab cakes and a flash fried spinach salad to start, and the concept of fusion food was executed so well with both of these dishes. Our second course included tandori salmon and green masala chicken with a side of rice and naan. As with the apps, our salmon and chicken dishes were executed well, and there was a freshness to each dish that beckoned you to take another bite. Everything up to this point in the meal had been prepared solidly that we just had to dive into the exceptional dessert list.
So we got a fig and walnut ice cream that came in the shape of the Washington Monument, accompanied by a maple like syrup and chopped nuts in the base of a shallow bowl. If I had to say a dessert was sexy, I would say this one hit the mark as sexy because of presentation, composition and flavor. I was so taken by the presentation of this fig and walnut ice cream, I just did not have a chance to take a photo. We also got a warm chocolate berry oozy torte accented with star anise. This chocolate lava dessert was made with an unexpected and perfect amount of star anise.
All in all, this restaurant exceeded every expectation of visual, flavor, and aroma of Indian-American fusion. I highly recommend this restaurant to anyone who is in the Washington Mall area.