Where Ambassadors Eat
Rasika reminds Ireland Ambassador, Daniel Mulhall of meeting his wife. ““I met my wife, who is Australian, when we both lived in India. So to remember our courtship and those early days of marriage, we go to Rasika. I’ll order a chicken dish, prawn for her; we enjoy the cucumber raita and fall in love again.”
Indian Ambassador since 2019, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, shared his favorite place to eat is Rasika West End. “The palak chaat at Rasika West End is one of my favorites. But I particularly enjoy their Bengali fish curry with rice, which is flavorful yet light. It reminds me of my home state of West Bengal in India. For authentic, inexpensive South Indian cuisine, I like Woodlands Vegetarian Restaurant. At Woodlands, one of my favorites is curd rice, which is cooked rice combined with sour yogurt and seasoned with coriander.”
2019 JAMES BEARD NOMINEE
Outstanding Chef, Vikram Sunderam
Chef Vikram Sunderam was already crowned once by the James Beard Awards—for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic—and it’s no wonder why: the celebrated chef has turned Indian fine dining into a D.C. staple, where the vibrancy and depth of his homeland’s cuisine resonates in every dish, even one as simple as naan.
On the West End, A Rasika in its Own Right – Washington Post 2018 Fall Dining Guide
The original in Penn Quarter got the ball rolling, but the offshoot in the West End expanded on the modern Indian theme with a whimsical design that finds patrons eating avocado-banana chaat and ginger-sharpened minced lamb kebabs under the sprawl of a faux tree or inside a carriage-shaped booth. (Table 12 in the corner allows a couple to see and be seen.) Wherever you’re led, you’ll eat like a raj. My current obsessions embrace pancake-like uttapam, carpeted with minced kale ignited with green chiles and a dollop of coconut-lentil chutney; and salmon marinated in spiced yogurt and cooked, like the excellent naan here, in the tandoor. Lime leaves and turmeric give the fish its glow. Meantime, sweet potato in a rich paste of fried peanuts shows off the joys of meatless dining. Indeed, the closest competition the restaurant has is its flagship sibling across town.
Chef Vikram Sunderam – Winner – James Beard Foundation – Best Chef – Mid Atlantic 2013.
President Obama Celebrated his 52nd Birthday at the Chef Private Room.
Washington Post, August 2013.
Nominated for Best New Restaurant and Best Chef
Eater Awards, November 2012
3.5 Stars (out of four)
Washington Post Fall Dining Guide, October 2015
“Former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton celebrated their 37th wedding anniversary last night at Rasika West End.”
Eater, October 2012
“This is the place to make a grand entrance”
Washington Flyer, July 2012 issue on Best Date Restaurants
“Ashok Bajaj’s newest location features an elevated patio that can accommodate 40 guests.”
DC’s Best Deck Dining, Capitol File, July 2012
Executive Chef Vikram Sunderam won the “Chef of the Year” award
Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington June 2012
#5 Washingtonian 100 Very Best Restaurants list 2016
“Rasika West End which is easily the swiftest passage to India the Beltway has ever seen.”
DC Modern Luxury, June 2012
“Some news for anyone who thought the second branch of one of the finest Indian restaurants in the country, Rasika in Penn Quarter, would reflect a mirror image: Rasika West End is not an identical twin…”
Rasika’s sequel is no clone, Tom Sietsema, Washington Post Magazine