Rasika Restaurant

Rasika is part of the new-wave of Indian fusion that seems to be emerging in major US cities. Despite having an unbelievably irritating Web site that made me want to forego eating there (before realizing this would be a ridiculous reason to not visit a restaurant) the restaurant offers some pretty unique flavors in a stylist upscale environment.

Cost – $$$

Service – B-
I visited on a Friday night when they were probably slammed but for an upscale establishment, I felt like the staff was a bit frantic and frazzled. When I called at about 6PM I was told the earliest I could get a table in the main dining area was at about 10PM but I was told that I could get seating in the main bar area in about 30-40 minutes. I checked in with the hostess shortly after we got there and headed to the bar to get a drink. Strangely enough, I found it more difficult to get a drink at Rasika than most of the clubs I’ve been to on a Friday night and decided to forego the drink all together. I was then seated by one waiter before being told by the hostess and the manager that the table was already committed to another couple. After going back to the bar and failing to get the bartender’s attention I then decided to go sit and eat dinner at the bar towards the back of the restaurant. Again – not really bad service (in fact everyone was extremely polite and friendly) – it just seemed a little disorganized.

Food – A-
I dug the food at Rasika. The chef, Vikram Sunderam, has a reputation for practicing aggressive spicing and it was evident in the calamari. The tandoori chicken was actually a bit scaled back (as far as spice is concerned) but absolutely delicious. The presentation was pretty solid as well.

Decor – B
Solid but unspectacular. After reading the review of Rasika in USA Today I was expecting a bit more style and sexiness in the venue. In fact, I didn’t really notice much distinctive about the place although there is certainly nothing wrong with the decor.

Feel – B
I enjoyed my experience at Rasika but it didn’t live up to its hype in my opinion. The food was the best part of the experience for me and that shouldn’t be the case with a high-end restaurant like Rasika because quite frankly, there are loads of places to go if you are simply looking for good Indian food. Another factor I feel inclined to mention is the issue with eating at an Indian restaurant before going out. Much like with Korean barbecue, you are going to end up stinky inside and out. The scent of a place is often a neglected characteristic in most reviews but I’m going to factor it in. I have eaten at other Indian places that smelled a less pungent than Rasika. Overall it was a solid establishment and well worth a visit.

Cafe Japone is located at 633 D Street NW. They can be reached at (202) 637-1222.

What’s the Buzz:

December 20, 2005 – Rasika (DC Foodies) – I had a chance to stop by Rasika last Saturday. I love Indian food, and as soon as I heard that a new restaurant was opening, I had to go and see what it was like. I was also curious what Sebastian, the former wine and service director at Komi, was doing at an Indian restaurant of all places. It was only the second week that Rasika had been open, so I’ll try not to be too judgmental. Full article…

Rasika on Urbanspoon

5 Responses to “Rasika Restaurant”

  1. Dean May 20, 2008 at 11:38 pm #

    Yes, I agree that the modern Indian cuisine is pretty good. For more traditional cooking, I like going to heritage.

  2. Eileen May 21, 2008 at 11:41 pm #

    Saw the reviews on-line and decided to give it a try. Went on a Saturday night after getting the last reservation for the evening at 10:15. Got there a little early and was seated within 5 minutes. Unfortunately, our service left a little to be desired as our waiter proceeded to take care of everyone else, including a small “traffic jam” which resulted in champagne being spilled down a guy’s back. By the time he got back to us, we had dessert on the house. So it wasn’t so bad after all. Had the fried spinach which was truly unique followed by the night’s appetizer special of mango shrimp. Nothing spectacular there. My girlfriend had the delicious shrimp malai curry and I had the very spicy lamb roganjosh. The food was excellent. For dessert we chose the mango and pista kulfi and the date and toffee pudding. We started with the kulfi which had an unfamiliar texture for us since we had never had indian dessert. Nevertheless, it kind of grew on us. The date and toffee pudding however was awesome. It was warm and full of flavor. If it weren’t for the weak service, the experience would have been excellent. For our first vacation to DC, we would certainly recommended it to others.

  3. Jiyan May 22, 2008 at 3:00 pm #

    Hey Eileen! Sounds like you had a similar experience to my own there – great food, good atmosphere – shaky service…

    Thanks for sharing your story with us! It sounds like you guys had a great range of dishes at the venue. I am going to try that lamb roganjosh next time I’m there.

  4. Chito Peppler January 9, 2012 at 5:10 am #

    Hi Jiyan,

    Your pic is featured in Rasika’s restaurant page:


    Hope you like it.



  1. Aditi Indian Cuisine - June 12, 2008

    […] dish, the chicken vindaloo, and it was on par with any other place in the DC area other than Rasika.  This last time around I tried the chicken korma and it was also pretty […]

Leave a Reply to Eileen Click here to cancel reply.