Washington, D.C.

Crafted from their years of experience in the restaurant industry, Rasa owners Rahul Vinod and Sahil Rahman offer DC a new way to experience Indian cuisine. Between the quality ingredients, great ambiance, and exceedingly friendly service, Rasa goes above and beyond what you’d expect from a “fast casual experience.” The restaurant offers pre-designed bowls, or you can make your own with base items such as chicken tikka, spiced beef, lamb kebab, turmeric ginger shrimp, sweet potato tikki, green jackfruit, or tofu/cauliflower mix.

An ornate door created by Rahman’s aunt in India transports customers to India even before they enter the 2,300 square-foot restaurant. Inside, the space is whimsical and comfortable — starting with three basket swings hanging behind the main window. Opposite the colorful painted navarasa are open-sided boxes, arranged as if falling onto each other and containing cookbooks, Indian hand drums and even Rahman’s grandfather’s lunch pail. The “wave” of the boxes is cleverly repeated in the serpentine curves of the banquette. Even the ceiling, crisscrossed with colorful string, catches eyes.

Photography Credit: Rey Lopez