Rasika: Lunch in the District

I have the pleasure of working in the District of Columbia, which is a great place to work and over the last couple of years has become a great place for restaurants for Foodies to enjoy. On this particular rainy day, I tried Rasika.
So, I had been hearing about this restaurant from my coworkers and decided that on a whim I would try it. I had been hesitant because 1. It’s Indian cuisine or so I thought, so I wasn’t 100% sure what that entailed and 2. The descriptions of the food honestly didn’t make sense to me. I just didn’t know what I was in for if I walked in the door. I didn’t want to be embarrassed and walk right out, just because I didn’t understand what the food was because the selections were in a different language. Feeling like an adventurous foodie, I was ready to see what the hype was all about!
So, I have found that whenever you go to a new place and you have a small party of yourself or one other companion, the best place to sit is at the bar -Especially during the lunch crowd. The bartender will give you the best service and will be more patient in trying to help you select what you want to eat versus a waiter who has to keep up with multiple tables. At Rasika, this proved to be the best option because it is ALWAYS crowded during lunch – another sign that this place is amazing.
I got seated and I immediately told the Bartender, a beautiful Ethiopian woman with an awesome purple streak in her hair, that it was my first time. She said “GREAT” and immediately suggested some of her favorites as well as what they are known for. She said that I HAD to get the Palak Chaat. (yup, who can tell me what that is by looking at it). The description of the dish itself wasn’t helping me either: Crispy baby spinach, sweet yogurt, tamarind and date chutney.  I do remember my coworkers ranting about a spinach dish during Restaurant Week – this must be it. I will give it a try. I took one bite… I AM IN LOVE! If ever I just want to have something quick and light, this will always be the way to go. It is popular for a reason. Ignore that you may not like those things individually. The chef has combined flavors that when you take your first bite, you will understand why as soon as you walk in, more than likely everyone has this on their table. It’s amazing. The spinach has a nacho-like crispness to it and the toppings just balance the crispy perfectly. With all of that on there, the spinach never got soggy. 

When it came time to choose lunch, I was unsure and started looking down the bar to see what someone else had. To my left, the young ladies dining had tried the half portions of Chicken Tikka Marsala. You cannot go wrong there. So I told my bartender that I was considering this option. She said, if I like spicy to go with the Chicken Green Marsala.
Loving her first recommendation, I went with the Green. AGAIN, one of the best dishes I had. The basmati rice was so fluffy and cooked perfectly. It was a perfect portion size. The spice wasn’t overbearing that I couldn’t enjoy what I was eating.  It was paired perfectly with a nice warm basket of Naan.
Rasika is a great place for lunch. Asking just a few questions about the menu led me to make some great choices. It is a place that I would even recommend to come back for dinner especially to try the Lamb Chops perfectly cooked.

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