I tried Raiska over the weekend [633 D Street, NW, next door to Woolly Mammoth Theater]. It is a "modern Indian Cuisine restaurant showcasing Tawa (Griddle), Sigri (open Barbeque), Tandoori and regional dishes." It opened 3-4 weeks ago. It has a modern, upscale, Indian decor. The dress is business casual, although I saw a few younger people in jeans/very casual attire [I must be getting old].
The wine list is short but has a some good selections. The sommerilier was very friendly and helpful. Although we each ordered by the glass, he offered my girlfriend some red wine from Lanquedoc that he had open. It was very good.
Not knowing what to choose, we followed some suggestions from our very friendly waiter. For appetizers we had the masala crab cake [spicy and good] and the palak chaat [a crispy spinach]. We shared and they went together very well. I'd order both again.
For entrees, I had a house speciality: black cod with dill, anise, and honey. It was good but very mild. My friend has the sea bass with "curry leaves" [is there a curry plant?]. It was great. As sometimes happens, my friend and I liked each others dishes best so we switched mid-course. We had a side dish of curried vegetables that was good but nothing special.
For dessert, we shared an apple jalebi, which is a slice of apple battered and deep fried. It was lighter than it sounds and served with cardamom ice cream. Very yummy.
Overall, a nice, friendly, moderately-priced addition to the Penn Quarter. I'll go back and try some of the Tandoori dishes next.
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