Bamian Restaurant gained the attention of The Washington Post in 2006 when its traditional Afghan cuisine drew in an Afghan ambassador and embassy staff from Kuwait and Qatar. Plates teem with housemade flatbread prepared in a tandoor oven and kebabs grilled over open flames, earning the restaurant a "very good to excellent" Zagat rating. Vegetarian items include the sautéed pumpkin with yogurt and mint and hummus dusted with paprika.
The interior of Bamian Restaurant is elegantly decorated with leopard-print chairs in the foyer and sparkling chandeliers in the dining room. Gayot describes the restaurant as "large-as-a-barn and gussied up like a deb ready for a coming-out party." The large space includes a full dance floor, which lends itself to hosting large parties, wedding receptions, and rehearsal lunches to practice for dinner.
If Cafe Taj’s large stone fountain could talk, the rippling waters would still keep mum, because the restaurant’s authentic Indian cuisine can speak for itself. Warm naan and whole-wheat roti sop up creamy curry sauce from main dishes, and the black tables are loaded down with charcoal-roasted tandoori dishes for pairing with both wine and beer from a fully stocked bar. After sating sugar cravings with rose- and cardamom-scented sweets, patrons can question servers about their catering services or use the dining room’s Romanesque columns to kick off a backflip in honor of an evening well spent.
Spicy scents waft through the air to greet guests with the aromas and atmosphere of South Asia. The product of more than 25 years of South Asian?cuisine experience, Diya Restaurant, Lounge & Banquet's menu suffuses both meat and vegetarian dishes with potent herbs and spices. Tandoori ovens roast servings of salmon, jumbo shrimp, chicken, and lamb chop. Though fans of Indian cuisine can savor their old standbys, the restaurant has a few tricks up its sleeve as well?burgers tinge pub favorites with exotic spices, and ingredients take on even more flavor through Dumpukth?a technique of slow-roasting dishes over a fire in a tightly-sealed clay pot and seasoning food with specialized herbs and spices. The dining room's decor further strengthens the South Asian feel as bright colors embolden earth-toned walls and match the hues of ambitious side dishes vying for a starring role.
IndAroma's inventive chefs ferry flavors across culinary borders, regaling tongues with francophilicly enlivened Indian classics. The menu teems with curries, kebabs, naan pizzas, and succulent wraps, such as the marinated, tandoori-baked lamb kebab in cucumber sauce ($7.50), which provides the portable edibility of a laptop made of toffee. Rummage through the samosa chaat ($4.90), a treasure chest of chickpea curry, onions, mint, and spicy garlic-and-tamarind sauce or seek the comfort of boneless chicken biryani's flavorful warmth ($8.99). Petit fours and éclairs bask alongside a profusion of cakes each as sweet and unique as the fingerprint of an Oompa Loompa and served by the slice in flavors such as black forest, mango, and pistachio.
The blend of spices that defines Pan-Indian cuisine is on delectable display throughout Sangam Restaurant's multitudinous menu, filled with fresh fruits, savory meats, and satisfying lentils. Pair selections of 12 Indian-style breads (from $2) with first-course fare such as the aloo papri chat, a mouth-enticing blend of garbanzo peas, potatoes, savory crisps, taramind chutney, and rock salt ($4.50), or the pan-fried shami kebab, comprised of ground lamb, lentils, onions, and spices ($7.95). Extensive vegetarian-friendly selections (up to $9.95) delight eaters of meatless fare, while reactionary epicureans can set traps to ensnare traditional Indian fare, such as the madras chicken curry ($12.95) or the spicy lamb vindaloo ($14.95), both served lounging atop a decadent bed of basmati rice. A daily lunch buffet ($11.95) awaits daytime diners with tongue cravings that are torn between options due to stamp-licking accidents.