Bindaas

I always complain about how there’s no good Indian food in this whole dang town (I know, I know, RASIKA, but ain’t nobody got money, reservations, or stomach space for that). But it turns out that there is good Indian food, it’s just all on the far side of town. My husband and I were already up in Cleveland Park, so we got a spot at Bindaas for dinner not really knowing anything about it.

I started with the Fool’s Gold cocktail because I am a sucker for anything with cardamom and my husband grabbed a draft beer (lame). The cocktail was light and refreshing, though surprisingly un-cardamom-y given how fast that flavor generally takes over, and it was dramatically improved with a squeeze of the included lime. Solid, but nothing to write home about:

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Unbeknownst to me when I made the reservation, Bindaas is all small plates, so hurrah, They were also very bad at communicating this when we were seated and handed menus with no explanation. No matter, though. There were tons of good things to choose from, so we were happy to have the opportunity to pick a few.

The first thing to arrive was the chicken tikka masala kathi roll:

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The paratha was soft and greasy in the best possible way, and the chicken inside was to die for. Everything about this set us up for serious success. The next two things were the crab idiyappam (left) and the golgappa (right).

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The crab looks…not great. Especially for a fancy schmancy place such as this. But sometimes the best things come in disgusting-looking packages. It was overflowing with crab meat and had a mild coconut curry flavor and rich creaminess. My husband loved it but said that it was too rich to eat a lot of. I respectfully disagree. Crab idiyappam 4eva. We didn’t really know what to expect with the golgappa either. There wasn’t much of an explanation on the menu besides “non-traditional” and “avocado.” The pastry is hard to describe. Maybe like an eggroll had a baby with a croissant? It’s thin and flaky but mostly flavorless. There was a tiny piece of avocado inside each one and a generous drizzle of tamarind concentrate and thin yogurt. It was sweet. Cloyingly sweet. If this had been dessert, I would have liked it better.

We had to wait a good, long time for the salmon kabob. We thought they had forgotten and we were starving. Just as we asked for a menu and started discussing whether or not we’d get a fifth dish, it arrived. I’m a little sad that we waited so long for it. Among all the extremely delicious dishes of the night, this came last. It was a good size and the fish itself was cooked really well, but it was nothing super special. It was like your college team winning the NCAA championship the day after you won the lottery. Suddenly it seems like not such a big moment after all.

Price: $40 per person.

Bottom line: I was generally really impressed with Bindaas and will gladly return, but I am still sad about the dearth of Indian food on the East side of town.

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