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Rasa: Alumnus Sahil Rahman’s Venture Into Indian Cuisine

By: Jacob Wilkowsky (Cohort 17)

Thanking Khawaja as I exited his Toyota Corolla, my first steps in the Navy Yard (DC) provided a much-needed opportunity to stretch. The trip from New York was uneventful, and surveying the sprawling lawn and views of the Anacostia river, I was glad I made the voyage. Although six minutes early, I decided to enter the large, bright blue door to Rasa. There I found Sahil Rahman, co-Founder of Rasa, member of QUEST Cohort 17, and co-TA of BMGT190H for my cohort (19), busily organizing his staff and rearranging the restaurant for lunch service.

Sahil offered a warm welcome and seating as I waited for the restaurant to begin service. I dropped my belongings off in a nook and surveyed the menu. I chose as my main a pre-made bowl, ‘Aloo Need is Love’, composed of sweet potato tikki, coconut ginger sauce, supergrains, charred eggplant, picked radish, and masala beets. To drink, a mango lassi. Both were delicious, quickly prepared, and reasonably priced. Although I hoped to savor the meal and take copious notes of each bite for my future audience… it didn’t work out – a testament to Rasa’s supreme quality and my lack of self-control.

Luckily for me, a top critic in The District and a bevy of other publications have since extensively covered Rasa, including the Washington Post’s Tom Sietsema, The Washington City Paper, EATER, and On Tap Magazine. These articles aptly describe Rasa’s interior, which “deftly fuses whimsy with comfort,” the bond of Sahil and his Partner Rahul Vinod, who know each other since childhood, and their journey to the kitchen, starting in the kitchens of their fathers’ restaurants. I can attest to the rich experience chronicled by these critics, and I can’t wait to visit again soon.

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