Image: Shrimp Bezule
Last Updated: August 2023
Current Status: The Cleveland Park location has closed. A third trimmed-down location in Penn Quarter, Bowls and Rolls, does sit-down and take-out.
Bindaas serves dishes developed by the same chef as the legendary Rasika, though the cooking is more casual, a bit more home-spun. It was first unveiled as an homage to Indian street food, with choices focused on bite-sized treats like golgappas—pastry puffs filled with avocado, yogurt, and tamarind chutney, uttapan pancakes of rice and lentils with changing toppings, or kathi rolls – wraps with choice of lamb, chicken, or paneer fillings. Despite the street food inspiration, the place has a more standard sit-down restaurant feel. A few plates approach entree sizes, like a filet of fish dressed in sauce, lamb meatballs over saffron rice. Even the “buns” are really a couple of brioche rolls buttered and crisped served with a bowl of stewed meat or veggies that eats like a Sloppy Joe (tear a little out of the middle of the bun to make filling easier).
When it initially opened, there was a large buzz around it. Now it is more a neighborhood spot level of intensity with a decent beverage list and great food that seems a more natural fit. The servings are small-plates format with nothing over $20. The Cleveland Park location added a streatery out front, shared with its sidekick Sababa. Both Sababa and Bindaas mean “cool” in their respective languages. The Foggy Bottom location is a great lunch option if you are somewhere between Georgetown and the White House. It also has outdoor seating. They also opened a stripped down Bowls and Rolls version in Penn Quarter (a short walk up from the Mall).
Penn Quarter (Bowls and Rolls): 415 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20004
Washington Post: Tom reviewed the two locations in Cleveland Park (and included it in the 2017 Spring and Fall Dining Guides) and Foggy Bottom (and included it in the 2018 Spring Dining Guide) separately when they opened in 2016 and 2017 respectively. But he gave both 2.5 stars.
Lori Gardner (Been There Eaten That): From 2017