Image: Sunchoke Chaat
Last Updated: December 2021
Current Status: Open for sit-down. Proof of vaccination required. Take-out and Delivery also available
Overview: Daru was slammed from its opening, and that was before people were able to see how good the food is. So, whatever night you can get in we suggest you grab a slot and go. The food is Indian, but with some modern twists that make this place a contender for best new restaurant of 2021. The lamb chop is so tender that it nearly rolls over your tongue. The eggplant is smoky and pureed with tomato for a wonderful side dish. Sunchoke Chaat were tossed down like bonbons. Paneer Pesto Tikka is blocks of paneer marinated in basil pesto and then seared. It is a creative, tasty and satisfying dish.
The place was initially supposed to be a cocktail bar, and they do have some creative cocktails, often with spice elements (the name comes from an Indian version of moonshine called Desi Daru). During the pandemic and prior to opening they decided they needed to add food to survive. Chef and partner in the project Suresh Sundas previously worked at Rasika, but told Eater that he wanted to get out of the “Indian comfort zone” with ingredients. Sundas and partner Dante Datta have been working on Daru for almost three years and both had to take gigs to get by until opening. Bar Manager Tom Martinez crossed paths with Datta at Columbia Room. All of which to say, serious chops and dedication are a solid foundation for what they are building.
What they have created is a spot that feels part of the neighborhood yet good enough to be a destination. In that way it fits a trend of places like The Duck and The Peach, Lutèce , St. Vincent and Pennyroyal Station. We started this site because we believed that D.C. was going through a renaissance of dining. Daru supports that belief.
Washington Post: Tom’s write-up was very favorable. He loved the jackfruit tacos.
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