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Tim Carman Wonders If Nepalese Can Compete with Indian at Laliguras

Plus, Frankly...Pizza!, Indian brunch at Rasika West End and Tyler Cowen heads to Restaurant Eve

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Tim Carman goes to Laliguras in Van Ness to decide if chef and owner Dawa Tamang’s Nepali dishes can stand up to their Indian counterparts. In his Washington Post Magazine review, he awards the restaurant two stars. He writes:

Tamang sprinkles his native dishes among the more familiar kormas, curries, biryanis and chaats, as if making the argument that Nepali cuisine deserves equal billing among the famous plates from the subcontinent. No separate, second-class Nepali menu for Tamang."

Carman and his dining companions can’t resist the pull of some familiar Indian dishes, though. He’s impressed with the tandoor char of the murgh makhani, the spicy lamb curry and the lamb vindaloo's subtle heat. [WaPo]

Carman also visited Frankly...Pizza! in Kensington, Maryland for his $20 Diner column. He can’t stop raving about owner Frank Linn’s pizza-making skills:

Within seconds, my margherita starts spilling the goods about its creator, Frank Linn. The black blisters around the edge inform me that Linn isn’t afraid to push char on his diners, and for that alone, I want to give him a man-hug. But there are other signs to decode first: His pie isn’t soupy in the middle. His sauce, spread sparingly over the surface, imparts a shy sweetness to the round. His crust, at once soft and chewy, serves as more than a topping delivery system; it packs the flavor of a dough developed over days, not hours. His margherita sports both fresh mozzarella and sprinklings of hard romano."

He applauds Linn for focusing on making "perfect" wood-fired pies instead of "chasing after a Verace Pizza Napoletana certification to hang on the wall like a hunting trophy" like so many other pizziaolos. Carman also recommends ordering the Hot Mess! topped with three cheeses (mozzarella, romano, and Gruyère), pickled jalapenos, caramelized onions and bacon and the arugula with lemon juice and creamy ricotta. [WaPo]

For a First Bite review, Tom Sietsema tries the brunch offerings at Rasika West End. The says the menu reflects what people eat during the weekends in India:

The selections show off the street food snack called besan ka chilla, a savory pancake based on gram flour and minced vegetables. Pressed rice (poha) is sparked with mustard seeds and green chilies; lump crab in the squat tower of rice is a jazzy twist on what is typically a vegetarian dish in India." [WaPo]

Other notable dishes include rockfish cooked in a sauce of coconut milk, ginger, curry leaves and green chilies and minced lamb turned into a schnitzel and finished with tomato chutney. Owner Ashok Bajaj also appeals to American tastes with sweet pancakes flavored with cardamom, coconut and jaggery and bottomless mimosas and bloody marys for $15.[WaPo]

Tyler Cowen checks out the Filipino fixed price menu at Restaurant Eve in Alexandria. He says, "Every course was first-rate, and I don’t know where to find anything comparable." Despite some initial skepticism, Cowen declares it the best Filipino food he’s ever eaten and his most "vital" local dining experience this year. [TC]

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