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Brookland’s New Indian Restaurant Has Arrived

Masala Story opens under a cloud of controversy

The dining room at Masala Story.
Photo: Masala Story
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Masala Story, a new restaurant that was originally designed to spread NoMa favorite Indigo’s cuisine across D.C., is now serving its take on Indian food to Brookland diners.

The new arrival (3301 12th Street NE) officially opens today; expect traditional offerings including lamb curry and masala chai.

The one-time extension of neighboring Indigo unraveled last fall due to “insurmountable” problems between Indigo co-founders Dinesh and Nidhi Tandon, and the relatives they were working with on the family-run venue. Dinesh Tandon continued to distance himself from the newcomer on January 1, warning potential customers via social media that “it’s very disappointing to see them plagiarize our menu and our style.” Indigo is now working on establishing a second outpost in NoMa.

Masala Story co-owner Manish Berry tells Eater his restaurant is a completely “different entity” from Indigo. Unlike Indigo’s BYOB policy, there’s a fully-stocked bar at Masala Story; look for local beers from Atlas Brew Works and DC Brau Brewing Company, along with wines, and a growing liquor cabinet.

The Masala Story menu, scribbled on a chalkboard behind the register, includes a long list of platters with sides like chickpeas and rice ($12 to $15) with lots of veggie and vegan options. The colorful and modern space, which has brick, wood, and industrial accents, couches, and TVs, invites diners to stay a while.

Assorted dishes at Masala Story.
Photo: Masala Story

Expect the full menu to hit the internet this week.

Navy Yard landed an innovative Indian restaurant last month with the debut of build-your-own-meal maker, Rasa. And Brookland itself has seen a surge of new activity, including the new Tastemakers food hall still taking shape in the area, as well as the arrivals of romantic wine bar Primrose and bright newcomer District Space, which hosts various pop-ups from D.C. chefs and bartenders.

Masala Story is projected to operate from 11 a.m to 9 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Saturdays, and from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sundays.

Status: Certified open. 3301 12th Street NE; website.

Masala Story

3301 12th Street Northeast, , DC 20017 (202) 885-9810 Visit Website