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Karma Modern Indian, Though Pricey, Scores Points for Presentation

“Each dish was impeccably prepared and plated”

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Karma’s chicken lolli appetizer: breaded chicken on a sugar cane stick served with sweet chili sauce 
Photo: Joy Asico
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Penn Quarter newcomer Karma Modern Indian, which integrates nontraditional Indian ingredients into its upscale offerings, debuted last month.

The 5,000-square-foot restaurant (611 Eye Street NW) from owners Sachin Mahajan and Ricky Singh serves a variety of small to large plates from executive chef and New Delhi native Ajay Kumar. Dishes include chile-powered venison, duck with grilled okra, masala-style lobster, and kulfi ice cream flanked by gingerbread.

Bar director Dominik Lenikowski’s drink list includes five specialty cocktails at a time, and lots of the wine adheres to biodynamic winemaking practices (a rising trend in D.C. right now).

Read on to hear what customers are saying about the fledgling restaurant:

The Nice Digs News: Karma sits in a “great location, in the heart of everything, too — a short walk from City Center, and right across the street from Sixth and I,” writes Yelper Kathryn M. “Relaxing decor: pretty understated, nice ambiance overall.” [Yelp]

The Pleasing Plating News: Blogger Hungry Lobbyist says, “Each dish was impeccably prepared and plated, from our starters including the delightfully crisp chicken lollis, to our visually intriguing Karma sweet platter for dessert.” Yelper Mel M. says, “The main positive, I thought, was that the food was beautifully presented, especially the dessert (a trio of tarts).” [HL, Yelp]

The Price Point News: Yelper Lemon C. notes, “The place is very expensive, $25 for a large plate, $18 glass of wine, $16 cocktails,” but adds “the truffle naan was amazing.” Yelper Brett M. was much harsher. “The food is good, but it’s not worth the price. I left hungry and for the tab to be $65, that shouldn’t happen,” he writes, while Yelper Michelle R. chimes in, “I would return for bigger portions or lower costs. Naan is about $6 and tiny.” Facebooker Laura Winters Oh says, “For the quality of the food it is a very good price.” [Yelp, Facebook]

The Hi Neighbor News: Facebook user Morgan Gale heaped praise on staff, writing, “Ricky the manager, Mutaza my waiter, Sachi the owner are all so welcoming and friendly I felt like I was at my favorite neighborhood spot.” Instagram user @betsystivers says Karma is a “delicious new Indian/DC fusion restaurant near our apartment!” [Facebook, Instagram]

The Booze News: Instagram user @jfitch is smitten with the Green Goddess Cocktail: “I am sure this goes well with almost anything you want to eat,” he writes. And @travisjmitchell stands behind the Navy-strength @plymouthginus Rickey, writing “the house creations are worth sampling as well. Ingredients are made in-house and drinks are designed to pair with the many spices across the menu.” [Instagram]

The Must Order News: Yelper Julia C. says, “We all agreed everything we had was quite delicious; favorites being the lamb rogan josh and the tandoor cauliflower.” Instagram user @abharai posts, “All I want to sit and do tonight is dream about how delicious this chicken curry was.” [Yelp, Instagram]

Karma Modern Indian

611 I Street Northwest, , DC 20001 (202) 898-0393 Visit Website