Tag Archives: thaaja indian food bar

H Street’s Horizon: What’s Coming Soon (Spring, 2013)

3 Apr

At the beginning of the year we took a look at what new bars and restaurants were planned for H Street in the coming year.  Now that a quarter of 2013 has gone by, we wanted to provide an update on new openings, newly announced concepts, and progress towards opening.  For each of these categories we list the establishments in order of going west-east down H Street.  If we’ve missed a place, please let us know in the comment section.

Opened this Winter

  • Batter Bowl Bakery (401 H Street)–delicious new bakery from the owners of Ethiopic (next door) that is open all day and serves a variety of baked goods, sandwiches, and salads (see menu here).
  • Hikari Sushi and Sake (644 H Street)–new sushi restaurant with two floors and extensive bar.  See our initial review here.
  • Thaaja Indian Food Bar (NoMa region, 1335 2nd Street, NE)–features customizable Indian food in a format similar to Chipotle.  See our opening night review here. Continue reading
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Thaaja Hosting Opening Event Tomorrow

14 Mar

While the restaurant has been open for awhile now, Thaaja Indian Food Bar in NoMa will be hosting an “opening” party tomorrow.  The first one hundred customers at lunch time will get a free bowl or wrap (these items will be $3 the rest of the day).  Our first impressions of Thaaja have been really positive so far.  You can check out our preview of Thaaja here and a review of our first visit here.

Opening Night at Thaaja Indian Food Bar

26 Jan

We stopped by opening night at Thaaja Indian Food Bar in NoMa on Wednesday to check it out.  Opening night saw a moderate but steady flow of customers despite the extreme cold outside.  We tried the rice bowl with steak and added roasted corn, cheese, chickpeas, tomatoes, and topped it off with the vindaloo sauce.  The sauce had a nice spicy kick, the steak was very tender, and the portion was very generous.  We also tried the Thaaja roll appetizer with the samosa filling and enjoyed it.  If you’re looking for a less spicy sauce, try the “Triple C” (cilantro, cucumber, and coriander) which we sampled and also liked.  You can check out our complete preview here and see their menu here.

Thaaja Indian Food Bar Set to Open Wednesday (January 23rd)

23 Jan

Thaaja Indian Food Bar, specializing in quick and customizable Indian food made from scratch, plans to open Wednesday in NoMa (1335 2nd Street, NE).  You can see our detailed preview piece here and the menu here.

Thaaja Indian Food Bar

Thaaja Indian Food Bar

Thaaja will offer diners the opportunity to build their own Indian meal from a variety of different proteins, vegetables, and homemade sauces in a setting similar to Chipotle or Roti where customers choose ingredients from the display right in front of them.  At Thaaja, diners initially choose between a wrap, a rice bowl, or a salad bowl and then choose from chicken, lamb, steak, Paneer (an Indian cheese), or tofu before completing the meal with different vegetables and sauces.  The price ranges depending on the protein, but all are reasonably priced around the $7-8 range (with unlimited toppings).

Counter at Thaaja

Counter at Thaaja

Thaaja will also feature several different sides/appetizers, including Thaaja rolls (available as a samosa or with a tikka filling) and naan and chips; all of the sides will be priced at $2.75.  Thaaja will also have freshly made Lassi shakes (an Indian drink with a yogurt base) in a variety of flavors for $2.75.       Continue reading

2013: The Year Ahead for H Street’s Dining Scene

26 Dec

2012 was a very exciting year for H Street that witnessed a ton of new restaurants and bars opening.  2013 promises to be another exciting year for the neighborhood with many more openings on tap.  Here’s our rundown of places slated to open in the new year and some of the important questions for the H Street region as we enter 2013.  Thanks to our friends at Frozen Tropics and H Street Great Street who broke much of the news on the future openings earlier in the year.  Did we miss a planned opening?  Please let us know in the comment section.

Likely Openings in the New Year (listed in order of going west-east down H Street)

  • Batter Bowl Bakery (401 H Street)–bakery from the owners of Ethiopic, featuring breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as baked goods, likely opening in January (h/t Frozen Tropics)
  • Hikari Sushi and Sake (644 H Street)–sushi restaurant from the owners of Matsutake Sushi restaurants in Northern Virginia, we’ve heard that it could open in the next few weeks
  • PoBoy Jim’s (709 H Street)–poboys and other cajun food with bar and patio in the back, owners have experienced a few construction surprises but should be opening early in the new year (see our preview here)
  • Ben’s Chili Bowl (10th and H Street)–restaurant from the popular U Street restaurant, will be two levels and feature a bar as well
  • Mythology (1005 H Street)–steak and seafood as well as brunch from current general manager of the popular Atlas Room, will also have extensive craft beer and wine selections (h/t H Street Great Street) Continue reading

Thaaja Bringing Customizable Indian Food to NoMa

15 Oct

Over the past couple of years, NoMa (roughly defined as the region to the north of Union Station) has seen its population grow exponentially thanks to the opening of several large apartment buildings.  Unfortunately, there has not been similar growth in the number of good food options in the area that are open for dinner.  NoMa residents are currently restricted to the pricey (and less than stellar) Watershed, a few fast food places, or going elsewhere for food.  Thaaja Indian Food Bar, 1335 2nd Street NE (in the same building as the Courtyard by Marriott), has the potential to improve the NoMa dining scene when it opens in mid-November.

Future Site of Thaaja Indian Food Bar

We recently caught up with Thaaja owner Shailesh Kumar to learn more about the new place.  Thaaja will be Kumar’s first restaurant and will draw upon the flavors and experiences of the Indian food that Kumar grew up on as a child.  Kumar wants Thaaja to show customers that Indian food can be done quickly, while still being delicious, fresh, and healthy.  Thaaja is still in the middle of renovations, but Kumar expects that it will be ready to open in November.  Once Thaaja has been open for a little while, it will begin delivery.

At Thaaja–which translates as fresh–diners will choose their ingredients and build their meals from scratch.  The customization will be similar to that of Chipotle, ShopHouse Kitchen, or H&pizza.  Customers will first choose a base: Indian wrap, tortilla wrap, rice bowl, or salad bowl.  Next they will add the type of meat that they want as well as other toppings before finishing the meal off with a variety of Indian sauces of different spice levels.  The meats will be chicken, lamb, steak, paneer (smoked Indian cheese), and tofu.  The other toppings will range from onions to chickpeas to cucumber to fried onions.  According to Kumar, they will have “six signature homemade sauces which vary in spiciness, some of which offer very traditional Indian flavors, while others are a little more modern.” The sauces are broken down into spicy ones (a tikka masala sauce, a spicy vindaloo sauce, and a “Tandoori Buffalo” sauce) and savory ones (a yogurt based sauce, a coconut sauce, and one with cilantro, cucumber, and coriander). While the full details of the menu at Thaaja are still being ironed out, there will be a variety of sides on the menu, likely including Indian bread baskets with dipping sauces. Continue reading