Tag Archives: thaaja

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.


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

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