The hip interior of Bombay Street Food is a barrage of color — murals circle the walls above pumpkin bright upholstered booths. On any given night the 18th street location (Bombay Street Food 1 and 2 are in Columbia Heights and Capital Hill neighborhoods respectively) is full, many there because they’re hungry for a taste of home.
The menu features Indian and Indo-Chinese foods: an array of savory chat, nearly 20 varieties of curry — including vegetarian and gluten-free options, and freshly baked breads. Portions are generous, making it a good place to share and taste. The chef is happy to adjust your heat level, whether you’re a spice wimp or like it volcanic. Compared to other DC Indian restaurants, Bombay’s ‘street food’ version relies less on the richness of heavy cream and more on herbs and spice. Butter Chicken is tangy in a dark, tomatoey orange sauce. (Pro tip: use paper napkins and keep it off light clothing!) The saag tastes as if broth-based, rather than cream.
This location, at the bottom of busy 18th Street in Adams Morgan, has a small sidewalk patio as well. Founder Asad Sheikh made his name in the DC metro area with five previous restaurants in Northern Virginia, among them London Curry House, and now runs Butter Chicken Co., a lunch-only restaurant that prepares 300 servings of butter chicken a day, shuttering when the pot is empty.