Slapfish at 12033 Rockville Pike in the Montrose Crossing shopping center closed permanently last week at and no time was wasted in removing signage and clearing it out. The restaurant had occupied the space for a little over 4 years, opening in July 2018, but was a “discrete listing” for a sub-lease for over a year. Now we know the replacement will be RASA, a fast-casual Indian restaurant with four locations in DC and Virginia.
The restaurant, founded by Rahul Vinod and Sahil Rahman (combined to create the name, RASA), opened its first location in Navy Yard in 2017 before opening a location in Mt. Vernon Triangle in 2020, Crystal City in 2021, and Fairfax this past summer. The menu offers seven chef-curated bowls under the “We Got You” portion of the menu, that includes their signature bowls like the “Tikka Chance on Me”, “Open Sesame”, “Eat Your Veggies”, “Home Cooking”, “Goa Your Own Way”, “Aloo Need is Love”, and “Caul on Me” or the “You Got It” portion of their menu that allows customers to “DIY” and design their own bowl using the assembly line format of a base, main, sauce, veggies, toppings, and chutneys/dressings. The full menu can be seen here.
More on RASA, including a video below: “Our story starts back when we were just itty bitty little things. You see, we were born into the restaurant industry. Our fathers, hard-working immigrants, moved to this country back in 1985. Old friends from their days back in India, they started working together at a local spot in DC, and in 1991, embarked on the shared adventure of opening their first restaurant together. A year before that, we entered the picture, and have been best friends ever since.
Growing up with Bombay Bistro + Indique, we noticed that a lot of our friends either hadn’t tried Indian food or had misperceptions about it. We’d hear stuff like “I don’t like curry!” and “Isn’t it all spicy?” on the reg, and it confused us because we knew curry just meant sauce and there’s such diversity of flavor + heat profiles across India. The food of our families had always been delicious, nutritious, and made with love. So, we’d bring our friends to the restaurant, order for them, and to their surprise, without fail, they would fall for Indian cuisine. Over the years, we’d see these converts coming back for birthday celebrations, graduation dinners, and anniversaries.
Sooner or later, we started to realize it wasn’t that all these friends didn’t like Indian food – they just hadn’t been introduced to it in an accessible and fun way before. So in high school, we wrote a business plan for the idea, (we actually won a small business competition!) and started dreaming about how cool it could be. We went to college, graduated, and did the whole corporate rat race thing for a few years in New York. But this vision kept coming back to us, and we knew we had to bring it to life. So we took the leap, quit our jobs, moved back home, and decided to do the damn thing.
Along the way, we traveled across India to reconnect with our roots and dove deeper into not only the intricacies of Indian cuisine, but our own friendship and families as well. RASA is the realization of that vision, where we bring together our two worlds to share the authentic flavors of our youth with our friends + community right here in the DMV.For more on our story, check out the video below, and if you haven’t had a chance to stop by just yet, we hope to welcome you into our space sometime soon. Much love!
RAhul + SAhil”
Featured photo courtesy of RASA on Instagram.