All photos Laura Hayes

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The owner of Spice-6 isn’t afraid to use the “A” word. He calls the cuisine at the third location of his Indian fast-casual restaurant authentic, fresh, and modern. “There’s nothing on the line that’s been tampered with,” the Punjab native says. You can build a rice bowl or a naan wrap, but all of the ingredients are common in Indian cuisine. “We don’t have avocado in India,” Singh continues. “It doesn’t belong to us.”

The restaurant opens at 11 a.m. this morning in the short-lived On Rye space (740 6th St.NW) near the Capital One Arena. Customers who visit today (Friday) will get a free mini dosa with the purchase of a meal.

Singh’s strategy is to introduce more people to the South Indian-style rice and lentil crepe that can be stuffed with fillings like spiced mashed potatoes and onion. The dosas will be made behind glass in front of guests so they can watch cooks execute what looks like a magic trick. Like any pancake, it’s a wonder they don’t stick to the griddle.

Other than dosas, guests can customize a meal by selecting a base, picking a protein, and selecting a curry flavor from tikka masala to spinach masala. There are ample options for diners who are gluten free, vegetarian, or vegan.

Everything on the menu from naan to the paneer cheese is made from scratch, and many of the items, like the kebabs, are made-to-order. Spice-6 is roasting and grinding its own spices and soaking all of its lentils and chickpeas. “I don’t believe in canned food,” Singh says. 

The restaurant, which Singh designed and flipped in 40 days, seats 60. They’ll soon add an additional 25 seats on the patio. It will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The menu is most similar to the one at their Vienna location, which can be viewed here. Note that the D.C. outpost won’t serve alcohol. The first Spice-6 opened in Hyattsville in 2012.

Spice-6, 740 6th St.NW; spice-6.com