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The pizza naan at Spice Xing

One by one, we’re running through the 50 restaurants that made the cut on this year’s Young & Hungry Dining Guide. If you have visited the day’s featured restaurant, let us know what you think. If you’re planning to visit for the first time, tell us about your meal when you return.

The greater D.C. area has some terrific Indian restaurants, whether Heritage India in Glover Park or Bombay Indian in Silver Spring, but none of them are like Sudhir Seth’s Spice Xing in Rockville. You likely know Seth as the man behind the spice-perfect Passage to India in Bethesda, which may make you wonder why the hell he’s opening another subcontinental outpost under a different name. Well, because the new place ventures beyond the standard regional cuisines that many Indian restaurants peddle. As the name implies, Spice Xing specializes in the unique cross-cultural dishes that have been incubated in Seth’s home country. It could be a simple roast chicken, influenced by the bland British diet, which has been dressed up with East Indian spices, or it could be the shrimp Balchao, a Portuguese-inspired dish of crustaceans in spicy vinegar sauce that comes from Goa in western India. There are also nods to the Italians (pizza naan, don’t bother) and the Persians (a lamb and apricot stew, don’t miss it) as well as many of the traditional Indian dishes that we’ve all come to embrace. Which means that at Spice Xing, you can either experiment with Indian fusion—or just fall back on an Indian classic, which may actually be a cultural fusion that has merely passed the test of time.

Spice Xing, 100-B Gibbs St., Rockville, Md., (301) 610-0303