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Jyoti Indian Cuisine
2433 18th St., Washington, DC 20009

(202) 518-5892

I might be biased since I’m a regular at Jyoti, but I’m a regular for a reason: the naan. I’ve tried the fancier Indian places in D.C. and have yet to find any that does it as well. Giant, chewy, crusty: It’s the ultimate in Indian carb. The aloo paratha is also fantastic. Rogan josh leans to the spicy side, although it is, of course, no vindaloo. Since I’m wimpy, I prefer the less-spicy chicken options­—makhanwala and masala are both reliable. The tikka, as it almost always is elsewhere, is fine if you like your chicken bone-dry; enlist chutney for help. Ambience here is near-perfect: not cheesy, not classy. It’s on the strip and outside tables do allow prime seating for the parade that is 18th Street NW, but at its heart, Jyoti is a neighborhood joint and service reflects that. Don’t be scared by the grumpy waiter who’s there just about every night. He’s a big softie inside, and once he knows you, he’ll serve up a “special” glass of wine—to the brim. It might not be a proper pour, but it is more bang for your buck.