Modern Indian restaurant Kismet opens in Old Town Alexandria


Karma, a modern DC Indian restaurant known for its artful dishes, has a new sister restaurant in Alexandria’s old town, Kismet. The new location is only open for take out at the moment, but the dining room will debut on November 10.

While DC’s location tends to cater to a much larger business clientele, Kismet will have a bit more of a “relaxed” vibe, says co-owner Sachin Mahajan. Some basic side dishes like dal makhani and slow-cooked pindi chickpeas have been retained, while Karma dishes that were off the menu like chicken biryani are making a comeback in Kismet.

Grilled Pulled Chicken is a new addition to Kismet’s menu. Photograph courtesy of Kismet.

Chef Ajay Kumar also offers many new things: a red snapper peri-peri served with lemon rice, a roast lamb ghee with whole green cardamom and cloves, and a tandoor-grilled pulled chicken with tartar sauce and Chickpea flour chips on top. Mahajan describes the latter as “our version of a traditional chicken salad but in a slightly more gourmet environment”. Chicken tikka masala, which surprisingly had never been on Karma’s menu, is also making an appearance.

The cocktail menu includes both classics (“reflections”) and house creations (“events”) such as a blend of gin infused with changing colors of pea flowers, midori and lemon juice as well as a tequila drink with a chai pumpkin shrub. You’ll also find a handful of Virginia and European beers along with a small menu of wine by the glass meant to pair well with spicy food.

The 4,000-square-foot space, formerly a BurgerFi joint, has retained some of its industrial feel but has been warmed up with a wall of candles, orb lights, and a mosaic bar. The restaurant also has a patio that can accommodate up to 30 people.

Modern Indian Kismet. 111 North Pitt St., Alexandria. 703-567-4507.

Jessica sidman

Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind the DC food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian as of July 2016, she was culinary writer and columnist Young & Hungry at the Washington City Paper. She is originally from Colorado and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania.


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