Cusbah South Asian Spice Bar sits on the same corner, across the street from famed fried fish carryout, Horace and Dickie’s. That is how I originally discovered it. It always looked interesting from the outside, with the name painted on the side of the building, and the giant patio area around it. We were always on our way somewhere else when I remembered it was there- so it was one of those ones that kept falling off my radar until recently. Last weekend, we were looking for a cheap-ish lunch option on H St. that we hadn’t tried, and their brunch buffet fit the bill. We parked just a couple of blocks away and walked into a completely empty restaurant (through the wrong door because I hadn’t had enough sleep). We got there just as the buffet was being set up, so we had to wait a couple of minutes, but at least we knew the food was going to be fresh.
In the meantime, we noticed that mimosas were only $3.50, so we each had one. I realized when we got them, why they were so cheap: the champagne they used was flat. Had it cost more, I may have said something, but I was too tired to bother. I drank it anyway.
The buffet was small, but it had just enough choices for me to stuff myself. There was basmati rice, an appetizer (some sort of fried onions), two curried veggies (potatoes and chickpeas), curried lamb and chicken vindaloo. There was also naan, assorted chutneys, and rice pudding. I got a little of everything on my first run, and the just the best ones: rice, chicken, chickpeas, and naan on my second run. I finished with the rice pudding. It was a little awkward to eat on the flat rectangular plates with a fork, but the naan helped with that. It was all pretty decent. The flat mimosa and the fact that the bartender was chatting incessantly, very loudly, in the small space with another employee, put a little damper on the experience. She was very nice and helpful and we joked around a bit, but the loudness got a little old in the empty restaurant. Maybe it was just me being cranky. I won’t NOT go back there, but I won’t be in any hurry to do so. There’s great South Indian food closer to home with a weekend buffet, no need to travel.
- Favorite thing I had: The naan! And the curried chickpeas.
- Favorite thing she had: The lamb curry
- Most interesting thing I want to try next time: I would like to go back for dinner next time. Maybe try the tandoori kebabs.
- What makes this place stand out: The big patio seating area and the window that opens up to the bar. There was quite a nice breeze flowing through the place. They also have vegan options.
- How soon I’d go back (tomorrow/next week/next month/special occasions): Maybe we’ll go back after we’ve put a big dent in our list. That patio with access to the bar outside might be worth it on a nice day, though.
- Places to go afterward (what’s nearby): Well, if it’s not noon, there are a plethora of bars nearby. You could hit a show at Rock N Roll Hotel. Or see a play at Atlas Performing Arts Center.