Washington: Two young Indian-Americans investment bankers have quit their well-paid jobs to start a fine fast casual Indian restaurant here which they aspire to take to every nook and corner of the US at an affordable price.
RASA, founded by Rahul Vinod and Sahil Rahman, serves Indian food in the Chipotle-style manner, joining a national movement of new fast-casual joints.
The name of the restaurant 'RASA' is not only a combination of the two co-founders names – Rahul and Sahil – but in Sanskrit it also translates to "essence or taste" in English.
"There is this perception that Indian food is unhealthy or heavy, or filled with butter," says Sahil, 26, who founded Rasa with his childhood friend, Rahul, 27.
"We are excited to show people that is not the case. It is very clean and healthy food. It is just in the way you prepare it."
"What is awesome about Indian food and it is just so diverse. There is such a variety in flavors. People think oh it's just spicy but there's so many delicious sweet dishes.
There's so much from the north to the south that you can pull from," said Rahul.
The two co-founders are sons of celebrated hospitality veterans and longtime business partners Chef K N Vinod and Surfy Rahman.
"It has really been a part of our childhood and our upbringing," said Sahil.
"We are going to take Indian flavors and bring that to what is authentic to us as Indian Americans," Rahul said.
Once the two-childhood friends completed their studies and got their jobs in New York, Rahul and Sahil said it was time for them to work on their dream to popularise Indian food and its benefits in an American way.
Bringing RASA to life is the realisation of a childhood dream and an amazing opportunity for us to share our culture and cuisine with our community and city, said Sahil.
"Since we started, our vision has been to make Indian cuisine accessible, and we are excited to open diners minds to new worlds offering unique, high-quality, and chef-driven meals at a USD 10 price point," said Rahul. — (PTI)