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Fast casual Indian restaurant coming to Mosaic District

People enjoy Mosaic District’s Strawberry Park (File photo by Angela Woolsey)

(Updated at 3 p.m.) A D.C.-based Indian restaurant is coming soon to Fairfax County.

RASA, a fast casual restaurant started by two best friends, plans to open in the Mosaic District at 2905 District Avenue, according to county records.

County permits show that a permit for sprinkler work was issued on March 17.

A spokesperson for the restaurant declined to comment on the opening, but later clarified that it will take over a space next to Target that was occupied by Leon until the British fast-food chain closed its U.S. locations last year.

This will be RASA’s fourth location overall and its first in Fairfax County. The chain plans to double its footprint and is “actively seeking additional locations,” Bisnow reported yesterday (Monday).

The Mosaic District space will feature swings to provide outdoor seating and a door inside that connects to the adjacent Target, according to Bisnow.

Here’s more from the restaurant’s webpage on how the business came to be:

Our story starts back when we were just itty bitty little things. You see, we were born into the restaurant industry. Our fathers, hard-working immigrants, moved to this country back in 1985. Old friends from their days back in India, they started working together at a local spot in DC, and in 1991, embarked on the shared adventure of opening their first restaurant together. A year before that, we entered the picture, and have been best friends ever since.

Growing up with Bombay Bistro + Indique, we noticed that a lot of our friends either hadn’t tried Indian food or had misperceptions about it. We’d hear stuff like “I don’t like curry!” and “Isn’t it all spicy?” on the reg, and it confused us because we knew curry just meant sauce and there’s such diversity of flavor + heat profiles across India.

The food of our families had always been delicious, nutritious, and made with love. So, we’d bring our friends to the restaurant, order for them, and to their surprise, without fail, they would fall for Indian cuisine. Over the years, we’d see these converts coming back for birthday celebrations, graduation dinners, and anniversaries.

Sooner or later, we started to realize it wasn’t that all these friends didn’t like Indian food – they just hadn’t been introduced to it in an accessible and fun way before. So in high school, we wrote a business plan for the idea, (we actually won a small business competition!) and started dreaming about how cool it could be.

We went to college, graduated, and did the whole corporate rat race thing for a few years in New York. But this vision kept coming back to us, and we knew we had to bring it to life. So we took the leap, quit our jobs, moved back home, and decided to do the damn thing.

Along the way, we traveled across India to reconnect with our roots and dove deeper into not only the intricacies of Indian cuisine, but our own friendship and families as well.

RASA is the realization of that vision, where we bring together our two worlds to share the authentic flavors of our youth with our friends + community right here in the DMV.

The Mosaic District is already home to a diverse mix of restaurants including Ted’s Bulletin, Cava, bartaco, District Dumplings, and Jinya Ramen Bar.

A Shake Shack is also coming to Mosaic sometime this spring.

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