Hall of Fame: Lemon Cuisine of India
First Place: Lehja
11800 W. Broad St.
Second Place: Anokha Cuisine of India
Third Place: India K’Raja
Most Richmonders fell in love with Indian food at the cheerful West Broad Street spot that is Lemon Cuisine of India. Lunchtime specials were the lure, but folks came back at night to enjoy such classics such as samosa chaat, hara bhara kebab and chicken khata metha. At Lehja, managing partner Sunny Baweja says the goal is to be the best restaurant in the city, not merely the best Indian restaurant. “There’s a great dining scene in Richmond,” he says, “and we laid the foundation to be part of that.” Given the enormous variety of Indian cuisine across regions, Baweja doesn’t try to be all things to all people. “We focus on classic Indian dishes with a Punjabi focus — that’s my home — with about 20 to 25 percent of the menu devoted to contemporary Indian — what India is now.” Lehja has been much lauded for its inclusion of Indian wine — the only restaurant in Virginia that carries it — and Indian beer such as Kingfisher on tap.