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26. The Mango Grove

An aside mention here for the House of India, which easily could have made the list. But Rohit Chawla's restaurant earns its ranking by establishing its own cuisine category - the vegetarian cuisine of South India. The dosa, a kind of crepe, is a revelation, and the owner's adjacent restaurant, Mirchi Wok, has meat on the menu, too. Venue info: The Mango Grove in ColumbiaSarah Nix, Patuxent Publishing