Vacationers might think the islands cater to whims of fleeting fancy through curvy glasses of blue cocktails, but there’s also a serious cooking culture. It’s been imported to Manassas at Malakhi, a big, colorfully painted space in a nondescript strip mall. The food has soul: complex, layered flavors with an underlying, not overpowering, heat. Find it in a sumptuous curry goat or a rich oxtail stew padded with buttery beans and served with a strand of twisted dough, called festival, that can sop up all of that remaining sauce. Jerk wings pop with brightness and spice, and the fried chicken is crunchy and savory. There’s no real misses on the menu, save for the fact that this new kitchen doesn’t always have everything available, but that’s actually good news. It’ll make a return visit necessary.
Malakhi Lounge & Jamaican Restaurant
Jamaican | $$
8910 Mathis Ave., Manassas