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Sunday, March 07, 2010

A New Food Find!

Today, Jojo and I felt like having Indian food for lunch. I absolutely love Indian food. I can't have it every day but once in a while I get a really strong craving and it pays to know where to go for good food. We know of two places (one in Torrance and one in LA) for really delish Indian food, but we've been to both places so many times, we decided to try something new. So, where do we go for food finds? Why, the Internet, of course! We go to Yelp.com and Citysearch.com to be really sure. With the help of of these 2 websites, we have found lots of great new places. Today was no different. On Yelp, we found this place called Tandoori Nites. I was a little dubious at first since the name did sounded slightly cheesy ... but the place was ranked number one for Indian food in the South Bay. We also caught a glimpse of some reviews and everything was pretty positive. So off we went to try this place.

Tandoori Nites is located on Narbonne St. in Lomita. It's sort of easy to miss cause it's tucked away in a strip mall. Luckily we have GPS so we were able to find the place. FYI, the restaurant's exterior does not do the place any justice!

The place was surprisingly soothing and spacious inside. They had high ceilings which immediately made the place seem much bigger. The dining area walls were a mellow mocha while the main floor was a mustard color. The drawn shades gave it a cool, almost zen atmosphere. There were some interesting Indian artwork, mirrors and sculptures around. Our host, Munish, was very gracious and led us to a nice corner table. He told us they had a buffet lunch that included drinks for $10.95 per person. Not bad, right?

After placing our drink orders, we headed for the lunch buffet. With Indian food, I always prefer a buffet, that way I get to try different things (dishes I would not normally order a la carte). And the best thing is I can go back for more of the ones I like and pass on the ones that I don't!

My plate had tandoori chicken (the one that looks like bbq chicken). It was very good. Moist on the inside and very flavorful on the outside. I love how it was not dried out even if it was on a food warmer on the buffet. Next to it, I had some lamb curry. This was my favorite dish of the day. Indian curry has a very distinct flavor that makes it different from other kinds of curry. It's all the wonderful ingredients they use (cardamon, ginger, turmeric, curry powder and so many more!). It's hard to identify just one taste in particular cause there are so many things going on at the same time. I also had a fried vegetable pakora which was okay. And of course, chicken tikka masala. It was also good, it had a creaminess to it that made it almost like eating comfort food. Lastly I had some lentils and chickpeas (sort of like "guisadong monggo"), which rounded out my plate.

To balance all the meat on my first plate, I had a side dish of veggies. One was called Palak Paneer which is like a version of the Filipino dish laing - this was made with spinach and was very tasty. The other was called Chicken Mathi and had leafy greens that were a bit tougher (like maybe kale) mixed with chunks of chicken. Both were interesting, slightly different in taste even if they looked the same. Jojo found them slightly spicy but I thought they were just fine.

It was really hard not to eat rice since one of my favorites in Indian cuisine is their fluffy and fragrant Basmatti rice. Luckily we had a basket of delicious naan bread. I love naan because it is the one thing that can be crunchy and chewy at the same time. This one was infused with garlic and parsley which made it extra yummy!

There were other dishes that I failed to try (one was a carrot dish, another had curried vegetables and there was also fried cauliflower. And I think there was a goat dish too). Also, I had to pass on dessert, but Jojo said the rice pudding was very good.

On our way out, we met and chatted with the Chef. He was a really nice guy who indulged me when I asked if I could take his picture.

The food was delicious and the service was extra good (they really took care of us the whole time!). This was a great food find and we will definitely be back for more!

P.S. Before I brought out my camera, I asked the host if I could take pictures (I always do this just to make sure it's ok). He told me it was fine but asked me what the pictures were for, so I told him about my blog. He invited me to link up my blog to their site and if I could maybe write a review for their website. So one of these days, I will. Luckily I liked the place, since it would suck to have to write someone a bad review!

3 comments:

joyeee said...

we should definitle try it out when we go there dets! haha:) looks and sounds very interesting and yummy! haha i love indian curry too:) the spicier, the better

leslie ty said...

i want to try this too Jo! =)

We can add this to our Man VS Food trip!

Junarakasa said...

Joybee and Les, I am sure you both would like this place. You guys have very similar taste in food as I do, so we definitely have to come try Tandoori Nites when you come visit =)