Best Indian Food In The Bay

Indian1Indian2Best Indian Food In the Bay Area hands down.Ok so here is a review I’ve been apprehensive to write because there is actually a lot of great Indian food all over the bay area. Also with such a huge influx of Indians in recent years there is a lot to choose from and a considerable amount of authenticity along with those oh so many choices. You’ve got everything from your south bay Indian Chaat houses, Vic’s in Berkeley being the most popular, but not a big fan (although there are a few items Vic’s has you can’t find anywhere else. Sorry got off on a tangent. Will review Vic’s in the coming weeks and be sure to specify those particular items for you.) Back to the subject at hand, I’m revising this as it goes along, do I dare say the best or one of the very best, that sounds better, but yes, best is a must descriptor for this Indian spot.So using my better judgement and deciphering good from great to best is quite a challenge to the say least, especially when it comes to Indian food. So for the average Indian food lover there are the typical dishes you would rave about, of course the tikka masala is a favorite of many alongside tandoori chicken, lamb vindaloo, saag if you’re a little more versed and not a novice to Indian cuisine, channa masala also a popular dish for the average Indian food lover.Ok – drum roll please – dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah. That’s my hand written version of a full on drum roll for the big aha – the Himalayan cuisine in Concord. So this place is crushing the Indian food scene big time. It’s in an unlikely place, but a great group of guys from Nepal have taken over this restaurant in recent months, or the past 9 months or so and have whipped it up to a whole other level.I generally frequent here for the buffet which is unlike most Indian buffets you will find. They switch it up weekly. The staples are usually there, but they have a different line up every time pretty much. It’s never the same buffet twice. The flavors and the dishes are consistent. It’s not like some Indian places where you may have the same different tasting completely differently next time you visit. Consistency is a key factor for me if I ever frequent anywhere. I’m craving that certain something, that certain flavor and it better be there when I get there. I take this whole food thing, (some in my inner circle would say) very seriously.What makes this place special is their signature touch they put to the classics and their own little concoctions. India being such a vast region with so many different types of foods and delicacies the same dish can vary immensely from corner to corner. South Indian and Northern Indian food is very different. So here at the Himalayan what you get is Northern Indian mixed in with a few South Indian dishes, but a touch of Nepalese flavors. They cook and concoct in a whole different way in Nepal and in the Himalayas. It’s a more glorified way of cooking essentially, well sort of. It’s pretty darn glorified from state to state. I’ve been to few of those states so I know first hand how seriously Indian chefs take to their craft. What’s awesome and unique and makes this place pretty stellar is they go crazy with the mints and saffrons and all of those special hints of this and that, that make Indian food so delicious. They really put their own spin on it and it will call you back over and over again.Image shows – pakora (Indian veggies deep fried in batter, dusted with masala) with a mint chutney, the chutney is perfection. Next up – the tandoori chicken, charred and done just right, juicy and delightful with grilled bells and onions. That was my appetizer plate. Second plate – white long grain rice, more pakoras (to die for) and the tikka masala – I did sauce only since I already had chicken and naans baked to perfection.

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Sue Dhillon is an Indian American writer, journalist, and trainer.

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