|India's Restaurant, at the corner of Fountain and Hoover|
It's safe to say that few were upset at the demise of Point Dume, one of many local mini-mall Chinese restaurants that infuriated in its inability to offer better-than-mediocre Chinese food. Though one might have hoped for actually good Chinese or possibly updated, creative Indian in the Wat Dong Moon Lek mold, India's Restaurant sticks with the familiar Indian restaurant formula. So far, we're happy just to have another delivery/takeout option in the neighborhood, and our first takeout experience gets a B+.
India's Restaurant is owned by the same folks who own India's Tandoori on Wilshire near La Brea, as well as restaurants in Manhattan Beach and Torrance. The menu is nearly identical (and in fact similar to pretty much every other Indian restaurant in these parts) but adds Balti dishes to the familiar biryanis, tandooris and curries. Balti, which are also a specialty at nearby Agra, are "rich and hearty stews" with tomato and ginger and come in chicken, lamb, shrimp, fish and mixed varieties. Actually, the menu and prices are near carbon copies of Agra, so perhaps a taste comparison is in order.
We tried green coconut chicken ($10.95), a mild and creamy curry in which the chicken takes on a slightly alarming shade of green, hopefully from the herbs and not from a bottle. There's plenty of vegetarian selections of course, and we asked for Alu Gobhi ($8.95) - cauliflower with potatoes - to be medium-spiced. We sopped up the flavorful, mildly spicy sauce with garlic naan, and I appreciated that brown rice is available. There's an entire lamb and goat section of the menu, so someone please let me know if Goat Vindaloo, described as a specialty of the chef, is worth a try.
The interior is textbook old-school Indian, complete with white tablecloths and fussy gold brocade curtains. I don't really care what a restaurant looks like if the food is good, but aren't places like this missing an opportunity to update the look and diversify the menu a bit?
There's also a lunch buffet for $10.95 on weekdays, $12.50 on weekends, and a $7.95 lunch special, and free delivery in the area.
4366 Fountain Ave.