Thursday, May 15, 2008

Punjabi Tandoor

Punjabi Tandoor is, arguably, one of the best lunch spots in San Diego. Despite being one of the best Indian restaurants in town, it is located in an industrial strip mall a block off of Miramar Rd. I was really excited to find this place, because it's like having a Vik's in San Diego.

Upon walking into the small restaurant (4 small tables, 1 large, ample seating outside), one is greeted by two dry-erase boards listing menu items and possible combinations. The day's offerings are on the steam table in front. From the mixture of meat and vegetarian items, a combination is formed, topped off with naan.

I've been sticking to the vegetarian combos, but I have to give a big thumbs-up to their chicken makhni. Whew, that stuff is amazing! Tandoori chicken cooked in butter, yogurt, and tomato gravy. Kim ordered that at a recent lunch and it tasted fantastic.

My first visit, I ordered alu mater (potato pea curry) and my favorite saag (mustard greens and spinach) to go with basmati rice and naan.

That same meal came with a vegetable samosa (fried dumpling), which sat in a bed of mint-coriander chutney (the green) and a tamarind sauce (the reddish brown).

The sauces are good. Really, unforgettably good. I say this because the flavors are strong and cling to the palate for hours to come.

My most recent visit was with Kim and I was able to take a few more photographs. Many thanks to Kim for putting up with my wedding-planning-addled rambling. I'd literally spent a week mired in wedding bureaucracy (emails, vendor proposals, meetings, etc.) and was slowly losing my mind. Our fabulous lunch was a much-needed break. The naan:

My meal, although I should have opted for that delicious chicken makhni:

Same combination with my beloved saag, but I had mushroom masala instead of the alu mater. Upon hearing that I was a wimp when it came to spicy foods, the kind woman behind the counter snuck in a spoonful of channa masala (chickpeas) for me to try. It wasn't too spicy, but it was one of those dishes where the heat would build. It was delicious and I would definitely brave the mouth-burn for it.

I am going to start branching out and ordering different combos. What I really love is that they serve kheer (rice cooked to a porridge with evaporated milk and served cold) with the combinations. Either kheer or raita, a savory yogurt dipping sauce, but I prefer the sweet.

Punjabi Tandoor
9235 Activity Road, Suite 111

San Diego, CA 92126

Tel: (858) 695-0956

3 bites:

KirkK said...

Hey GF - Punjabi Tandoor is quite good...we've been going quite frequently...since returning from Cambodia the Missus has been craving Indian Food.

Garrett said...

Mmm...I want to go here again. Well, after sushi...and after that pizza place.

Anonymous said...

I'll check out Punjabi Tandoor next time IAM IN THE AREA

3 bites