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Indian food in Miami?

Frodnesor Sep 5, 2006 03:18 PM

With the unfortunate demise of Renaisa off 79th Street (there is still a restaurant called Renaisa there, but apparently management and staff have changed and the food went from exceptional to pedestrian), we are searching for good Indian food in Miami.

I understand the original Renaisa folks moved to a place called Heelsha in North Miami off 163rd Street, but we haven't tried it out yet.

Anyone tried Heelsha or have any other suggestions?

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  1. lax2mia RE: Frodnesor Sep 5, 2006 03:45 PM

    The only 2 places that I know of are Anokha in Coconut Grove (overpriced) and Guru in South Beach (mediocre). I think you have to trek to Broward for Indian.

    1. Frodnesor RE: Frodnesor Sep 5, 2006 07:13 PM

      Do you have recommendations for Broward? We do periodically cross the county line.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Frodnesor
        nshar095 RE: Frodnesor Jan 3, 2007 07:32 PM

        GURUS on South Beach is exceptional Indian food (with a real Tandoor oven!) it is on 12th street between Collins and Washington. They also do catering as well.

      2. lax2mia RE: Frodnesor Sep 5, 2006 08:47 PM

        There's a post titled "Indian" in the Florida board that has some good recs. Nirala for bakery desserts is a good choice, but I wouldn't recommend it for lunch or dinner.


        1. s
          sottovoce RE: Frodnesor Sep 11, 2006 09:33 PM

          Slim pickings in Miami. Imlee in Pinecrest is pretty good. I thought Anohka was mediocre. I should say first that I am vegetarian so I can't comment on the non-veg portion of the menu but veg was good. Not cheap though.

          Broward suggestions, in no particular order:
          Madras Cafe on Powerline
          Udipi on N. University in Sunrise (2100? N University)
          Woodlands on N. University (4300 N University or thereabouts)

          All are good south indian vegetarian restaurants. If you haven't had south indian, you do not know what you are missing. I recommend the Mysore Masala Dosa (if you are hungry and like spicy) or the Mysore Dosa if you like spicy but don't want the extra filling. The Rava Dosa is also quite nice and not as spicy.

          3 Replies
          1. re: sottovoce
            Insinu8This RE: sottovoce Apr 9, 2009 06:12 PM

            Imlee is great--service AND food, but it's a very small, storefront space, with limited table availability. On weekends, when the Pinecrest crowd manages to get babysitters the wait can be 40-90 minutes. Bring a book: or, better yet, send one of your group ahead to wait for a table whilst the rest of you wend your way southward.

            House of India, on Miracle Mile, in Coral Gables (near 37th Avenue) is also a very acceptable choice, but cleanliness here is a justifiable issue for some folks. However, under NO circumstances go anywhere near Anokha: the food is less than pedestrian, the price is absurd given the quality.

            Indian Palate, 2120 Salzedo, in Coral Gables is also a place for very good food, but the check will give you heart palpitations. Unless this economy isn't hitting you in the wallet, I'd suggest you steer clear.

            1. re: Insinu8This
              lax2mia RE: Insinu8This Apr 9, 2009 07:07 PM

              Indian Palate's lunch buffet for $12 is a steal for the quality of food you get.

              1. re: Insinu8This
                Icantread RE: Insinu8This Apr 10, 2009 09:09 AM

                House of India can be pretty bad, and I did not think Imlee was oh so cheap. Also they served us what amounted to a "cheese quesadilla naan", which while good, was a bit baffling. I tried Anohka at their new place for a new years party and it seemed they were back on their "A" game since moving to the new space, though they may still have the same issues in the back kitchen.

                As lax2miami said, Indian palate's lunch buffet has some real good dishes for not so much. I do not know how expensive it is for dinner, but Imlee, Bengal, Mint Leaf and many of the others have developed a strong reputation for high prices on naan, rice and other items usually given in other cuisines.

            2. Miami Danny RE: Frodnesor Sep 17, 2006 01:23 AM

              Renaisa is doing well, actually-I think the food is BETTER than it was, and they did a nice facelift on the decor, too. It's BYOB, so you can save some money there, too. Parking, also!

              1. Miami Danny RE: Frodnesor Sep 17, 2006 01:26 AM

                I forgot Raja's downtown! Best Indian around, and the owner is a character!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Miami Danny
                  smashfest RE: Miami Danny Apr 26, 2009 09:35 PM

                  I agree, Raja is the best, if you can get past the fact that my closet is larger than the dining area.

                2. Frodnesor RE: Frodnesor Sep 18, 2006 08:53 PM

                  We do take-out from Renaisa so the decor (that's really too fancy a word to describe what they used to have there!) never really bothered me. But the food we got after the turnover was a real disappointment. Everything was bland and every dish sort of tasted the same. Maybe they've brought in someone new to do the cooking since my last visit.

                  1. l
                    Lisa80 RE: Frodnesor Oct 3, 2006 01:13 AM

                    I tried Heelsa for the first time since they moved, food was supper delicious (as usual). Finally, they added a wine and beer collection! I am planning to go there again! Their food is just too good.

                    1. m
                      mountdoralvr RE: Frodnesor Oct 3, 2006 08:27 PM

                      Royal India in Broward County is fantastic!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: mountdoralvr
                        missem RE: mountdoralvr Oct 3, 2006 09:12 PM

                        Where is it?

                        1. re: mountdoralvr
                          hatless RE: mountdoralvr Oct 4, 2006 12:52 AM

                          The one on Griffin, right?

                          Just curious, but is Royal India's a la carte food radically different from what they serve at their lunch buffet? Their buffet is the blandest and least-varied I've had by far in South Florida, and I say this as someone who expects little from buffets. And the chicken was tough as leather. I'd love to know what's good there, never mind fantastic.

                        2. Frodnesor RE: Frodnesor Oct 4, 2006 02:14 AM

                          Glad to hear Heelsha was good. Shame it's an extra 90 blocks for us from where Renaisa was!

                          1. d
                            Doli RE: Frodnesor Dec 23, 2006 03:13 AM

                            Try House Of India next to Denny's at start of Miracle Mile in Coral Gables. Food is good and spicy and they have interesting appetizers along with the vegetable dishes, curries and tandoori. It's about eight dollars during the week. They also have a weekend brunch.

                            1. yomyb RE: Frodnesor Mar 2, 2007 01:54 PM

                              Heelsha is fantastic...

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: yomyb
                                bodivine RE: yomyb Sep 3, 2007 07:32 PM

                                What was fantastic? The food, ambiance, the price, the menu?

                                1. re: bodivine
                                  yomyb RE: bodivine Sep 4, 2007 09:32 AM

                                  Ok so that was probably one of my first posts on chowhound and yes I realize, I should have given a bit more info ;-). Indian is one of my favorite cuisines and Heelsha has been for me the best I have tried in Miami. It has Bangladeshi and Pakistani Influences. It is family owned andoperated , which makes it my kind of place. The smells as you walk in are intoxicating and your waitress will always be the same. She will remember you and what you like to drink and eat and even how spicy she can ask the food be prepared for you ;-) The environment is typical of an Indian restaurant, heavily decorated in a million colors, but fun. The food is always consistent and great IMHO. My favorite, as I have mentioned before around this board, is the lamb byriani (in fact they may cater an event the day before my wedding for me and this is the main thing in the menu). Perfectly moist and spicy. We have tried a lot of the curries and loved all of them. The nans are not the greatest but the Indian condiments alongside are worth ordering it. The owners of Heelsha used to be the ones who cooked for Reinassa and as you can see from this post it was the place to go. If you loved Reinassa for the food, go get it at Heelsha...

                              2. s
                                smartie RE: Frodnesor Mar 2, 2007 08:13 PM

                                Indian food is dire in Palm Beach County. Tried the Punjab on US-1 and it was vile. Everything looked and tasted the same and the vegetables were frozen. As an expat Brit in Florida I would be very grateful for a good Indian recommendation and would happily travel south to Broward.

                                1. bodivine RE: Frodnesor Sep 3, 2007 07:31 PM

                                  Kebab Indian Restaurant on 163rd is the only one that I have liked for taste, since Renaisa vanished and the new Taj Mahal's food is much to be desired. Can someone give me the address for Heelsha? It is a shame to have to travel up to 163rd when 79th was so convenient for me.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: bodivine
                                    Frodnesor RE: bodivine Sep 3, 2007 08:57 PM

                                    Bo -
                                    How recently have you been back to Taj Mahal? We re-tried a couple times several months ago after prior management left and were also disappointed, however have been back more recently (1-2 months) and it's been good. They've brought in a new chef and new management. Still not quite at the prior level but much better than our initial experiences. Give it another shot and post on what you think.

                                    Will try to link to Heelsha; it's on 164th (not 163rd) and I think it's just east of the 163rd St. mall.

                                    Heelsha International
                                    1550 NE 164th St, North Miami Beach, FL 33162

                                    1. re: Frodnesor
                                      bodivine RE: Frodnesor Sep 4, 2007 08:01 AM

                                      Frod - It has been a couple of months now, so I should try one more time and check it out. Thanks so much for the Heelsha location. Will check it out and will comment soon. Bo

                                    2. re: bodivine
                                      yomyb RE: bodivine Sep 4, 2007 09:34 AM

                                      Heelsha's style is different than kebab. Kebab is more traditional. Very good, just different. BTW also be sure to get the chai tea at Heelsha...

                                    3. l
                                      lync0091 RE: Frodnesor Sep 4, 2007 12:12 AM

                                      I just saw that the new Indian restaurant, Ishq opened up over the weekend. It's located on 530 Ocean Drive. Has anyone been there to check it out.

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: lync0091
                                        bodivine RE: lync0091 Sep 4, 2007 08:01 AM

                                        Lync- Tell us about this new restaurant, name, address? Thanks. Bo

                                        1. re: bodivine
                                          Frodnesor RE: bodivine Sep 4, 2007 11:39 AM

                                          See this prior post from Advisor Girl with some details on Ishq, new Indian to be opening on SoBe.

                                          1. re: bodivine
                                            lync0091 RE: bodivine Sep 12, 2007 03:39 PM

                                            Ishq was at the Miami Wine Fair this weekend and were serving up Tikki Masala. It seemed to be popular and it had a nice bite to it, but it didn't stand out. I think it would be worth a visit. They also served up a mango drink that was quite refreshing. The owners seem to be very genuine and I think that it will make a good addition to Ocean. I look forward to checking it out and I did hear that they will also be serving breakfast. I'm not quite sure what breakfast would consist of. Rumor is that they will be having a grand opening this week.

                                          2. re: lync0091
                                            yomyb RE: lync0091 Sep 4, 2007 09:33 AM

                                            Nice...must remember that...thanks for the update

                                            1. re: lync0091
                                              esquisito RE: lync0091 Feb 6, 2008 04:07 AM

                                              Don't go, don't go! I went there last night. Both dishes were so salty they were barely edible. The chef (or owner) asked how we liked the food, and we told her: VERY, VERY SALTY! She tested my dish (the spinach and cheese -- forgetting the exact name) and agreed. She said I could substitute another dish, but by that time I was afraid to try anything else. And she never bothered to test my friend's dish, which was equally salty, and should also have been offered a substitute. I asked for a dessert and tea as a substitute. We received the dessert -- but never the tea. I didn't even want to ask. The prices and quality of food are MUCH BETTER at Heelsha. There's more heart and soul there, too.

                                            2. d
                                              DownHomeSouthernaires RE: Frodnesor Sep 15, 2007 12:10 PM

                                              HEELSHA HEELSHA HEELSHA and....HEELSHA.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: DownHomeSouthernaires
                                                mialebven RE: DownHomeSouthernaires Feb 6, 2008 05:21 AM

                                                I still would suggest Lazeez in West Kendall area for "Indian" even though it's Pakistani.

                                                My experience at Heelsha was good, but I thought the portions were a bit too small for the prices they were charging, and when you factor in that run-down building with a poor paint job and exposed ceiling, $18 dollars for a goat rezala that doesn't even fill you up sounds like a lot.

                                                1. re: mialebven
                                                  Icantread RE: mialebven Feb 6, 2008 05:40 AM

                                                  Never been to Lazeez. I have had very good experiences in Ishq myself, though their window is small considering there's only outdoor seating (not going in the summer). Where is Lazeez located? I have an Indian friend who always says the best Indian restaurants in the south have Pakistanis helming the kitchen. I believe he likes meat though, so that may have something to do with it

                                                  1. re: Icantread
                                                    mialebven RE: Icantread Feb 6, 2008 08:05 AM

                                                    Lazeez Asian Cuisine
                                                    13919 SW 66th St
                                                    Miami, FL 33183
                                                    (305) 388-2428

                                                    It's in an old strip mall off the beaten path. But it's a good value for Indian/Paki food as they're relatively cheaper than Heelsha, Guru, and other Indian places. Think of it as downtown's Raja's but without the cafeteria - they make the food once it's ordered. And it's definitely not in a colorful ambience - it's very down to earth and plain.

                                                    1. re: mialebven
                                                      tarepanda RE: mialebven Feb 9, 2008 06:06 PM

                                                      We went there a couple of months ago. I don't mind the place being plain and down to earth, but plastic table covers that feels sticky... that really makes me uncomfortable.

                                                      I really like my dish, I like their veg options, but the bread we ordered had some off taste of rancid oil.

                                                      I agree, price is good, and as said everything is made to order. After you place your order, you can hear the chopping sounds, the cooking sounds, and then while you enjoy your food, the sound of water splashing in the frying pan...

                                                      1. re: mialebven
                                                        racer x RE: mialebven Jul 12, 2009 12:32 PM

                                                        I tried Lazeez a few weeks back based on chowhound recommendations. Yes, the prices ARE incredibly low (although, as I recall, neither naan nor rice are included in the prices for entree orders). But I didn't care much for any of the dishes I ordered. I won't be returning any time soon.

                                                2. z
                                                  zonjezile RE: Frodnesor Feb 7, 2008 02:02 PM

                                                  Indian Restaurant Punjab Place
                                                  11780 SW 88TH St, Miami, FL 33186 (305) 271-2666
                                                  In Kendall, been there forever, great Punjabi dishes

                                                  Rajas Indian Cuisine
                                                  243 E Flagler St # 14, Miami, FL 33131 (305) 539-9551
                                                  Great cafeteria style lunch spot (closes at 7pm) in downtown miami.

                                                  Fusion and Indian Cuisine
                                                  1501 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (305) 673-2590
                                                  Vegetarian Indian, Chinese & Japanese

                                                  Prana Restaurant
                                                  7293 NW 36th St, Miami, FL 33166 (305) 594-6966
                                                  Vegetarian, great for lunch, has a bookstore

                                                  6 Replies
                                                  1. re: zonjezile
                                                    miaedu RE: zonjezile Feb 7, 2008 06:45 PM

                                                    I think Punjab Palace has been closed for over a year???

                                                    1. re: miaedu
                                                      zonjezile RE: miaedu Feb 12, 2008 05:15 PM

                                                      Too bad about Punjab Palace, it was very good. I found a Pakistani BBQ place called Dewan Restaurant on N. Miami Avenue and 166th Street in N. Miami Beach (305) 919-8184. Right off I-95 and 826 East. It's a dive, but I see the ex-pat SE Asians who do Hallal food busying it up for take-away.

                                                      1. re: zonjezile
                                                        Miami Danny RE: zonjezile Mar 20, 2008 06:48 PM

                                                        I've been getting some terrific samosas and other Indian food at Asia Grocery, 6727 SW 56th St (Miller Rd). They have a small dining area in the back of the grocery store, and the couple, (orignally from Karachi), who own it have a lot of sub-continent people coming in for their menu of curries and other trad dishes. When we used to host a Bollywood Night at Stop Miami, all of our food would come from either Charlie (here) or Raja. Packed with exotic spices, the grocery store also has an amazing selection of Indian movies and CD's. Free tea while you shop. Especially great if you're in or near the Gables.

                                                        1. re: Miami Danny
                                                          pilches RE: Miami Danny Mar 23, 2008 05:27 AM

                                                          We had the lunch buffet at Taste of Bombay 111 NE 3rd Ave. Downtown Miami and it was very good. There was a writeup in the Herald on Thursday and we checked it out. Good nan (complimentary) served for the table. The buffet included salad, dahl, goat and chicken curries, tandoori chicken, gobi (sp), rice, chutnies, a couple other items that I can't remember and an interesting dessert which was like cream of wheat with mango. The place is nice (especially for Downtown Miami) and the owner is very friendly. He's been open for two years, but we never knew about it. For $9.95 we will definitely be adding it to our small but always happy to expand lunch list.

                                                          1. re: pilches
                                                            tangelo RE: pilches Mar 24, 2008 10:32 AM

                                                            Fr--fr--free naan?

                                                            *looks for car keys*

                                                          2. re: Miami Danny
                                                            Icantread RE: Miami Danny Mar 24, 2008 10:05 AM

                                                            I will second that. delicious samosas served on the spot with their chili sauce for a very very good priced lunch option. Other food is good as well and they have a decent market.

                                                    2. Frodnesor RE: Frodnesor May 5, 2008 07:51 PM

                                                      Just a little update that Taj Mahal (f/k/a Renaisa) on 78th St. off Biscayne Blvd. is gone. Sign now says opening soon will be "Monarch Bay" with "seafood and steaks." Renaisa/Taj Mahal was never as good as when the original management (now gone to Heelsha) were there but it wasn't bad, and will be missed by me as a good take-out option.

                                                      1. s
                                                        Skeeta RE: Frodnesor Aug 13, 2008 12:06 PM

                                                        I've tried most of the Indian restaurants in the Miami area and Ishq, the new one on Ocean Drive and 6th street is the most authentic for me. The only drawback is that it is kind of pricey. The tandoori chicken is excellent and the chicken tikka marsala is the best I've had outside NYC.

                                                        1. d
                                                          drangelo RE: Frodnesor Dec 26, 2008 12:39 PM

                                                          I liked India House in Plantation, as it has a very good buffet on the weekends(haven't been on a weekday.) On Sundays they improve their selection somewhat with more dishes, although both days has a reasonable selection of vegetarian and meat-based dishes, including a nice Chaat(sp?) bar. If anyone knows of any better or equivalent buffets in the north Miami area, please advise so I don't have to make the trek out there when I get the urge!

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: drangelo
                                                            non sequitur RE: drangelo Dec 29, 2008 10:11 AM

                                                            I waxed poetic about India House in a separate thread (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/563319), so it's nice to hear a concurring opinion. I myself live near Aventura, and trek there regularly on the weekend, so I know exactly what you mean.

                                                            Last year when I was picking up dinner from Heelsha (which began this thread), I was told that they do serve lunch in the 'high season' (ie, now-ish), so that might be worth looking into. If anyone has been there for lunch, please advise.

                                                          2. dbarnard RE: Frodnesor Mar 13, 2009 08:11 PM

                                                            Ack! What's all this about Heelsha? The wife and I went there tonight, and it was awful! Slow service, messy restaurant, gross food! The vindaloo that I had was watery, and the salmon korma that my wife ordered (OK, it was a dicey selection) was tasteless. Good thing we ordered the food extra hot, otherwise we wouldn't have known that we were eating!

                                                            It got to the point that we threatening to leave if we didn't see our dinner. I demanded a free round (which we were later charged for), otherwise we would have hit the road. They did take 10% off the check, so that was some consolation. It wasn't even a busy night! Many of the tables had dirty dishes piled on them, but the waitress went back into the kitchen empty handed every time.

                                                            Not cheap either, but I wouldn't have wanted this dining experience for free!

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: dbarnard
                                                              SKhan RE: dbarnard Mar 21, 2009 08:47 PM

                                                              Agreed. I gave Heelsha three chances in the past year based on positive reviews from this board. Unfortunately, my experiences progressively worsened in regards to service, cleanliness, and most importantly the QUALITY and TASTE of the food.

                                                              My recommendations are Imlee's in Pinecrest and Mint Leaf in Coral Gables. I find these two restaurants to be consistently good - when consistency seemingly is such a big problem with Indian restaurants in Miami.

                                                              1. re: SKhan
                                                                koenigss15 RE: SKhan May 13, 2009 09:42 AM

                                                                I'm giving Heelsha a third thumbs down. I heard good things about it but got an unpleasant shock.

                                                                Went with "She who must be obeyed" and the the only positive thing that came out was that the chairs were comfy.

                                                                Now for the negatives. Online menu's state that there is heelsha available fried or Dopeazee (which wifey has issues with, but is a Bangladeshi way of preparation) When we got there the photo's on the wall show the owner, Bithi, proudly holding said fish. Open the menu and all traces of heelsha have been erased from it! When I asked the waitress what the deal is she starts giving me a cock and bull story about how rare it is to get supplies in the US. I had to interrupt her and let her know that there was a Bangladeshi grocery store two minutes walk away with freezers full of them. Then she came back and said they need a days notice to cook it, but this is not explained oanywhere on the menu. I understand demand is low because it's a difficult fish to eat due to the fiddly little bones, and saying that would have been the better option.

                                                                We ordered a few dishes and then had to wait an horrendously long time for the food to arrive. To be fair the quality was slightly higher than the rest of the Indian places we've, but certainly not up to what I was expecting.

                                                                We also ordered the Moghlai bread. Having eaten this off of food carts in India, we knew what to expect. What we got was a sickly looking spicy chicken empanada! It's not supposed to be made with pie crust pastry!

                                                                The menu has a lot of options, but this place does not live up to the hype. The search for a decent, reasonable Indian restaurant goes on. Luckily I'm a deshi (just) so I get my fill at home.

                                                                1. re: SKhan
                                                                  Toastypeach RE: SKhan Sep 8, 2009 01:14 PM

                                                                  The problem with both Imlee's and Mint Leaf is that for Indian food and for the servings, they are way over priced.

                                                              2. r
                                                                racer x RE: Frodnesor Apr 8, 2009 04:28 PM

                                                                Is anybody familiar with an Indian restaurant on W Flagler at about SW 67th Court, south side of the street?

                                                                I was driving by today and think I saw a sign with the name Pak La Rosh (or something like that -- the first word was definitely Pak).
                                                                The sign was advertising Pizza, Indian, Latin, and Pakistani food. Now that's a combination I've never heard of.

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: racer x
                                                                  Icantread RE: racer x Apr 9, 2009 09:18 AM

                                                                  is this Flagler in Miami? if so it's completely escaped my attention.

                                                                  1. re: Icantread
                                                                    racer x RE: Icantread Apr 9, 2009 06:38 PM

                                                                    Yep, Miami

                                                                    1. re: racer x
                                                                      racer x RE: racer x Apr 17, 2009 05:27 PM

                                                                      I stopped in to Pak La Rosh the other day, during a slow period in the late afternoon.
                                                                      It's kind of a small diner, I guess. They just had a very limited selection of dishes for the day. The South Asian dishes included, if I recall correctly, a biryani and a goat korma. They also had some non-South Asian dishes, like pizza. I had the goat dish, which was more a rogan josh or curry than a cream-based korma. It came with naan (the commercially-prepared pita-like kind that I generally don't like) rather than rice. The meat was tender, with a fair amount of bones. The sauce, which was mildly spiced, wasn't bad, although the flavors of individual spices were a bit strong, as if they had not had a long enough chance to meld together.

                                                                      Staff seemed friendly. Overall, I'd say worth a stop if you are in the area and want something different than the usual Italian, etc. But wouldn't drive across town just for a meal there.

                                                                2. allan7426 RE: Frodnesor Apr 9, 2009 04:53 AM

                                                                  Dewan in North Miami is a hole in the wall but very good. Truly authentic, I've never seen another Westerner there. I believe it's Pakistani, since they serve meat dishes. It's at 16606 North Miami Ave, 1/2 block S. of 167 St. and a few blocks E. of I95.

                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                  1. re: allan7426
                                                                    appleonius RE: allan7426 Apr 17, 2009 09:39 AM

                                                                    Serving meat dishes does not make it a Pakistani restaurant. i've had a meat dishes at every Indian restaurant I've been to. It also helps that I'm Indian I guess. =)

                                                                    1. re: appleonius
                                                                      Icantread RE: appleonius Apr 17, 2009 11:51 AM

                                                                      you've had red meat at Indian restaurants?

                                                                      1. re: Icantread
                                                                        racer x RE: Icantread Apr 17, 2009 05:14 PM

                                                                        Sure, if you include lamb in the category of red meat.
                                                                        Not all Indians are vegetarian.

                                                                        1. re: racer x
                                                                          Frodnesor RE: racer x Apr 17, 2009 06:22 PM

                                                                          I'm not sure if that's the source of confusion or not. "Meat" and "red meat" are not at all uncommon in Indian restaurants. *Beef* generally is, as most Hindus don't eat beef, since most (but certainly by no means all) Indians are Hindu. I do, perhaps over-inclusively, usually conclude that if there's beef on the menu the place is Pakistani and halal, and not Indian.


                                                                          1. re: Frodnesor
                                                                            Icantread RE: Frodnesor Apr 18, 2009 01:28 PM

                                                                            As do I, and I was given that tidbit of information (perhaps imprecisely) by an Indian friend.

                                                                            1. re: Frodnesor
                                                                              racer x RE: Frodnesor Apr 18, 2009 03:53 PM

                                                                              BEEF? Wow, I've never seen beef on the menus.
                                                                              I guess this is my introduction to FL dining.

                                                                              1. re: racer x
                                                                                Icantread RE: racer x Apr 27, 2009 06:41 AM

                                                                                No, no, you're ok. that was his point. "cow meat" is never on Indian restaurant menus, and typically denotes a Pakistani kitchen. I just remembered that Guru on the beach (haven't been there since they changed it up in a very disappointing direction) did have some beef on the menu, but they claimed to be a more pan-global menu.

                                                                    2. Frodnesor RE: Frodnesor Apr 17, 2009 07:31 PM

                                                                      On topic, I tried Indian Palate in Coral Gables (the old Le Festival space!) for lunch this week and it was decent. Stuff on the buffet was somewhat underflavored, but I liked the chaat bar. The full dinner menu on menupages.com looks interesting. More thoughts here ->


                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Frodnesor
                                                                        racer x RE: Frodnesor Apr 18, 2009 03:54 PM

                                                                        I had the lunch buffet there last week as well.
                                                                        Agree that the food could have used a bit more oomph.

                                                                        1. re: racer x
                                                                          tarepanda RE: racer x May 17, 2009 10:09 PM

                                                                          Went there for buffet and am love it. I agree that dishes are too mild, but they are favourful, not bland at all. I enjoyed the chaat bar too , though it felt silly to be eating cereal at a buffet, and the staff was really nice in introducing us to the way to eat it.

                                                                          The nice decoration and a bit unorthordox but beautiful display of the dishes got lots of bonus point, I guess enough to offset the several downs: the fish curry could use better quality fish. otherwise, please just make something else... The Gulab Jamun was way too hard. And the worst thing? Instead of naan, they served us warm tortilla. yes, it was tortilla. I hope it just happened that they ran out of the regular naan. Did that happen to you guys?

                                                                          We went there rather late, and were pleasantly surprised that they continue to refill the buffet even as we were almost full.

                                                                          So glad to get a better option than House of India and Mint Leaf. Definitely will be back.

                                                                          1. re: tarepanda
                                                                            Frodnesor RE: tarepanda May 17, 2009 10:43 PM

                                                                            They ran out of the bread so fast I never got any to tell what it was, but are you sure it wasn't paratha?

                                                                            1. re: Frodnesor
                                                                              Icantread RE: Frodnesor May 18, 2009 04:37 AM

                                                                              They don't serve paratha, though it really seems like it. They gave me some weird story about fire baked naan being dense and thick as opposed to the traditional slapped against the oven-wall naan. They make them fresh and very slowly.

                                                                              1. re: Frodnesor
                                                                                tarepanda RE: Frodnesor May 20, 2009 08:54 AM

                                                                                If it were paratha it would be the worst paratha I've ever had. It looked and tasted like a warmed tortilla.

                                                                          2. re: Frodnesor
                                                                            racer x RE: Frodnesor Apr 26, 2011 04:55 PM

                                                                            I think I saw a "for lease" sign in the window at Indian Palate this afternoon as I drove by.

                                                                            Just tried phoning them this evening -- no answer.
                                                                            Has anybody been there recently?
                                                                            If they've closed shop, they didn't last very long.

                                                                            1. re: racer x
                                                                              Frodnesor RE: racer x Apr 26, 2011 08:51 PM

                                                                              Indian Palate in Coral Gables has been closed for maybe a year already.

                                                                              Indian Palate
                                                                              2120 Salzedo Street, Coral Gables, FL 33134

                                                                              1. re: Frodnesor
                                                                                racer x RE: Frodnesor Apr 27, 2011 07:42 AM

                                                                                That's interesting. There are two relatively recent posts for Indian Palate on yelp, the more recent one dated 4/25/11. (The reviewers didn't specify when they had visited, however.)

                                                                                I'm not surprised the restaurant didn't last. Probably any South Asian restaurant would struggle in Miami even without a recession, and that particular restaurant's building was in a very out-of-the-way location for any restaurant, especially with the construction that had been underway near there.

                                                                          3. t
                                                                            Toastypeach RE: Frodnesor Sep 8, 2009 01:16 PM

                                                                            Taste of Bombay in Downtown Miami was great, but they moved. The owners do have a place in Broward called Bombay Cafe.

                                                                            1. f
                                                                              foodie_9 RE: Frodnesor Feb 14, 2010 11:05 AM

                                                                              I was looking for a good Indian place in Miami to go to dinner. I read these posts and saw all the good reviews people gave Heelsha. I decided to give it a try. It was the WORST experience I have had in Miami. I went on a Friday night at around 7:30 and we were the only table there. For the majority of our dinner, we were by ourselves, but that didn't make the service any better.

                                                                              We waited to get our drinks for 30 minutes. The waitress took our order and went into the kitchen. Shortly after a gentleman came in. It wasn't until 30 minutes later that he came out with our beverages. Then, our appetizers came out. The food was bad and cold because the waitress was so busy inside the kitchen flirting and laughing with the cooks (we could hear her in the dining room) that our food sat there getting cold.

                                                                              Again the gentleman brought the entrees and the same thing happened. They were cold. We were done eating and sat for 45 minutes waiting for our waitress to give us the check. We had noticed the only thing that made the waitress stop her flirting and work was the phone ringing. My boyfriend suggested we call the restaurant and ask the waitress to clear our table and bring us the check. The food is bad, the service is even worse. I do not recommend this place.

                                                                              A week later we decided to give Kebab Indian Restaurant (a few blocks west of Heelsha a try). The place has been remodeled and looks a lot better than it used to the last time I had been there (5 years ago). The food was good. The service was as well.

                                                                              Royal India in Hollywood is also a good option. Food is good, service is also good. I recommend it.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: foodie_9
                                                                                yomyb RE: foodie_9 Feb 27, 2010 06:55 PM

                                                                                Haven't been to Heelsha in almost 2 years. Surprised they are still open. Sorry to hear your experience was so awful. I have been satisfying my Indian food cravings at Bengal on Buscayne Blvd (OK food) and Udipi Cafe (really like this place).

                                                                              2. z
                                                                                ZahraR RE: Frodnesor Feb 17, 2010 01:53 PM

                                                                                Rajput Mehfil in Broward County. As a South Asain, the best Indo/Pakistani food I have ever had. I have not even been able to find a decent competitor in DC of all places. It's not as trendy as Guru on SoBe, but its authentic and homey.

                                                                                1. s
                                                                                  staciamia RE: Frodnesor Mar 6, 2010 01:55 PM

                                                                                  Try Bengal on 20th and Biscayne. It's very good. There is a total lack of good Indian here in Florida. Heesla is meant to be good in North Miami Beach but I haven't eaten there.

                                                                                  1. g
                                                                                    gammish RE: Frodnesor Mar 6, 2011 05:02 AM

                                                                                    Anyone try Indian Chillies in Pembroke Pines? There's a Living Deals coupon alive now...

                                                                                    Indian Chillies
                                                                                    2092 N University Dr, Pembroke Pines, FL 33024

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: gammish
                                                                                      dbarnard RE: gammish Mar 6, 2011 05:59 AM

                                                                                      Food is pretty good, but ambiance is zero. Basic strip-mall setup, overly lit with blaring Indian music videos. Slow service, too. I went there with a Groupon, almost didn't go in.

                                                                                      1. re: dbarnard
                                                                                        gammish RE: dbarnard Mar 6, 2011 12:35 PM

                                                                                        Thanks for the insight dbarnard - I'll pass.

                                                                                    2. Frodnesor RE: Frodnesor Mar 6, 2011 08:42 AM

                                                                                      We had a pretty good meal at Copper Chimney in Sunny Isles a couple weeks ago. Would like to pay another visit to get a better feel for it.

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Frodnesor
                                                                                        pilches RE: Frodnesor Mar 6, 2011 02:43 PM

                                                                                        We've been there twice and "pretty good" sums it up. With the exception of the eggplant bharta which was delicious, everything else was pretty good. On both visits it was just the two of us so we didn't get to try a lot of different things. I do find it on the expensive side, especially since the portions are a little small.

                                                                                        1. re: pilches
                                                                                          Frodnesor RE: pilches Mar 6, 2011 07:55 PM

                                                                                          We had no problem with the portion sizes. 4 of us (including 2 kids) ordered a bunch of stuff - samosas, mumbai ki bhel, tandoori salmon, chicken korma, palak paneer, bhindi dopiaza, dal makhani, subz biryani, and some breads - but I was eating leftovers for 3 days.

                                                                                      2. Frodnesor RE: Frodnesor Apr 27, 2011 11:04 AM

                                                                                        I have not been, but have heard good things from multiple sources about Bombay Darbar in Coconut Grove lately.

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