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Mar 15, 2007 06:44 PM

Punjabi Tandoor Updates? (Indian etc in sd)

I was curious about this once-board favorite. I haven't ate there. I tried to once but they were closed the Sunday afternoon I attempted. I even recall some Chowhound postings put in the window - believe it or not.

It seems like once posters started to notice a change in consistency -the thrill died out. Who was the best cook?

I noticed a sign advertising a Gujurati Thali at the sweet, chaat place in the little center nearby. Anyone try this? Are thalis available anywhere else as I am not to keen on buffets?

Has anyone else noticed the Kashmiri Cafe? I wonder if they offer any traditional dishes.

Do I need to head up to Artesia instead?

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  1. We did a massive take-out order about a month ago from there. A good week's worth of food. Food was very good and they gave us extra stuff to go for free. I think when the dad (I'm assuming it's the dad) is cooking, the food is very good. The one time "grandma" was cooking, it seemed like the quality slipped. One time the lamb biriyani was extremely salty. Another time it seemed like the balance of spices to heat ratio was off.

    I have not tried the other places you mentioned. I think out of what SD has to offer, Punjabi Tandoori has been one of the best when they're on a good day. Even when it's slipped, it's still better than a lot of other places around.

    4 Replies
    1. re: daantaat

      (Daantat I am going to try to make it Ravi' s -any reccs for what I should order.)

      1. re: kare_raisu

        aah, can you bring down a week's worth of take-out for us?? :-)

        masala dosa
        bengan bartha
        saag paneer
        chili chicken
        all the pakodas
        any of the vindaloos, biriyanis or curries
        chicken masala curry
        idli sambar
        mango or strawberry lassi
        indian style hot salad (it IS hot)

        basically everything here is good. The tandoori chicken is pretty good, although I think it's a bit on the dry side.

        we usually get the Thali dinners which include dal, soup, raita, papdum or poori or naan, rice and dessert (kulfi or gulab jambun).

        their "mild" spicy is pleasantly spicy. "medium" will start to make your tastebuds water. My tongue doesn't water w/ Sriracha sauce and I can put a fair amount (1/2-1 tsp) of dried chili or crushed chilis in oil on my food and not miss a beat.

        I think they're closed 1 day of the week--call ahead.

        enjoy and report back!

        1. re: daantaat

          I Just got back from Ravis! You are a mind reader! I will post asap.

          1. re: kare_raisu

            aaaahhhh--wish I was there! I wish they'd open down here in SD! :-)

    2. I think I was the one complaining about inconsistency. I visited PT again four times over the last two months and in all four cases "dad" was cooking and not "grandma" or one of the mexican guys and it was very good and comparable to my first 2-3 visits.
      Is the Kashmiri Cafe open ? I drive by everyday when coming home from work and never see anybody inside.
      Regarding the Gujurati Thali - are talking about Surati Farsan ? I haven't tried the restaurant yet but I have an Indian colleague who highly recommends this place for the unusual street vendor style food. He prefers this place very much in comparison to Madras Cafe which he thinks is not very good.

      4 Replies
      1. re: honkman

        I go to Punjabi Tandoor at least once a week, and I've never seen a "Mexican" guy cooking there. Almost always the dad, very occaisionally the grandad. Don't go there on weekends, though. I haven't noticed any particular falloff in quality. One thing though, I almost never order from the buffet table.

        Are you guys talking about that small veggie place in the Ashoka the Great complex, not Madras, but the one with the deli counter and tables? I've been there a couple of times, it's OK (but then I'm not a big veggie fan). I usually order the "combo plate" and it's enough for two. A vegetarian Indian coworker loves the place, though. Madras used to be good maybe four or five years ago. The last time I went there I was underwhelmed .

        1. re: mikec

          What menu items do you order at Punjabi Tandoor? Any particular recommendations for dishes to try?

          1. re: Joseph

            Lamb or chicken vindalou, rogan josh, chicken tiki masala, chicken or lamb biryani, alu gobi. I don't remember ever ordering anything there that I wouldn't order again (aside from veggie dishes that have green peas or chickpeas, which I don't care for).

            1. re: mikec

              I found the biryani to be pretty bland and too dry.

      2. Punjabi Tandoor is one of the better ones in the area, but it really isnt that good. The food is pretty tame, it doesnt jump out at you like good Punjabi food should.

        Surati Fasarsan mart while also not the best is more itneresting. Their dosas are made well and the fillings are pretty good. I also like their coocunit chutney. This is a different style of food than Punjabi.

        All in all i would have to say the Sub-Continent food-scene here in the SD is pretty poor.

        1. It should be mentioned though, that Surati Farsan is purely vegetarian. Personally I like the place, and the food is good, although I've been disappointed several times by the sweets. They taste a bit stale...

          2 Replies
          1. re: lilinjun

            I have been intrigued by their advertisment for a traditional Gujarati Thali - has anyone tried this at SF?

            1. re: kare_raisu

              Yes i have had it there. It is decent enough, i prefer their dosa's however. They get a good crisp ouoter coating on them.

          2. I went to PT today for the first time in several months. They had a steam table with 9 items on it which I hadn't seen before. It was pretty strange though, the lady helping me asked what I wanted, and while I was trying to decide, she loaded up a plate w/ rice and chicken tikka masala. OK, guess I'm having that!

            I also had a really great lentil dahl with pea-sized chunks of fresh ginger in it, adding a nice jolt of flavor to the dish.

            The lunch specials are a good deal. I got the chicken, a tandoori chicken drumstick, the lentils, rice, naan, and a small cup of really delicious kheer for $7. This is like the Indian Super Cocina when it comes to lunch deals.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Josh

              I like that description!

              Do they use basmati or basic long grain?
              Was it black lentil?
              Maybe chicken tikka is the puerco enchilado of PT?