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Apr 26, 2007 06:31 PM


Yesterday I was whining about the closing of Rocky's Tandoori while paying at a Pakistani run quickie mart. The owner suggested I try Tawakal down the street so expecting mediocrity and figuring I'd be 'taking one for the team' I went for lunch today. Now this is NOT a fancy/fine dining establishment. It is an Indo/Pak grocery store and former Halal meat market that is currently expanding an existing small restaurant area. I got there at 11:30 AM, not really aware of the time, I was just hungry after working out in the field for 4 1/2 hours. As I walked in a lady was swabbing the deck so I waited a few minuted before I could be seated and I was glad that I waited. Ya know it was wonderful! I had:

8. Karahi Gosht (Fresh chunks of lamb marinated with herbs and spices and cooked in a wok.) $8.50

10. Lamb Biryani (Lamb pieces marinated in special spices cooked with aromatic rice.) $6.99

14. Raita $2.99

15. Tandoori Nan $0.99

I told the very friendly owner that I like my food very hot and spicy and the food delivered, this chow was not dumbed down for the American McD palate. Freshly made to my order, wonderful spicing of all the dishes - what a find! I'm going to try every dish (well maybe not the Kata-Kuts (Kidney & brain seasoned in herbs and tossed in tomatoes and spices.) $7.99 but EVERYTHING else!!! OK, I'll calm down now. It's located almost across from The Munch Box (the yellow burger stand):

Halal Tandoori Restaurant
21617 Devonshire St.
Chatsworth, CA 91311

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  1. Gobi Aloo ordered extra spicy was one of the best versions that I have had (twice since my original post). Mostly gobi, less aloo, I would have prefered more aloo but the flavor was so good! The house made Raita had a few thin slices of perhaps jalapeno pepper that gave it an unusual and unexpected zing. No decor/ambiance but it is spotless, very clean and I love the chow. No buffet and unfortunately no lunch combo plates like so many Indo/Pak places but the food is cooked to order and amazingly good!

    3 Replies
    1. re: sel

      thanks so much for the tip! we're over there a lot to visit relatives, and are always looking for great food. i esp miss india/pakistani food b/c i had it every week in nyc before co***g here, where i've yet to find a consistent place(s) to go for it.

      if you can recommend some on the westside...

      1. re: sel


        Tawakal is definitely the best Pakistani grub I have had south of San Francisco's Tandoorloin. We ordered the gobi aloo accidentally - and yes it was definitely one of the best I have ever had. We also ordered the chicken tikka (they were leg quarters - so in the mold of the traditional "chicken tandoori") - and it was juicy, well-spiced, and perfectly burnt at the tip. The chicken karahi, was spicy, not as oily as most Pakistani curries are, and with the bone-in pieces, very very home-style. We got the biryanis to go (chicken and lamb), and both are very good, though I still prefer Clay Oven's rendition in Sherman Oaks (it's an unfair comparison: Indian Hyderabadi muslim versus Pakistani muslim).

        It certainly has an absolutely desultory dining area (cleanliness was OK, has a B - not that it matters), but the chow is to die for. And that's what matters. Thanks for an absolutely fabulous recommendation.

        p.s. In the next visit, I will go for the more traditional fare (nihari/haleem etc.).

        1. re: losfelizhound

          I'm so glad that you liked it and that someone on this board has finally tried it! I like the Nihari and Haleem and strange as it may seem in a meat oriented Pakistani restaurant, two of my favorites are both the Eggplant and the Daal, both ordered very spicy. Raita is very good too, helps to moderate the spicy hot dishes! Make sure to ask for 'some salad' which is a plate of cucumbers and onions and chilis if requested. Goes good with the Raita. The servers frequently forget the salad and it's free.

          As far as the actual dining room is concerned, it is S L O W L Y getting better. The tables with chipped glass tops has been replaced with much nicer tables, it has been painted and the owner is slowly transforming it from a grocery store to a restaurant.

          Tawakal Tandori - Halal Restaurant
          21617 Devonshire St, Chatsworth, CA 91311

      2. Wow - amazing!! The Naan is really delicious. I too had the Karashi Gosht (lamb stew) which is soo tasty and a side of rice and a small raita. My problem is that this isn't a place for 1. My lunch cost me nearly $20 (17.25) - I think it would help a lot to have a smaller portioned LUNCH menu available. Especially for the stews which sit ready - a little stew, some rice, a piece of naan for say 11.50 could be reasonable...

        1 Reply
        1. re: Ore

          I agree 100%. Pretty much everything is prepared to order so there are no 'thali' combo type plates with small amounts of several items which is more common in Indian and other restaurants that prepare larger pots of food. I have the same problem when I go with my girlfriend because I order "very spicy/Pakistani hot" and she prefers much less heat. The end result/downside is that we order more dishes and eat too much or have left overs for the next days lunch. The upside is that because the food is prepared to order, it's spiced as ordered.

          Tawakal Tandori - Halal Restaurant
          21617 Devonshire St, Chatsworth, CA 91311