Miami- Wheres the best Indian?!?!
Moved to Miami this year, originally from NYC. i've found great everything but Indian. why is Thai not a problem but indian is? I'm living around the grove but traveling hours for food is not a problem for me. im dieing here without my chicken tikka masala, please help!
Though I live in Miami, I regularly travel to Plantation to "India House", which relocated from Commercial East of I-95 last year. Now it is in a hotel (I think it's the Best Western) on University just south of Sunrise (west side of the street). The lunch buffet on Saturday and Sunday is so comprehensive and euphorically good, I cannot understand how it can be just $12, and why it is not packed. It is just that good (and on Saturday and Sunday, chicken Tikka masala is a regular item Miafoodie!). Also it's one of the few places I can take my rowdy kids (the waitstaff have known them since before birth, and one brunch induced the labor of our firstborn)
Ps: I just confirmed it is at the best western, and they have a website (!) indiahouserestaurant.com. Address is 1711 N. University according to my Zagat guide.
I'll have to check out Heelsha (very close to me in NMB)
If you're willing to drive a bit, there's Woodlands Indian Cuisine (4816 N University Dr., Lauderhill, FL 33351; (954) 749-3221). Though they serve no alcohol and specialize in South Indian cuisine, they are far and away my favorite Indian restaurant in the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area.
I should point out that they serve only vegetarian food, so you won't find any chicken dishes. All of the dishes I have tried range from good to excellent. They cook North Indian dishes as well, if not better, than any other restaurant in the area. Ironically, some of my least favorite dishes are their dosais (but they still do an OK job -- better, at least, than Madras Cafe). Try one of their thalis if you want a soup-to-nuts experience and you're there for dinner.
Their lunch buffets are a great bargain at only $8. The drive is a bit long for me and my wife, but you'll find us there once or twice a month, usually at a weekend lunch buffet and sometimes for dinner. A lot of places advertise "authentic" cuisine, but you'll find the same, tired cookie-cutter, toned down Mughlai-style cooking. Woodlands remains true to the food you'll find in India. Oh, and their freshly made nimboo achaar is incredible.
When I heard about Raja's imminent closing (about three months ago, and it did sound alarmingly certain; an ad guy for a newspaper I write for was told by one of the owners), I stopped in to Raja's to find out for myself what's up. The owners said they are closing, but not permanently. After a vacation, they plan to re-open in a new downtown location; the guy said they're looking at a spot on the block near Caribbean Delight. I sure hope they find someplace reasonable. Their dosai (and a couple of similar street food items that are made to order, NOT steam-tabled) are wonderful.
Yes, Indian cuisine is one of Miami's blind spots. I went to Guru last week and wasn't overly impressed. The presentation, staff and ambience was nice and quite romantic, but the food didn't knock me out of my shoes. It was decent though.
I probably would try Heelsha. I also heard Imlee's in Pinecrest is an excellent choice as well.
For some more unknown places, try Pakistani cuisine. Lazeez has been recommended to me quite often for Pakistani cuisine and it is very similar to Indian. It is in the list of places I must try.
If all else fails, then by FIU University Park campus, there's an Indian grocery store by the name of Continental Groceries. They may help you more than I can. There's another Indian grocery store by University of Miami campus on Miller close by Ludlam, by the name of Asia I think? But I've heard more people talk about Continental than Asia.
Continental Groceries at 2500 SW 107th Avenue #34, Miami, FL 33165-2492
Lazeez Asian Cuisine at 13919 SW 66 Street, Miami, FL 33183-2203
Like everyone else on the board, I 100% love Heelsha.
That said (again), we read with great amounts of doubt the postings in the most recent Miami New Times "Best of..." section which tends to favor their advertisers rather than their reader's bellies - and tried the other "Best (buffet)" Indian in Downtown Miami - Taste of Bombay
(Heelsha got "Best Indian")
Food is served buffet style in unheated chafing dishes. While the selection seemed impressive - everything was room temperature. There were only 2 other patrons and we were a bit concerned about food left to sit. The offer of all-you-can-eat just did not seem appealing.
Honestly, Raja's steam table Indian around the corner is far better and more fresh tasting. Unfortunately, Raja's building is slated to be torn down to make way for more new & improved booming construction. The New Times often mentions Raja's and the Indonesian place just next door (Bali Cafe) and BOTH are better Downtown destinations than this year's "Best..." if you happen to be Downtown at lunchtime. Of the three choices - Bali is really my favorite.
Switching ever so slightly off Indo-topic - Has anyone tried Indomania on the beach yet??
Taste of Bombay 111 NE Third Avenue, Miami, FL
Raja's Indian Cuisine Inc - www.rajasindiancuisine.com - 33 NE 2nd Ave, Miami
Bali Cafe 109 NE 2nd Ave Miami
Indomania 2601 Collins Avenue Miami Beach
I went to Lazeez last night. It's a bare-bone little place with a one page laminated menu, but the food is rather good. And inexpensive. A biryani or korma for 6.99. Also has a vegetable section with 13 or so dishes, such as saag, vegetable curry, okra, daal and so on. That's about half price off Imlee, though of course you can't take a first date to this place. As it is a small place, everything was cooked to order. We can hear the chopping noise in the kitchen after we placed our order, and after the dishes arrived, the sound of water washing dishes. Service is really friendly too.
Thanks for the recommendation!! Wouldn't have found out this place otherwise!!
Ok so everyone on this board has heard me say it. Heelsha is the place to go for Indian. There is decent Indian at Guru on SoBe and Kebab Indian on 163rd St, but nowhere near Heelsha. House of India on Miracle Mile did not impress us at all either. The place on Coconut Grove, Anohka (?), haven't been to because of previous bad reviews on this board and the papers. We are waiting on a new place Ishq (?) on Ocean Drive in SoBe....let us all hope for the best!
I tried Lazeez last night and had a wonderful take out dinner. Ordered Chicken Korma, Saag vegetable curry and garlic naan with green dipping yogurt. I enjoyed the food greatly with nice taste and heat. Place is sparse in decor and no one was eating there. The gentleman who cashed me out I believe was also the cook. A must try for take out but not sure I would take a date there.
Indian is one of many "blind spots" in the Miami food lineup. Our regular, which used to be very good, was Renaisa just off 79th St. & Biscayne Boulevard. The folks who had been running it left and opened up a new place off 163rd St. called Heelsha, where I haven't been yet but heard is great. Renaisa then went through a rough patch, but there's new management in and it has gotten back on its feet. The restaurant itself is a bit rough and tumble and we get take-out.
Supposedly a couple new places are opening up soon in Miami Beach and Coral Gables, search the board for info.
Renaisa Indian Restaurant
620 NE 78th St, Miami, FL 33138
1550 NE 164th St, North Miami Beach, FL 33162