Chutney's on Pico/Barrington
- Vaya Con Carne Oct 28, 2008 08:18 PM
Tried this place for the first time today and was pretty happy with what I got: dahi chicken, lamb kabob, and a meat samosa.
The lamb was good, but not great - I think I'm spoiled by the lamb at Makkah, which is about as good as it gets. It was the chicken that really won me over - perfectly grilled, nicely seasoned, and oh so tasty with a bit of mint chutney. I'm not sure how dahi chicken differs from tandoori chicken, except that it wasn't that unnatural shade of red that usually comes from food dye.
The meat samosa was a bit greasy but really good, in that guilty-pleasure sort of way. At around a buck each, I could have easily eaten a couple more.
Chutney's has gotten mixed - and downright bad - reviews here and elsewhere. I'm not sure why - I'm a big fan of Indian food, and this place did not disappoint. I'm thinking maybe the thing to get here are the tandoori/grilled meats instead of the curries - although really, everything I saw coming out of the kitchen looked good.
We've been going since they opened. The dahi chicken is quite good. I have not been excited about any of their curries. We always get their meat samosas, which are hard to find as most of them are potato and peas. Their dahi family chicken dinner is a good deal. At least a whole chicken (it often feels like more) plenty of naan, rice, cauliflower and potatoes for around $17 or so. Add a raita and a few meat samosas and you have quite a feast.
Was driving around today wanting to try somewhere new, but unfortunately I wasn't really hungry. Was in the vicinity and remembered this thread, so I decided to drop into Chutney's for a samosa. Even though it wasn't yet noon, all the parking spots were full so I waited a couple of minutes. Went in, and found at least a half-dozen customers eating at tables and on a counter at the front window. Ordered a meat samosa, and the woman showed me one and warned me that it was small. I said ok, and she put it into the fryer. There was a sort of condiment bar on the left side with one big bowl of pickled vegies and three sauces -- a white creamy raita, a green herbal, and a dark brown-purplish which I asked about. "Tamarind, sweet and sour. Please try it," the woman explained, so I filled up a little takeout cup as my samosa finished frying. Food that people were eating and being served looked good -- plates overflowing with half-chickens or boneless chicken along with salad, rice, vegies, some wedges of naan all for $5.99 which I believe includes a soft drink from the self-serve machine. As I was served I told the woman, Farrah (sic?) who owns the place with her husband, about the mention on Chowhound. Ate the samosa in the car -- very hot, crisp, flaky, with a lot of finely ground meat with a lot of green herbs packed inside. Really good, and dipping in the tamarind sauce added a nice complexity as well, making the drips onto my pants leg worth it.
We've eaten lunch there a couple of times and really like it as well. My wife and I are suckers for spicy, well-seasoned food in general, and when our kids put the stamp of approval on the food, then we can all eat happily ever after. We've only been when the husband was there - nice enough guy as well.
As far as I can recall Chutney's ownership has not changed since they opened. But then again my memory is not what it used to be. I'll check next time I'm in. To me the food tastes exactly the same from the first time I went there, shortly after they opened their doors some 10 plus years ago, up until last week when I logged my most recent visit.