Spice Garden in Williamsburg
This indian restaurant opened up a while ago on my block (185 Grand St in Brooklyn). I was hoping that it wouldn't just be another neighborhood spot, but alas, that's pretty much how it started, average food. But somehow I kept trying (always takeout), and much to my surprise, the food started getting better and better. It has improved to the point where it's one of my favorite indian restaurants, including favorite places in Queens. I'm not sure if there's a regional style going on, but there are a lot of flavors and spices that I haven't had in other places.
Tonight I had the paneer tikka dish, which is similar to my other favorite version at Brick Lane, but this one is marinated in some kind of mustard sauce. My new favorite dish is the chicken malai kebab, which is baked with some kind of vinegary dairy coating until it browns on the edges, pretty amazing. The reshmi kebab is similarly flavorful, a ground chicken with a surprisingly light texture. I also had the saag aloo, which has become a deep and rich spinach dish. The dals are excellent, both the makhani and the yellow, with flavors that are complex and grow.
This restaurant is not the spiciest, not the most exotic or specialized, but I'm just so glad that my little neighborhood spot has turned into something much more. It only seems to be busy on weekends, and is pretty empty otherwise. I hope people figure out how good this place is, because I (selfishly) want it to stay.