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Kabana moving? [Berkeley]

chocolatetartguy Jul 6, 2012 12:42 PM

Based on the new storefront two doors down from the Wells Fargo parking lot on University below San Pablo, Kabana is moving from its hole-in-the-wall into much more spacious, luxe quarters. Their door was open today and someone was sitting at a table doing paperwork and another setting up furniture. This spot was briefly occupied by a Himalayan restaurant and before that an Indian place of some sort. Possibly they are keeping both venues open?

Haven't eaten at Kabana for years, but for some reason I think of them as similar to Shalimar in SF. How do they compare?

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  1. r
    rccola RE: chocolatetartguy Jul 6, 2012 04:59 PM

    Yep moving. I figure that would make the venue clean for at least a week!
    Hope they leave the not-infrequent surliness at the old place.

    1. arktos RE: chocolatetartguy Jul 6, 2012 05:42 PM

      I really hope they know what they're doing because that location is DEATH. The short list of failed endeavors:

      Bosporus- Really liked that place!
      Rice N' Spice
      Taj Mahal

      I live a block away, there is little foot traffic there. And because of the down economy, the teeming groups of Asian subcontinentals who, in good measure, frequent these places is down to a trickle. They're probably moving because of size issues and the convenient parking lot.

      1. t
        tre2012 RE: chocolatetartguy Jul 6, 2012 07:47 PM

        Have only eaten at Kabana, not Shalimar. Went once decades ago, thought it was okay. Then last year we were looking once again for good curry in Berkeley/Oakland. Ajanta is hard to park around, Indus Village is good on some things but not others (and sometimes too salty).

        Went back to Kabana in 2011 and were wowed. Panek paneer was housemade cheese fritters, superb. Spinach sauce was rich with ghee, just luscious! Chicken boti was six massive chunks of chicken breast, firm but still juicy, and wonderful dipped in the super-hot cilantro chutney sauce. Lamb Karahi is a thick red curry, cooked until the oil separates out, with whole green chiles cooked in it.

        We happen to like that the Basmati isn't rock-hard the way it is at so many places. Just our personal preference. We don't get to go very often, as MIL lives with us and she can't take spicy food, doesn't like Indian food at all.

        The news that Kabana will be moving to nicer larger quarters is exciting!

        1. z
          zippo RE: chocolatetartguy Jul 6, 2012 10:41 PM

          Is the potential new space the one at 1025 University, on the north side of University Ave and between San Pablo on the east and 10th Street on the west? If so, they were thinking about that move last year when they had a sign up on the current location announcing the opening of Kabana #2 nearby:

          2 Replies
          1. re: zippo
            chocolatetartguy RE: zippo Jul 9, 2012 01:21 PM

            Not sure about the actual address, but you have the right block. You can't miss it. They have a huge sign. There is still one empty storefront on that block.

            They were definitely serving this weekend.

            1. re: chocolatetartguy
              zippo RE: chocolatetartguy Jul 9, 2012 07:46 PM

              I walked past the new location at 1025 University yesterday (Sunday) afternoon without going in and saw the familiar faces of the staff from the old location as well as about a dozen patrons. Also talked to someone working at the old location at 1106 University who said that they planned on remodeling it and then reopening and having two sites. Sounds ambitious.

              Kabana #2
              1025 University Ave
              Berkeley, CA 94710

          2. s
            sydthekyd RE: chocolatetartguy Jul 7, 2012 02:06 PM

            They are open and I have never seen so many people in that space!

            1. e
              ernie in berkeley RE: chocolatetartguy Jul 18, 2012 01:36 PM

              I went for lunch today. The karahi lamb was as good as ever. The new space is bright and airy, and they were surprisingly busy. Surliness level was low, and it's strange not to have the loud Bollywood music videos on the out-of-tune color TV.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ernie in berkeley
                lmnopm RE: ernie in berkeley Jul 26, 2012 07:33 PM

                Dinner tonight - first time (and never went to the old location)
                (1) Tandoori lamb - yum
                (2) Garlic Naan - yum
                (3) Chicken Biryani - good
                (4) Curry pakora - yum

                One server was super nice - very limited English, always with a big grin. One server had an eternal attitude scowl. Error on the bill created a little commotion between a few people working there (including who must have been the owner/manager) but corrected without issue as to myself.

                I will return

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