About 13 years ago, I was visiting some friends in Toronto and they took me to this Chinese-Indian restaurant and I fell in love with the cuisine, but since then, I’ve not had this food, so when my friend informed me that there was a Chindian restaurant in Artesia, I was psyched to visit.
While Tangy Tomato is not predominantly Chindian cuisine — in fact, there are more Indian offerings than “Chinese Indian” on the menu, but both are offered via a buffet at lunch time as well as a la carte. — start with a Lassi ($2.50-$4), and there are three, or Mango Tango ($4) to sip on while perusing the menu.my friends and I opted to go a la carte instead of buffet.
We started with some appetizers. Punjabi Somosa ($4.50) are stuffed with potato and peas and should be shared. They are filling, but pretty good with the mint sauce in the condiment container they will bring to the table. The mint sauce here is different to the others. It is not bright green and doesn’t have yogurt mixed in. It is refreshing and light and so easy to eat.
I am new to Bombay Frankie ($7) and found them rather interesting. Traditionally, they are more like wraps, but here, they look like egg rolls and are filled with paneer (cheese) and vegetables. This is a vegetarian item and surprisingly good — I’m not usually a fan of paneer. A dipping sauce of chilis infused in vinegar is served alongside and adds a zing by cutting the heaviness of the fried item. In fact, the sauce is also good with the samosas.
One of my favorite items was the Murg Malai Kebab ($13), chunks of white meat, grilled and topped with this delicious sauce. I can’t tell you what’s in the sauce, but my son ate the leftovers and demanded more so I know it’s REALLY good.
I’m a huge fan of okra and so Bhindi Aloo Mirch Masala ($10) was right up my alley. I would’ve liked no potatoes (not a fan of them) and all okra, but the name of the dish is bhindi (okra) aloo (potatoes) and not just bhindi — *sigh* — I can eat this all day. The okra was slightly shriveled so all the flavors were sucked into them, simply divine.
If you’re a fan of chili fries, try the Szechuan Fries served on a sizzling platter. I can’t remember what they are called on the menu, Chili Garlic Potatoes ($11), I think, but these are tossed in a slightly spicy Sichuan sauce. I brought the leftovers home and my son devoured them.
Next came Spicy Gobi Manchurian ($11) which is a Chindian dish of fried cauliflower tossed in a sweet sauce — I didn’t detect much heat. I don’t like sweetness in my savory food so this obviously wasn’t my favorite, but everyone else liked it a lot.
Besides okra, eggplant is another item I can eat all day long. Therefore, it wasn’t surprising that I ordered Hot Garlic Eggplant ($11), which is pretty much similar to the ones you get at Chinese restaurants. I liked this a lot.
Chicken Tikka Masala ($14), or butter chicken is good here — not one of my favorite items — chicken is tender and flavor spot on. It seems like this is a dish loved by all, but me. There are tons of other dishes I’d much rather eat, such as the next one.
Housboat Fish Curry ($14) is essentially Goan Fish Curry and I absolutely adore this dish when done right. I had it at Tamarind not long ago and frankly, it was tasteless. When I put the first spoonful of this curry into my mouth, I knew I had found the right one.
The aromas of curry leaves permeated throughout the sauce and the fish was moist and tender. This is not a spicy curry, in fact, there isn’t any heat to it at all, but the layers of flavors creates a complexity which is essential to a good Goan Fish Curry. Just writing this up right now is making me salivate and wanting some over piping hot basmati rice.
Besides rice, you can opt for Laccha Parantha ($2.50), a flaky bread or, the quintessential Garlic Naan ($2.50) to accompany your meal with.
Those of you who have never tried Chindian food, Tangy Tomato has generously donated a $25 gift certificate for you to go try it. Leave me a comment as to why you would like to try Chindian food with your FULL name by Sunday May 6th for a chance to win. Winner will be announced on Monday, May 7th.
18728 Pioneer Blvd
Artesia, CA 90701