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Punjabi Tandoor
Good Indian Food in San Diego? Yes!
by Tom Johnston-O'Neill

When we lived in West Sumatra, every once an a while we had to escape to Singapore (an inconvenient journey of several hours) and head out to Race Course Drive to feast on Indian food. One specialty was "Fish Head Curry" infinitely more delicious than the dish's name suggests (you don't actually eat the head itself). It was served on banana leaves and accompanied by large glasses of fresh lime juice.

Finding great Indian food in San Diego is only a little less difficult. If you ask around, local South Asians will often direct you to "Little India" in Artisia where you will find quite a few delightful restaurants. But just last week Lakshmi Appachar told me about a little place near Black Mountain Road called "Punjabi Tandoor." What a find!

If you are looking for decor, look elsewhere. Punjabi Tandoor is basically a take-out restaurant that happens to have some tables and chairs (inside and out). But if palate-pleasing exquisite taste is what you are searching for, look no further. The Tandoori chicken is delicious. They have a real tandoor oven that was shipped from India. Ask them how it's used and they will give you a demonstration. Both the Chicken Palak and Tikka-Masala are marvelous. The breads (nan, paratha) are made just before they are served. As dishes are prepared on the spot, you can request them to be mild, medium, or hot. The basmati rice is nicely spiced. The vegetarian samosa are quite tasty and served with both mint and tamarind sauces. They have several combination plates that are quite reasonable. After we feasted on our first meal there, my teenage daughter asked, "Can't we eat here every night?" For more information, their menu, a map and directions, visit their website at:

Review by T. Johnston-O'Neill

Been to a great ethnic or international restaurant lately? Send us your review!
Elsewhere in the Participant Observer, see Lakshmi's review of other good Indian restaurants and eateries in the Miramar area.

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