Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Steam Table Goodness at Taste of India

When it comes to Filipino restaurants, quite a few of them are "Turo Turo." For those of you who don't know what that word means, "Turo Turo" is derived from the Tagalog verb turo meaning "to point." Turo-turo is a slang expression for fast food restaurants where customers point to the dish they want to order. So what does "Turo Turo" have to do with a Long Beach restaurant called A Taste of India? Well, this is the first time I've ever been to an Indian restaurant where the food was served from steam tables, turo turo style.

A Taste of India is definitely nothing fancy, but what it lacks in ambiance, it makes up for it with food that tastes good and all at a great value. Their combo plates were all under $10, not including tax and tip. I had an opportunity to dine there a couple of times. For my first visit, I had a Two Item Combo which included naan, Basmati rice, salad, a soft drink and of course, my two entree choices. I also decided to get a Vegetable Samosa, which by the way, was quite tasty.

Biting into it, you could see that they were generous with their ingredients. That little fried critter was packed to the gills with a potato and veggie filling that wasn't dried out and still retained a moist texture that was enjoyable to eat. When it came to the sides, the mint chutney dressing on the salad had a strange after taste. One bite was enough for me to push it away. The naan was just naan. Nothing special about it.

As for the two entrees, I went for the Garlic Chicken and Garbanzo Curry. The Garlic Chicken needed more chicken and also needed to be more garlicky, but overall, it wasn't bad. I actually think the Garbanzo Curry was more flavorful than the Garlic Chicken and there was certainly enough garbanzo beans to make me happy, especially since I love garbanzo beans.

For my second and only other meal, I got the Two Entree Combo again and this time, I ordered the Chicken Tikki Masala and Paneer Malai. Although I liked the Chicken Tikki Masala, given that the sauce should have been yogurt based, it could have been a little creamier Nevertheless, it had a nice flavor to it, with some slight overtones of a sweetness, which was not an unwelcome surprise.

As for the Paneer Malai dish, I liked the firmness of the paneer cheese. Other than that, there wasn't anything really memorable about the sauce, which simply means that I must have liked it. If I didn't like it, I would have remembered that and would have been able to report on it.

To end, Taste of India does what it needs to do. Their food may not wow you, but it tastes good and even better, you get it at a price that isn't going to make your wallet run out the door screaming. These days, it's really those small mom-and-pop restaurants that still allow us the "luxury" of eating out and for that, one can only be thankful.

To see pics, go to:

Taste of India
2620 Long Beach Blvd
Long Beach, CA 90806
(562) 595 7525

Taste of India on Urbanspoon


WeezerMonkey said...

The portions look really generous!

pleasurepalate said...

Actually, they did give you a good amount of food and you definitely can't go wrong with the price. :)