Kabila Indian Restaurant

A full work week after a long weekend can feel like eternity. When Saturday rolled around I couldn’t wait to meet up with S and kick it like the old days. After a fun day in Berkeley, where every event (Cafe Med, Ici, Jeremy’s, the Lawrence Hall of science and Berkeley Bowl) felt like a journey down memory lane, we headed back to our abandoned neck of the woods for Indian food at Kabila. Indian and Mexican are the only good cuisines found around here, but I ain’t complaining.

Inside the warehouse building is a warmly decorated space with a case of Indian sweets, a buffet table, and a gang of attractive waiters waiting to usher you to a good meal. It’s not surprising that I was expecting heaven on earth.

A basket of papadum and dipping sauces while we waited for our main courses. Apparently I'm still queasy around these after my overdose in England years ago.

Kabila leans towards Northern Indian food with lots of meat options and heavy cream sauces, but I was excited to see a few thali (11) and combo options hailing from Southern regions. I chose a dal stew (medium hot, but I'd ask for spicy next time) which came with saag paneer, salad, rice, naan and chutney. S chose an individual entree of the same paneer and we both thought that everything was too salty--even the rice and yogurt. For those of you who are sick of hearing me complain about salty food, too bad. I found solace in the plain raw vegetables and amazing naan. Kibala has a massive bread menu so I doubt one can go wrong there.

As long as I can ask for less salt, I’ll be returning here. I liked that the waiter asked how our food was, which happens too rarely. Which reminds me, I should start referring to this blog on my receipts.

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The 42nd annual mushroom festival we dropped in on prior to dinner to whet our appetites.

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Pakwan

While I’ve been at my parents’ house (three more days left!) I haven’t been eating out at all, until today. C lives in Fremont and had heard good things about Pakwan, so off we went. Man it is hard to choose an Indian place around these parts because there’s authentic, vegetarian Indian food on every corner. Perhaps my favorite thing about Fremont. Not much to add–their menu was really short and Indian food always tastes the same/awesome–so I’ll let photos speak for themselves.

Pakwan is that huge barn that I drove past twice and finally needed C to help me find because I was looking for a small a hole in the wall.

Line out the door's always a good sign. When they call your number there is an electronic song that plays, akin to those in airport announcements. It's the bomb and signals you to something way more exciting than a plane. Also...after looking at this photo I ask, does any color besides navy exist in Fremont?

On second thought, Indian airlines probably have really great food. I usually hate plane food so much I fast on planes but the mushy spicy qualities of Saag Daal (5.5) probably holds up really well on long flights.

I'm always in the mood for a simple daal, which makes it hard to expand my repertoire. I loved the impressive amount of sliced chili in this, but it still could've been hotter, especially when the diners are Desi. What's up with that? Thank God for those ubiquitous squeeze bottles of spicy yogurt sauce.

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On a side note, I just stumbled across a food blog I used to read a lot called Chow Times, and I am still amazed at how they post 1-2 times a day, and always at least one is a restaurant review, the other a recipe. And they don’t work in the food industry. what rockstars. Also, the blogs I follow are so different now. (I deleted hundreds from my reader. Gotta keep cutting down so I can have a real life.)

Breads of India

berk_01

This is a short post mostly because I wasn’t prepared to eat here nor planning to blog it. BUT the naan here is the best I’ve had in Berkeley – the pools of melted ghee on top of each naan with the perfect amount of saltiness to bring out the richness was indeed a factor. As was the chewy, almost mochi-like or half-baked consistency of the edges (this might turn some people off but it was a great texture for me). Mine was layered with fresh sweet peas nestled between the layers of bread. This place lives up to its name, with at least five different types of naan (3) everyday. Some are stuffed with chickpeas, ginger, radish, or corn.

potato/carrot/green bean/cauliflower curry and what I truly believe to be daal soup. Would've preferred a cup for that

potato/carrot/green bean/cauliflower curry and what I truly believe to be daal soup. Would've preferred a cup for that

I was underwhelmed by the veggie curry (8) but my companion raved about the lamb (11). The menu is short and apparently changes daily to suit “the discerning gourmet”. Translation: they have only a few items and pre-cook everything to save money/time, which means our orders came out five minutes after we ordered. It’s a nice place to get something quick but for a sit-down place I wasn’t really expecting that – I mean, House of Curries can afford to cook the food right in front of you and take at least ten minutes. But I’d go again for the variety of awesome naan and maybe try the Korma.

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