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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Bold Flavors at Bow’l

I don’t think she reads this, but I will be so sad when M moves back to Italy. Then who will go out on weekdays and stay up late and revel in unemployed bliss with me? With any luck one of the 20 jobs I applied to yesterday will contact me soon. Okay no more blathering–on to the food we enjoyed at Bowl’d, the fairly new Korean restaurant. (I didn’t even have to think of my own cheesy pun with this one.)

Thank goodness we didn't have to walk far for spicy comfort food on this aberrant rainy day in the bay.

Korean food means lots of banchan! I need to figure out how I can just order a bowl of rice and have all those little side dishes because they are the best part. Bowl'd caters to many non-Koreans in the area, and doesn't have the huge variety that I've seen in other places. But with so many diners, you can bet that their food is always fresh and high quality. The pieces of fried tofu swimming in chili sauce on the right was probably my favorite.

I ordered the fried tofu pancakes in egg batter and made it a meal with a bowl of rice and soup (8). They turned out to be less cakey (I doubt there was any flour involved) and more like soft pillows of tofu dipped in egg. It gave me a much-needed protein boost and paired wonderfully with the dipping sauce and kimchi. I'm excited to go back and try some of their other pancakes, like seafood or mung bean. (For those keeping track of my goofy eating habits, my stomach can't handle dairy but I'm trying to eat seafood once in a while if I want to splurge at a restaurant.)

I had a few bites of M's dukboki, or spicy rice cakes with ramen, fish cakes and hardboiled egg. This is one of my favorite things to eat on a cold day but I didn't want to order it because it never fails to put me in a coma afterwards. I'm glad I went with the tofu on this night because the sauce was far too sweet and rich. I mean, is this dinner or dessert? Make up your mind!

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