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Good Indian food in Berkeley

Rachelhope | | Nov 14, 1998 04:46 PM

Well, someone warned me, moving out here, that I would
find Asian food in Berkeley which I would think was
exemplary but wouldn't really truly be up to snuff (at
least not compared to the chow in Oakland), but up
until yesterday morning I had only experienced -- at
the best -- a couple of very decent Asian meals, which
were unfortunately interspersed with a couple of lousy
ones. Until last night, when I visited "Ajanta" on
Solano Avenue, all the way north where it hits Alameda.
The food was terrific. We started with papadum which
came with a great fresh cilantro/mint sauce. Then we
split an order of perfect samosas. For an entree I had
chunks of sea bass in a tomato-fenugreek sauce which
was absolutely wonderful. It came with rice, naan, and
some a very nice chickpea side-dish. The boy had lamb
in a complex sauce tasting of all sorts of spices, and
with it some potato-spinach citrusy side-dish. They
also brought us pickled carrots and lemon pickle and
chutney. For dessert we had a mango mousse which
tasted wonderfully of fresh mango, and had shreds of
mango in it, and half a perfect fresh grape on top.
Each dish was beautifully presented, the restaurant is
comfortable, the walls are painted with very nice
murals, and the staff was solicitous. Plus they have
bottles of Sam Smith India Ale at $3.50. This place is
fabulous, not too expensive (dishes come with
bread/vegetable etc. average around $11.00), and we
left totally satisfied and pleased. Maybe I'm
deceived, but I'd say it's great Indian food in
Berkeley. And they even put three new dishes on the
menu each month! If any of you chowhounds make it out
to Berkeley I highly recommend a meal here. But make
reservations, we had to wait a while (510)526-4373