Went to Tangra Bistro in Cerritos last Sunday for a quick dinner before seeing an Indian movie. Tangra is the Chinatown in Calcutta, the only city in India with a significant Chinese population. The Chinese specialized in leather shoes, dentistry, dry-cleaning, and now increasingly Chinese restaurants. The 2 cooks in the open kitchen are from Calcutta, but the rest of the wait staff is not. They have a reasonable Americanized Chinese menu to attract mainstream clientele, but their last page was what was interesting - Indian Chinese.
We had the Tangra Hot and Sour Soup - similar to the expected hot and sour soup, except that the broth is a little lighter in density, darker in color (soya sauce?), and much more tangy than normal. Had generous amounts of shrimp and chicken, besides veggies. Very very satisfying.
The most famous Chinese Indian dish is Chilli Chicken - chunks of batter-dipped fried chicken in a tangy sauce redolent with Thai chilli peppers and a positive bite to it. They did a very decent version of what I remember from back home. They have also versions with fish and vegetables.
The last dish we tried was their Hakka Chowmein - this was good, but did not meet the expectations - usually in India, Hakka chowmeins are somewhat gloppy and soupy. This was dry - more like the normal chowmeins - except for the mis-nomenclature, it was actually quite tasty.
They have a homemade chilli-garlic sauce they serve as a condiment in the beginning - it was so good that I bought a jar of it for $3. If you are in the neighborhood and tired of regular Indian fare in Little India, this little gem is well worth the detour - but stick to the last page.
Tangra Bistro Asian Cuisine
11305 183rd St, Cerritos, CA 90703-5434
Phone: (562) 865-6109
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