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Roti Indian Bistro - West Portal / our experience

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Roti Indian Bistro - West Portal / our experience

Jupiter | Feb 24, 2006 11:27 AM

So, I was all excited to see a new Indian place closer to my house than Indian Oven or Spicy bite (my two favorites)
So we waited for the furor to die down a bit before we went and checked it out.
We showed up last night aorund a quarter to 8 and the place was maybe 75% full. We were seated and the waiter walked over and i had an immediate flash of recognition. "hey i know you!" i blurted out, and he looked at me quizzically and said "you do? from where?" and i said "you've waited on me before! But i have never been here" and he smiled and said "maybe i waited on you in your dream last night"
and then i said "your from indian oven, right?" and he said "yes, me and the chef."
Well, needless to say, this made Rob and i feel much more hungry.

We ordered the following:
Appetizer plate (1 pappadam, 2 veggie pakoras and 1 big samosa) the papadam was excellent, with just the right flavor of burnt cheese and a lingering spicyness)
the veggie pakoras were very good. the samosa, was "eh" but i have never really liked samosa's, so i guess it was good. Rob liked it.

Cucumber Tomato Salad : this was great. i ate it as an accompaniment with each dish and it was so yummy. big chunks of cucmber and tomato with marinated onion slivers tossed in lime and cilantro and something else...it was almost greek, almost mexican, and definitely good. the waiter suggested that we order this.

Raita: it was good. very tart.

Roti's Dal : this was the favorite of the meal. The dal was definetely lentils. you could actually taste the lentils as the overwhelming flavor and the sauce was not a heavy cream sauce like i have had at other places, but a very light, thin tumeric sauce that just barely held the lentils together. The lentils were whole and not all crushed up and detriorating like they had been stewed for 8 gazillion hours. I always love dal, but usually because i am in love with sauce, but this time the lentils played the starring role and the sauce was subdues, and it made the dish just so much better.

Chicken Jalfrezi : usually i always order chiken tikka masala, and for some reason i decided to change it up, and, well, that may have been a mistake. the chicken was good. nice and tender and juicy, but the sauce was SO not spicy at all and the tomato based sauce started to almost resemble a sort of tweaked ragu spaghetti sauce after it sat for a while. This dish was good, i guess, but we had to sort of just mix in a lot of raita and tamarind sauce to make it taste like an indian curry. and i didn't really think it would be a curry, because most of the times i have ordered jalfrezi type dishes, they are sort of dry fried, so i thought this one would be more like sizzling fajita's or something, but it definitely was not.

Rice: it was rice. it was good.

Bread Basket : the garlic naan wins, hands down.
the whole wheat naan was a failure and the onion kulcha was good, but it wasn't cooked long enough for my liking.

After the meal was over and we both thought we would pop, they brought us complimentary rice pudding, that was good enough to make me want to keep eating, even though i was so full.

Rob and i decided that the definite winners of the night were the papadam, the dal and the garlic naan. (and i would say the cucumber salad, but i ate most of that myself)

We both agreed that the place was definitely catering to the neighborhood, since none of the food was spicy enough, and they never asked us if we wanted the food spicy at all. It was tasty, for sure, but it seemed kind of like "americanized". This was the only way rob and i could describe it.

all in all, it is a nice addition to the neighborhood, but it is still not as good as spicy bite, or shalimar, or even indian oven.

I would go back if i was in that neighborhood looking for somewhere to eat, or if i was forced to eat indian food with peopel that thought they didn't like it. it is one of those places that would work well on converting people.

total with generous tip : 70.00 dollars.

good place if you are in the hood for a movie, but i wouldn't cross town for it.

Link: http://www.rotibistro.com

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