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Restaurants & Bars

Bombay Coast in San Diego (long review)

daantaat | Sep 18, 200510:05 PM

To follow the recent thread on “is there any good Indian in San Diego,” we decided to try Bombay Coast in the Clairemont Town Square next to the Pacific Theaters. The place was mentioned by the manager at India Sweets and Spices as having a decent lamb curry and Karahi chicken. He also said that he doesn’t think there are any good Indian places in San Diego and that they are either Westernized or reheating leftovers.

Bombay Coast’s ambiance is best described as the kind of place you’d find in a mall food court. Order at the counter, sit at the tables and have your food brought to you on a plastic tray on a plastic plate. They have an Indian version of the salsa bar with raita, spicy pickles and a few other dipping sauces. I suspect they must have recently opened because the staff was very friendly and very open with the “do you want to try a sample?” Their menu is primarily South Indian, with some tandoori items, veggie and non-veggie curries, naans and parathas. Interestingly, they have “wraps” made up of various Indian style fillings—paneer, tandoori chicken, lamb, etc.

I ordered the lamb curry, which was supposed to be spicy. My husband opted for the chicken curry. I can’t remember if he ordered it spicy or not. We shared garlic naan, preserved lemon pickles from the bar and each had a mango lassi. Both entrees came with plain naan, yellow/saffron rice, a side of salad and side of stir fried cabbage. The lamb was decent, not very “lamb-y” and had some depth of flavor and spice. I asked for it “spicy” but found it very mild in heat and not challenging at all. The chicken curry was, well, NOT a curry. It was pieces of chicken in a dark red sauce that had no flavor or heat. The sauce was flat in flavor, as if someone either watered down the sauce or forgot to put spices in it. Totally lacked the complexity and layering of flavors that good Indian food has.

The plain and garlic naans were both quite good. Both were hot, fresh, puffy on the top and crispy on the bottom. Neither were burnt. Garlic naan had a nice sprinkling of chopped garlic and parsley on the top. The preserved pickles were definitely authentic. Lemon rind made our lips pucker in the midst of a salty chili heat. Definitely eat in small bites! Cabbage was pretty decent, although I’ve had better cabbage elsewhere. Mango lassis were overall decent, about 10 oz servings. Flavor was balanced well, not too sweet or sour. The texture was lighter than other lassis we’ve had, perhaps because there is less yogurt and more mango juice.

Despite some brighter small spots in our meal, we both thought it was overall unsatisfying for an Indian meal.

Still looking for a “real” Indian restaurant in SD!

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