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Chowdown Report on Shan -- Indian food in SoMa

beanbag | Mar 26, 200401:48 PM

On Tuesday, 12 intrepid hounds went curry-diving at Shan, a SoMa Pakistani-Indian spot that has not yet been reviewed on Chowhound. With a table heaving with our BYOB beers of the world, we put the kitchen through its paces.

Shan is run by a relative of the Shalimar owners, and the menu bears a passing resemblance to Shalimar's. As at Shalimar, customers order at the counter.

Overall, I think the consensus was that this place is a real find for its fresh-tasting, well-balanced food, and undoubtedly the easiest (post-7pm) parking of any Indian place in the city. Tandoori foods are probably the highlights of the menu, though some of the curries exhibited a really nice balance of seasonings and heat.

Here's what we ordered (apologies if I missed anything):

- Shan Chicken Tandoori
- Seekh Kababs (beef)
- Lamb Chop Tandoori
- Chicken Curry Korma (thin-sauced chicken curry)
- Spinach (I think it was Palak Paneer)
- Banggen Bharta (eggplant)
- Chaana Masala (chickpeas)
- Shan Vegetable Biryani
- Chicken Kofta (minced chicken dumpling balls in creamy curry sauce)
- Haleem Shahi (daal, herbs, spices blended with beef -- gelatinous texture)
- Maghaz Masala (lamb brain curry -- I didn't love the mushy texture of this, but I haven't had it before. The catchphrase was "pretend it's tofu!")
- Shan Nihari (braised beef curry -- beef was fork-tender. Menu says "very spicy!" but it wasn't hot, especially compared with some of the other dishes)
- Achaar Murgh (a thick chicken curry with zing - mango pickles, lemon, spices.)
- Naan (regular and onion)
- Raita
- Kheer
- Gulab Jaaman

Highlights for me were the Chicken Tandoori (nicely charred on the outside,VERY juicy on the inside), the achaar murgh (although it
was less good than the first time I had it here -- last time it had more of a tangy zing from the lemon and pickles), and the kheer (rich, nutty tasting -- comfort food at its best). I also loved the spinach --it had a lot of spice and flavor to it.

I was disappointed with the lamb chop (too dry), chaana masala (sauce was very thin) and the gulab jamaan (stale chemical taste).

The bill came to $16 per person.

Please chime in, folks, if there were any beer raves -- I don't have a list of what was served.

Shan Restaurant
474 Third St., San Francisco
(415) 392-8353

Note: Parking is easy on Third St. after 7pm (before that, it's a no-stopping zone on the left side). I wish more restaurants were on that block, for sheer parking ease!

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