hi all! i went to ASIAN KITCHEN recently, and wanted to share my experience...mostly because i finally tried something new in Indian/Pakistani - haleem. Also, i asked about fluffy naan here before, and well, asian kitchen does NOT have fluffy naan. lol! my quest continues....
Interested in trying something new, I asked about the nehari or haleem. Our server doesnt eat beef, so he couldnt offer an opinion. I took a risk and ordered the haleem. Both the haleem and the seekh kebab came out before the samosa appetizer, which we had to default to beef, because they were out of the others.
Haleem is a caramel colored stew of beef and ground lentils. Though the flavor was tasty, I wasnt too fond of the texture. It is thick and sticky, like a pasty, gluey porridge. With the consistency of peanut butter, it worked better as a spread on the naan rather than as something eaten out of a bowl with a spoon. So I guess I didnt really like it that much.
The naan here wasnt bad, but I admit that I was somewhat disappointed, as I had been expecting it to be quite thick and fluffy, and it was pretty much the same as every other place. I guess now i must try Afghani naan.
The seekh kebab came with chaam masala, chickpeas the same color as the haleem. With a sprinkling of chopped coriander, the plate looked pretty, but the meat itself tasted dry, almost as if it had been made the day before and re-heated.
The samosas were good, but very different from what I was used to. Perhaps thats the Pakistani angle coming in, or maybe Asian Kitchen just does samosas differently. The pastry was thin and crispy, like an eggroll wrapper, and the spicy ground beef filling was sparse. The samosas came with a light green chutney, which actually helped make the rather dry seekh kebabs palatable. The samosas, the seekh kebabs, and the haleem werent conspicuously spicy in taste, but I noticed that my forehead developed a faintly visible glisten. I was starting to sweat. Were the red peppers in the samosa beef filling that surreptitiously spicy? Perhaps the haleem had a covert chili that kicked in later. I kept dipping everything in the light green chutney, to cool myself down, but I kept sweating.
I wasnt sweating from the seekh kebab or the haleem, it turns out. In fact, it wasnt even the red pepper in the samosas. The cool, refreshing green chutney in which I had been generously dunking everything to counteract the heat, was actually made of green chilies, extremely spicy, but in a sneaky way. I had unknowingly been doing the exact opposite of what I intended by dousing everything with it. As I poured myself a third glass of water, I was now thankful that the server had plunked down an entire pitcher from the get-go. The chutney tasted good. And yet, it was so bad. Later in the afternoon, I had a very bad case of, well, lets just be delicate about it here. ;)
The food at Asian Kitchen wasnt horrible, but I probably wont order haleem again. In fact, given all the little *hmm*s throughout the meal (and the big *hmm* after), I doubt Id go back there on my own.
10406 Venice Blvd (@Motor)
Culver City, CA 90232