I was aimlessly driving on Venice Blvd looking for some grub when I spotted the relatively new Katacut, in the strip of Palms that also houses Katmandu Kitchen, Bamboo and Fidel's. A U-turn later, I walked into what turned out to be a Pakistani restaurant which bills itself as specializing in tandoori. Though at first glance, one would guess that it was a tropical restaurant, with all the bamboo decor. Then you notice the Bollywood video playing in the back of the 2nd room, the newspapers in Urdu and the owner in the kitchen. The owner said that it's been around for about 6 months.
Not surprisingly, most of the offering are what can be cooked in a tandoor oven. There's chicken kabob (not really kabob), boti kabob (beef marinated in yogurt, papaya sauce, spice), bihari kabob (described pretty much as the boti kabob), and lamb chop. Several curry dishes are on offer, like nehari, beef paya (hoof), magaz masala (brain), haleem, lamb and chicken korma. Vegetarians can choose from dal, aloo gobi, aloo palak, bhindi masala (okra), mirchi ka salan (sesame seeds w/ tamarind, cumin, onion and chili) and baghare begun (eggplant). The menu is rounded out with Hyderabadi biryani, naan and desserts [kheer, gulab jamun and gagrella (carrots cooked with cream and almonds)].
I nought into the marketing and ordered the royal tandoori mix ($9.99), naan and tea, and was warned of a 20 minute wait. I obliged. The naan was not as fluffy as I'd hoped for, but rather thin and crispy. Not bad, but not what I wanted texturally. But the sourer-than-usual taste, supplemented with the vaguely oregano-like terpene flavor of nigella seeds, made it delicious. The lamb chops were too fatty and salty to be enjoyable. The day glo orange cubes of marinated chicken breast were moist and delicious. The whole chicken legs were slightly undercooked but edible. The boti kabob (or was it bihari kabob?) was the best of the bunch thanks to the yogurt marinade, eventhough it was slightly overcooked. It's quite a bit of meat for $10 and while not the caliber of the great tandoori restaurants, it's not bad for WLA.
Some of the other dishes sound more interesting/unique. And I hear that the biryani is excellent. They also offer 11am-3pm buffets (Tu-F $5.99; Sa/Su $9.99). The weekend dishes include halwa, puri, haleem, nihari, tandoori chicken, naan, kheer and "many more." I think that the meat is also Halal.