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Restaurants & Bars

Shalimar: great Indian food

Janet A. Zimmerman | Oct 21, 200110:24 PM     1

A friend of mine has been ranting about this place, on Jones in between Geary and O'Farrell, so we finally planned a dinner after work last week. She'd warned us that the place was sort of a dump, but when we got there she noted that it had been painted recently and spruced up a bit. Didn't look bad to me -- not fancy, but clean enough, and it smelled wonderful. We had to wait for 15 minutes or so, but considering it was Saturday night and there were eight of us, it wasn't bad.

You order at the counter and they bring your food out to you, so we just had the one who'd been there pick out her favorites to start with, and then ordered a few more dishes later. The tandoori lamb chops were wonderful (at $9, by far the most expensive item on the menu) -- and the serving was huge for the price -- 5 or six thick chops. We went back for a second order of that. We had two tandoori chicken dishes, one was a breast and a leg-thigh quarter and the other seemed to be the upper wing sections with breast meat attached. The white meat was a little bit dry, but the flavor was great. We also had several curries, some vegetarian and some with meat. I sort of lost track, but there was a good eggplant dish (even though I'm not a big eggplant fan) and a very tender lamb curry. All were good, but very hot. There was a dal in there somewhere as well. The rice was out of this world, and the nan was good too.

They don't have a liquor license, but you can bring your own, so we brought in a variety of beers. Dinner came to about $12.50 each, including tip, and we were all stuffed by the time we left.

I noticed two or three other Indian restaurants within a couple of blocks, one of which is another Shalimar, which is owned by the same people and is apparently a little more upscale and expensive.

They also have takeout, so even though it's not anywhere close to my route home, I can see I'll be detouring for Indian food often from now on.

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