The Artesia restaurant caters to a large Muslim clientele, big family groups powering through sauced mutton feet and grain-enriched lamb stews, the sizzle from a dozen tandoori platters drowning out the droning Bollywood soundtracks. It's probably the only place on the Little India strip that boasts of halal meat, and it draws a mostly Pakistani crowd, eager to get its hands on the highly spiced mutton chops crusted black from the grill, the delicious tandoor-cooked chicken, the creamy, Mogul-style chicken korma. Shan is not a bad place to try the fiery lamb curry called nehari or minced-lamb seekh kebabs. And, of course, there is biryani, a splendid plate of food, a giant heap of rice stained yellow with saffron, a little shiny with grease, sizzling with stinging handfuls of cinnamon, cloves and garlic, and enough cardamom to flavor your breath for days, plumped out with what must be a half-pound of crisped lamb - or vegetables, if you insist. It may not be the delicate dumphukt biryani that is currently fetishized by England's glossiest food magazines, but Shan's biryani is powerfully delicious.
Cuisines: Indian, Pakistani
Payment Type: MasterCard, Visa
Parking: No Parking
Reservations: Accepted, Not Necessary
Extra Info: Lunch buffet, $7.