Leading up to this year's Best of L.A. issue (due out Oct. 4), we'll be counting down, in no particular order, 100 of our favorite dishes.
79: Tandoori Chicken at Al-Watan
Surely we can't be alone in our endless fascination with the tandoori oven, a cylindrical-shaped clay oven that facilitates a large amount of the cooking done in South Asia. Imagine an upright high-test jet engine -- glowing, roaring and sputtering -- powered with the smoky hellfire of a barbecue pit, equipped to churn out buttery swaths of naan, juicy grilled seekh kebabs, or brick-red tandoori chickens with the same frequency that Neapolitan pizza ovens spit out char-flecked pies.
At Al-Watan, the oven reigns supreme. A plate of (halal) tandoori chicken arrives on a sizzling cast-iron platter, moist and succulent from its overnight soak in yogurt and spices and chopped into rough sections before being tossed with slivers of raw onion and wedges of lemon. Like many great meals that involve flame-cooked meats, you will dig in with your hands -- which will become saturated with the smell of woodsmoke and exotic spices. There is a squeeze bottle of cool watery yogurt sauce mixed with coriander, too, intended to provide respite.
Check out the rest of our 100 of our favorite dishes. Suggestion? Write us a comment.
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