Best Indian: India’s Tandoori
The new hot spot for Bangladeshi food is: Brentwood. This has happened thanks to Martin Shah, chef and co-owner of India’s Tandoori, a restaurant known for north Indian dishes such as chicken tikka masala, lamb korma and saag paneer. However, Shah is from Bangladesh and wants to promote that food too. So in August he launched a Bangladeshi menu, which appears as an insert in the regular menu.
Along with Indian staples, he’s now serving lamb and chicken rejala — meat richly flavored with a yogurt and poppy seed paste, onions, green chiles and spices such as cardamom and nutmeg. Another new dish is malai chingri, shrimp in an aromatic coconut milk curry enriched with cream.
There’s also morog pulao, which is Bangladeshi style chicken biryani made with a special rice called kala jeera. Bangladeshi vegetarian dishes include red lentils with baby spinach and aloo bharta, or mashed potatoes seasoned with onions, green chiles, mustard seeds and black pepper. The new menu also offers spicy pickles from Bangladesh and garlic naan topped with nigella seeds.
For $500, Shah will cook a 12-course Bangladeshi dinner for six, with customers choosing the dishes. In line with current trends, he offers gluten-free options, many vegetarian dishes in addition to those from Bangladesh, and has eliminated nuts from all dishes, including rejala, so that those with nut allergies can eat safely.
Also new is an organic dinner for six with a choice of eight entrees. The organic and Bangladeshi menus, a Bengali fish of the day and morog pulao require 24-hour advance notice. Authentic Bangladeshi food is handmade from scratch with fresh ingredients and therefore takes extra time to prepare. “Everybody loves it,” Shah says. —Barbara Hansen
11819 Wilshire Blvd., Brentwood; (310) 268-9100.