India's Clay Oven, Monterey, California


In Monterey's often-neglected downtown, there's a nice Indian restaurant hidden behind a foul-smelling alleyway and a weird little elevator. It's India's Clay Oven, at 150 Del Monte Ave., on the second floor. We ate there on Sunday, and it was quite tasty. The spicing was different from the Indian in the Bay Area; I don't know what the difference is, but it was more earthy, back-tongue tastes rather than the tangy, front-tongue tastes I've gotten used to.

It tasted like Indian food did when I was living back East.

We got the Sag Paneer, which was the best I've ever had, with a nice smoky taste to the cheese and a smoothness to the spinach. No stringy, runny bits; it was a perfect, creamy paste. We also got a shrimp jalfrezi, which is shrimp cooked with vegetables. It was perfect, except that if you're going to cook shrimp in a stewy mass, you really should remove the tails.

Service was a little abrupt, and clearly the place does a lot of takeout (our vegetable samosas arrived with little plastic takeout sauces), but it was decently priced, food came fast enough, and everything was tasty. A side benefit to the nasty smell outside and odd little elevator was that the place was practically empty, despite it being a summer evening. Being able to sit down immediately was a major plus after a long day of being tourists.

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This page contains a single entry by Ayse published on June 16, 1904 10:26 PM.

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