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India Oven

INDIA OVEN

It is awfully rare that I go to a restaurant four times without writing about it. My dining habits are such that I almost always eat out with a critique in mind. This makes dinner with me somewhat problematical for my Flame du jour—who starts a meal thinking she’s in for some jaunty conversation about the day’s work or some friendly gossip, and ends up answering question like: what’s that spice? or: who’s that sous chef?

Lucky for her, she’s been spared that inquisition every time we’ve been to the India Oven. That’s because we’re usually so busy noshing on naan and plowing through the vindaloo that conversation comes to a halt. This is probably a good-thing—both for the restaurant and our relationship. Anyway—after we’ve battled for the last bite of birayni rice or taken our last taste of tandoor—we’ve too stuffed to rate the raita.

Now to be fair, I rarely go to any Indian restaurant in a critical state of mind. This is for two reasons: one—because Indian food is pretty much like sex: the worst I’ve ever has was pretty darn good, and two: most Indian restaurants are stupefying generic in their menu selections and cooking.

But India Oven rises above the curry crowd with an attractive dining room, attentive staff, and price to value ratio that is hard to beat. The food is also distractingly good—from the crispy papadum to the murgh tikka masala—not to mention the aforementioned tandooris and vindaloos—everything I’ve sampled has a highly seasoned snap that excites the palette rather than tires it.

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And you know it’s gotta be exciting if I keep forgetting to talk about it—which is pretty much the case when I’m at the India Oven, maybe why Ms. Right—or is it Ms. Right now?—keeps taking me there.

* Whatdaya get when you cross an Indian Restaurant with a sandwich shop?

* A New Dehlicatessen

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Thursday, November 15, 2001

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