Where: 3026 State Street, 682-6561, flavorofindiasb.com
What: Downtown Santa Barbara’s most popular go-to venue for deliciously fresh Indian cuisine.
How much: Appetizers $0.95-$6.95; entrees $5.95-$14.95; vegetarian combo dinner $9.95
The dish: Flavor of India is a small, family-owned and -operated favorite on upper State Street. Expect attentive service and the highest quality ingredients used to make everything, even cheese, from scratch. Of the four Indian restaurants downtown, it has consistently been voted most popular, judging by the string of awards they have received since their opening more than 15 years ago. The lunch buffet ($8.95) is most popular for patrons to sample a variety of traditional recipes. The spices frequently used include tumeric, cardamom, black mustard seed, and cumin. New-world vegetables such as tomato, chili, and potato compliment long-standing staples of the cuisine such as rice and a variety of pulses (legumes) like red lentil. All-you-can-eat naan flatbread accompanies the variety of tandoori items (marinated in yogurt and spices), curried chicken, daal makhani (lentils), and biryani dishes (aromatic basmati rice with nuts, raisins, and seasonings). Save room for silky rice pudding and all you can drink chai (tea leaves boiled in a sweet and creamy mix of water, spices, and milk).
This week at independent.com, F is also for: Farmer Boy Restaurant (independent.com/farmerboy) and Freebirds World Burrito (independent.com/freebirds). And for all of our restaurants, see independent.com/restaurants. Next week, see what G is for :