The dated room looks like a set piece from Starsky and Hutch (the seventies series, not the Ben Stiller flick), and to fans of Indian food, the names of the dishes may be slightly different, but the ingredients and combinations appear mostly familiar. Press gracious host Mirza Ameen for specialties from his native Bangladesh, though, and he’ll direct you to a couple of listed items and—most winningly—bring out some off-the-menu fortes. Ameen began our meal with a vegetarian version of haleem (the Muslim porridge usually made from meat and lentils), then veered us toward fish bhuna, stir-fried catfish with onions, tomatoes, green peppers, and the zing of fenugreek; lamb curry sauteed with pickled green mango and a touch of mustard oil; and soft but chunky toor dal cooked with peeled and thickly sliced cucumber, a substitute for South Asian vegetables that proved a capable stand-in. Dessert was another off-the-grid treat: mishti doi, a sweetened yogurt dessert with a custardy consistency similar to pot de crème.
3375 Buford Highway, 404-633-6655, panahar.com