After staining my tongue crimson too many times on scrawny, desiccated pieces of so-called “tandoori chicken,” the meats at Tadka look and taste like an epiphany. Tadka eschews the heavy use of red food coloring that most North Indian restaurants chuck into their marinades, and it cooks chicken, lamb, seafood, and kebabs slowly over charcoal in a genuine tandoor—the country’s traditional, barrel-shaped oven. The kitchen staff stays attentive so the proteins, even the shrimp, emerge moist and plump. Vegetable curries hail from all over the Indian map: If you’d like to stick to the North, order dum aloo Kashmiri—small potatoes in cream gravy enlivened by tomato, onion, garam masala (a sweet spice mix), and fennel seed.
11105 State Bridge Road, Alpharetta, 770-817-7788, tadkarestaurant.com