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The Indian restaurant that ended the era of boring was Zyka on Scott Boulevard. Now there are several new-school restaurants to try, including Curry Up Now, Chai Pani, and Botiwalla.
As Meherwan Irani of Chai Pani's dynasty grows, so does Irani’s eagerness to explore local Indian restaurants. He frequents the small, mom-and-pop places around Decatur, near Patel Plaza. Here are four of Irani’s top spots for that Indian family vibe—and some superb vegetarian grub.
Chat Pani has moved from well-worn space I once frequented as an Emory undergrad, but the vibrant chaat and thali remain as excellent as ever.
Get Asha Gomez’s famous fried chicken while you can.
February 24 will be Spice to Table’s last day in operation. We talked to Gomez why she's shutting down, the difficulties of being a restaurateur, and about her new line of teas and spices, DYAD.
Puneet Mehrotra rode to his wedding in early December on a white horse fitted with a red-and-gold saddle. Family and friends danced around him as musicians beat drums. His bride, Rekha Tiwari, waved to him from a second-story window of the Biltmore Ballrooms. Later, when the ceremony began inside under a mandap (a four-pillared canopy covered with pink orchids and marigolds), Tiwari was carried into the room in a custom-made basket shaped like a lotus.
If the Indian restaurants of metro Atlanta (and the nation, and the world) would accept one word of advice from me, I would plead this: specialize. If you have cooks from India, utilize them. Encourage them to cook the dishes of their region with pride, and to teach them to the other cooks. Do not force them to churn out mind- and palate-numbing “crowd pleasers.” The crowd will ultimately be much more pleased to eat something specific and unfamiliar but alive to the mind and hands of the cooks. No more DOA versions of chicken tikka masala or saag paneer, please.