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Don’t blink or you might miss it:  Taste of India is tucked away in a shopping center next to McDonald’s on Ventura Blvd. at the corner of Stern in Sherman Oaks.  In fact, we’d already driven past it several times in the last month and I’d never seen it!  Friand kept making comments like “I ate there a long time ago” and “we should try that Indian place that’s there” and yet I’d never even seen the name of the place on the building!!  Be warned, though, parking spaces come at a premium in this shopping center, you may have to park & walk.

Upon entering, though, we were treated to the smells of curry and cilantro.  We knew we were going to be in for a real treat!!  The atmosphere was actually quite elegant considering storefront threatens a typical hole-in-the-wall establishment.  We had Friand’s youngest son with us, who we’ll call “B” for now, “A” (the more finicky eater) is usually the one who joins us in our dining excursions, so we were excited to have the adventurous B with us today!

Although I am a dedicated vegan (yes, for ethical reasons, but once lactose & meat intolerance sets in, it does become a question of self-preservation) I do miss certain dairy items.  One such item is Sweet Lassi.  I lived for Lassi… so I told B that if he’s never had one, he needed to try one and this kid didn’t just love it, he kicked back two of these things within 10 minutes.  I have never been so proud!!

For all you veg*ns who are also yogis, you know that the yogic diet follows certain traditions: spicy balanced with sweet, heat paired with cooling items, etc. etc., and Indian food naturally follows these rules. In a spicy dish you will find honey and of course there is a lot of yogurt being used.  All I can recommend is that you check with your server about the use of these items in the dishes you’re considering.  I have admitted several times that I am “loose” with my consumption of honey because of having followed the yogic diet for years before becoming vegan.  Yogurt, though, is a tough one.  Traditional naan bread contains yogurt, and I did not ask about this naan.

****”Taste of India” is quickly winning the award of Worst Website Ever – if you want to read the menu, click here and go to page “3” for the vegetarian section.

By my count, there are 12 Vegetarian Specialties, and 7 look to be vegan just by their descriptions in the menu.  The other 5 either say “cheese” or “creamy” which always leads me to conclude that yogurt is involved.  Ask your server if any of the lacto-vegetarian dishes can be made vegan, you’ll never know if you don’t ask!!

On the rest of the menu, there do appear to be a few more vegetarian items:

  • Appetizers: Samosa; Onion Bahji
  • Chef Specials: Alu Masala, Navrattan Korma (vegetarian), Mushroom Matar, Baingan Imami
  • Sides: Papad, Raita (vegetarian), Malgatwani Soup
  • Biryani: Vegetable (vegetarian)
  • Rice: vegetable, plain, basmati
  • Breads: all breads are veg*n, some use butter or yogurt, read the menu carefully

There are several combination dinners & lunch specials to choose from!  I had the lunch special with Chana Masala, with daal makhni (lentil salad).  Just like the description in the menu, this was a “very delightful dish!”  YUM-O!!

Taste of India is worth seeking out.  There are so many vegetarian dishes to choose from this place will keep me busy for a long long time.  And truly, the way to this yogini’s heart it through an Indian restaurant door.  Now… if only I could get them to make me a Sweet Lassi with soy (or coconut??!!) yogurt instead…..

#1
Sherman Oaks
13903 Ventura Blvd.
818-995-0734

#2
Woodland Hills
21833 Ventura Blvd.
818-999-0600

Lunch
Everyday 11:30 am to 3:00 pm

Dinner
Sunday through Thursday 5:30 – 10:00 pm
Friday & Saturday 5:30 – 10:30 pm

Minimum delivery order: $20.00 (within 3 miles)
http://www.tasteofindiala.com

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