Best Indian Restaurant (2004)

Restaurant Indika Indian fine dining reaches new heights at this enchanted cottage out on Memorial across from Town & Country Mall. Owner and head chef Anita Jaisinghani, who once worked at Cafe Annie, changes the meaning of samosas with a crab-stuffed version served with papaya-ginger chutney. Her answer to chicken tikka masala is Maple Leaf Farms duck tandoori served with almond curry. Indika shines brightest in astonishing renditions of familiar Indian dishes. The nan tastes like a fresh-out-of-the-oven Indian pizza crust. The yellow lentil dahl, with garlic, ginger and cumin, is electrifyingly spicy. And seafood dishes like Gulf shellfish mulligatawny are a sensational departure from gumbo orthodoxy. The short wine list, created by Paul Roberts (now the sommelier at the French Laundry in Napa), offers innovative choices at fair prices. One meal at this place will get you beyond the all-you-can-eat lunch buffet preconceptions of Indian food.

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