Today is: Thursday, January 24, 2019
Bombay Palace Restaurant Review
Bombay Exotic Cuisine of India offers an elegant and contemporary setting in which to enjoy some of Beverly Hills’s finest Indian cuisine. Focusing on the dishes of Northern India, the menu includes such delights as tandoori chicken, samosas, and an excellent selection of both meat and vegetarian curries. Each dish is a delight to the senses, incorporating rich spices that yield subtle yet memorable flavors. The food alone would attract a regular crowd; exceptional cuisine combined with a romantic atmosphere and excellent service makes Bombay a local favorite.
The vibrant neighborhood of Beverly Hills seems ideally suited for a restaurant that serves nothing but vibrant food. Tucked between a wine bar and a fusion restaurant, across from their other restaurant Tanzore, Bombay is a thriving neighborhood spot with an atmosphere that is just as suited to group dining as to a romantic date.
The restaurant serves traditional Indian cuisine mixed with a handful of
unique specialty dishes, and has established itself as one of the
most frequented Indian restaurants in Beverly Hills.
The first thing we noticed upon arriving was the restaurant’s looming presence, with
an open area, surrounded by while walls, although on the chilly Saturday evening
there was a vibrant atmosphere. Upon entering we were greeted by a
massive waterfall cascading, a feat not only of size but of precision.
Past this modern architectural achievement, the restaurant
seemed to adopt a more antique, and comfortable, feel.
We were led to a booth along the south wall, a luxurious semicircular space
raised slightly from the rest of the dining room, providing us with a regal
view of the restaurant. Across the room an equally regal bar faced us,
were it not for the rows of liquors against the wall, could have
appeared in a temple or an Indian palace.
Our server, enthusiastically greeted us, presenting us with menus and the
wine list. While Bombay offers an array of specialty drinks, we
opted to start our evening
with soft cocktails.
Noticing us glancing through the array of appetizers, our server suggested we try
the Chicken Pakora Tender pieces of chicken, delicately spiced and batter fried,
a dish he promised was much more flavorful and exotic than any
we had tried.
The garlic naan that was served with was mouthwatering; the aroma
of garlic wafting to our noses and stimulating our taste buds before we even took a bite. The naan
was crisp and airy, and we quickly attacked the towering
array of slices on the
plate. Subtle and intricate, it was the spices that
simple appetizer bread and dip—into a tasteful treat.
Tawa Crab Cakes
We ordered a second appetizer, Fish Pakora Cubes of seasoned fish batter fried,
a unique dish that, like many of the appetizers, seemed to combine traditional Indian ingredients with a more western preparation. Also we tasted the Tawa Crab Cakes Crab cakes with herbs and spices served with fresh mint chutney, all which
seemed like approachable dishes for those not familiar with Indian food
(although traditional options such as samosas were equally prevalent).
Kabab Sampler Platter
And our last appetizer was the fabulous Kabab Platter; kabab, chicken tikka,
boti kabab and seek kabab. A light and spicy mint chutney and a
creamy raita, a cucumber yogurt sauce that is a traditional
accompaniment and ideal for cooling the palate.
The lamb was flavorful and intense, the tandoor having cooked it to perfection, while the naan was crispy and almost flaky, an ideal contrast to the savory lamb. The
sweet mango chutney added complexity to each bite, while the two additional chutneys presented in small bowls offered a further array of flavors. The mint
was a light and lively with green peppers and cilantro, offering a single instant
of smooth sweetness that faded into complex spiciness; the raita offered a
cooling anecdote, yogurt and cucumber combining in a creamy
consistency and almost sweet flavor that cooled the tongue.
Relishing the complexity of lamb, mango, and mint lingering on our tongues, we
looked around after our appetizer had been cleared. The room was quickly filling,
and soon there would not be a single empty table. Indian music piped over the speakers, combining with the low din of table talk to fill the large room with a festive buzz. The space, from the majestic chandeliers and crystal lamps to the towering
bar, seemed like it had existed for ages, and it was, the owner told us
that the place has been there for the last 23 years.
Having never tried Tandoori Salmon; cubes of fresh salmon marinated and grilled to perfection in the clay oven, we opted for this preparation. The dish was rich with flavor,. I was very glad we had decided to try the Salmon which we were surprised
to learn does not melt upon cooking—as I found it sumptuous, wholesome, and excellent at soaking up the flavorful curry sauce.
We also tried their amazing Vegetarian Specialties such as the Baingan Bhartha, an Eggplant grilled with
ginger and spices, and the Yellow Dal, with both yellow and brown lentils
mingling in a soup- like broth. Though a traditional side dish, I thought
easily could stand alone as a light meal, and imagined how comforting a
steaming bowl of dhal and rice would be on a cold rainy day.
Chicken Tikka Masala
The next entrée was the Chicken Tikka Masala, a barbecue cubes of chicken cooked with tomatoes, onions, and yogurt. An all time favorite. It seemed an excellent dish for those unfamiliar with Indian food. Its sauce was deliciously complex, while at the same time familiar, like a superior version of Asian sweet and sour sauce, or even slightly comparable to sweet yet spicy North Carolina barbecue. The sauce was well balanced, so that the sweetness seemed grounded by an almost earthy flavor,
the distinction between flavors becoming more elusive the more we ate. The
chicken itself was tender and succulent, while the pieces of mango were soft
and juicy, and the dish seemed more and more savory with each bite.
As our meal progressed different layers of spice and subtleties of flavor seemed to emerge, creating an increasingly complex sensation with each bite. I couldn’t help
but compare the dishes to good wine—complex, well balanced, with a long finish
that becomes increasingly flavorful as it lingers on the tongue. We also tried the Vegetable Biryani, a baked casserole of basmati rice and freh vegetables, flavored with saffron nuts and raisins. I was absolutely captivated by the subtle flavors in
my mouth, and almost wished the meal wouldn’t end. Approaching my last bite,
I looked up to see the lit waterfall reflected across from our table, resonating
in the glass like the subtle tastes lingering in our mouths.
We decided to end our meal with a traditional Indian dessert: Rice Pudding, A glass arrived on a cinnamon dusted plate, filled with a creamy ivory colored pudding,
graced with a cinnamon stick. One spoonful proved the dessert creamy and
light, with each bite more comforting than the next. I noticed how the tingling
sensation in my mouth was slowly fading, cloaking the complex flavors
like a monochrome blanket of snow slowly covering diverse terrain.
The we also tried the Gulab Jamun, Mango and Pistachio Kulfi, and the amazing Carrot Halwa. We soon found our palates soothingly calm, signaling a conclusion to our flavorful meal. Satisfied and full, we walked out onto the bustling Wilshire Boulevard warmed by food and wine and excitedly wondering when we would have the next chance to taste such riches.
Chef Haran Singh
Special thanks to Chef Haran Singh and to the owner
Mrs. Harveen Sethi for your amazing hospitality and great food.
For map and location click Here!
For more information please visit their website
Article by: Mary Adams
Photos by: Chris Marx
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