Preeti Mistry proves that when Indian and American cuisines meet, the result doesn't have to taste dumbed down.
At Juhu Beach Club, the Top Chef alumna's new Temescal restaurant, hot-pink walls and baroque monkey wallpaper give the space the look of a psychedelic music box, as vivid as the food itself.
Mistry's pavs ($5 for 1; $13 for 3), slider-size sandwiches served on Starter Bakery buns, pile on flavors and culinary influences with the fizzy irreverence of M.I.A. The vada pav, a crisp-edged potato fritter, is topped with pickled onions and a slashingly hot ghost-chile chutney. In the Sloppy Lil' P, she's ratcheted up the coriander-dominated potato-pea filling with tamarind and dried mango powder.
Mistry serves a classic, deeply savory chicken curry ($14) over lemon-scented rice. Yet there's just as much excitement in the two crunchy bites of her sev puri ($6), a fried wheat-flour cracker piled high with mashed sweet potatoes, a fiery apple relish and an aromatic raita.
Even her nimbu pani ($4), or lemonade, swaps out some of its sugar in favor of a green cilantro haze and pinches of black salt and toasted cumin.
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