Dining

Chaat Room

Redeeming the slider with spice

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.

Juhu Beach Club 5179 Telegraph Ave. Oakland CA 94609 510-652-7350

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