Dhaba

On our first visit to Dhaba (2104 Main Street, in Santa Monica) we decided to go with two of the specials, Swiss chard with garlic, and mushrooms and peas in a light curry sauce. Both were wonderfully fresh and simple, the chard savory and slightly bitter, the mushrooms and peas subtly sweet. We ate the two entrĂ©es with onion naan, a deliciously crisp rendition, almost like matzo but tender on the inside. For an appetizer we chose samosas, which were smaller than usual but nice and crispy, filled with potatoes, peas, and carrots. One of us liked them without reservation; one of us thought the spice combination was a bit harsh. The green chutney that accompanied the samosas was better than average, a vibrant combination of mint and cilantro. In keeping with the spirit of the place, our mango lassis leaned more toward mango and less toward yogurt, which is to say they were both rich and refreshing. We left feeling light enough to fit in a scoop of ice cream at Ben and Jerry’s across the street. On our next visit, we plan to try some of the regular menu items and, if it’s warm enough, the charming patio.

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