Have you ever driven down Sunset Cliffs Blvd. and seen a very small café with a few tables outside teeming with customers near the corner of Point Loma Avenue? The name of that restaurant is “Point Loma Beach Café.” This review is not about that restaurant; rather it is about the Sundara that shares the space from 5:00-10:00pm every night except Tuesday.
I received a flyer on my front porch about two weeks ago and knew it was someplace I would like to try. So, looking at the men that I have been meeting on-line, I asked Scott if he would like to join me and what made it even better was that he had never had Indian food before.
We walked from my house to the restaurant, and when we entered we were greeted by Nick, who explained to Scott some of the items on the menu. Granted, it is a limited menu, and the recipes were Adam’s, the chef in the back.
The selections consisted of Tikka Masala; Vindaloo; and Saag. We could choose to have any of those items with mixed vegetables, ($7.50); Chicken ($8.50) or Paneer – a cheese that is very mild, for $8.50. There were two specialty Vegetarian Curries – Channa Masala or Dal Makhani, both on the menu for $7.50. The final entrée was Tandoori Chicken, 3 pieces, for $7.50.
There were three types of Naan – (bread); Plain, Garlic & Cilantro or Sesame; Several bottled drinks; and Appetizers and Chutneys, beginning at 50 cents and going up to $1.50.
After much discussion, Scott chose the Saag – spinach and onion curry, that is traditionally served with paneer, and I chose the Channa Masala, where fifteen spices are used to make a complex garbanzo bean curry. Although we were not asked how spicy we wanted our meal, they were both served mildly spicy.
We also ordered the Sesame Naan ($1.50) which was served hot and cooked in their clay oven. (We talked to a couple sitting outside next to us and the gentleman had the Tikka Masala, but he asked for his to be made with a medium spice, and his female companion said it was too spicy for her. Her Saag was mild, and, like Scott, she said it was perfect.)
There are several unique circumstances with this restaurant. First, it is shared with another restaurant that does not serve any of the Indian foods served at Sundara.
Secondly, the food for Sundara is made at a different location and is brought to this place to be served to the customers. It is served in plastic containers, with a lid, which makes it easy to take home if the meal is not finished. Everything was served piping hot, and was quite tasty. The presentation was nice, in spite of being served in the container.
The third member of the staff, Chris, came out and talked to the young couple next to us. I asked him some questions about the food and the preparation, and he willingly answered everything that I asked of him. He thanked Scott and I for trying the restaurant.
Besides having dine-in service, they also have a delivery service for $1; one can order on-line – sundaracuisine.com – and/or takeout is available. I will be returning to the Sundara again. It was tasty; service was good, even though you order at the back of the restaurant rather than table side; and the three men running the restaurant were gracious, concerned and personable.