Crown of India worth the drive

After a busy afternoon of shopping on Melrose Avenue, my mother and I came across Crown of India, quite unexpectedly. From past experiences of eating Indian food in my hometown, New York City, it seems to be a cuisine that either induces stomachaches or satisfies all the right cravings. Crown of India is the latter.

We started with the vegetable samosas, which were perfectly fried and not greasy at all. This surprised me, seeing as I’ve always had to blot the grease off of my samosas in the past (I’ve been told that when something is fried right, there is hardly any left over grease).

On the menu there are various kinds of lamb, chicken, tofu and seafood; my mother and I chose the chicken tikka masala. The chicken was perfectly cooked, and I could even taste the bits of char underneath the tomato and cream sauce. We also ordered the fluffy naan bread and the bhindi combination dish, a mix of okra, lentils, saag paneer (creamy spinach with cubes of cheese) and rice.

Everything was delicious, but I would have to say the dessert was my favorite. We ordered the kulfi, a homemade ice cream with pistachios. The texture is unlike American ice cream or even Italian gelato. The kulfi was thick and almost chalky, not creamy. Though the description might seem off-putting, it’s actually delicious. Everyone who enjoys Indian cuisine should try it.

Crown of India is a hidden jewel with great food and reasonable prices, and even if the exterior of the restaurant is not so glamorous, what awaits inside is truly worth it.