By Grace Hiney
Taj Palace has been treating Palisadians to tasty Indian food for 17 years. Proprietor Sunny Sukhwinder Singh not only takes care of the restaurant but also oversees “to-go” orders, which many locals take advantage of, both by delivery and self-pickup. We observed both deliverers and patrons coming and going.
My friend Barbara and I selected glasses of wine while we relaxed and surveyed our Indian setting.
The restaurant is delightful, with its variety of Indian paintings and sculptures that create a relaxing setting for your meal. Then, there is the multi-page menu featuring appetizers, soups, salads, tandoori specialties, seafood curries, lamb curries, chicken curries and vegetarian delights, as well as an assortment of rice dishes and Indian breads.
We started with a shared appetizer of crispy mushrooms sautéed with bell peppers, onions and tomatoes and a delightful variety of Indian spices ($8.95). Appetizers vary in price from deep-fried sliced potatoes ($4.95) to keema samosas (turnovers filled with ground lamb and green peas, $6.95) and fish Pakora ($9.95).
The chicken Tandoori platter arrived with an assortment of shrimp, chicken and lamb marinated in light spices and herbs along with grilled vegetables. Each item was tasty and, happily, not too spicy. A well-balanced dish for $26.95 with a terrific variety of shrimp along with the chicken and lamb.
Tandoori means that the meat and seafood are cooked in an Indian clay oven fired with mesquite charcoal and it produces delicious products!
Next was the Taj mixed grill assortment of Tandoori chicken, chicken tikka (Hindi for chunks of meat cooked on skewers), seekh kabab, and jumbo prawns served with onions and green bell pepper ($24.95). This platter was served with a side dish of
Indian condiments or spices; one red not too spicy, one green and very spicy, and one not spicy but a great accent to the various meats and prawns. This mixed grill also came with a bowl of delicious fluffy rice. And, of course, there was an accompanying excellent naan bread.
Each crisp white-clad table is topped with an enticing brightly colored selection of desserts ($6.95). These ten selections vary from Gulab Jamun of spongy milk balls soaked in rose-scented syrup and Rosewater Pistachio, (traditional Persian rosewater saffron gelato) to a Coffee Parfait which is a cone-shaped creamy coffee gelato. The mango sorbet was perfect after our large and delicious dinner.
The Taj Palace is open every day throughout the year with the exception of Thanksgiving. In fact, Sunny said he is one of the few restaurants open on Christmas Day.
Lunch hours are daily from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner is from 5 to 10 p.m. seven days a week. And if you spot a beautiful server, it is Neetu, Sunny’s wife, who can now work with him because grandma is available to watch their child.
The restaurant is located in the Chase Bank building on the floor above the street, so diners can get their exercise climbing the stairs before and after their meal. Free validated parking.
For more information, visit http://www.tajpacificpalisades.com/.